In a competition for fame they must surrender to the music and each other.
Cassiopeia Eleanor. A name that just begs to be heard. A successful singer in small-town Mississippi, she finds only disappointment in California. It’s a tale as old as they come until she sees the flyer for a new kind of musical talent show. Rising Star could be her ticket to success. Now, she’s on her way. She’s moving through the ranks, and nothing is gonna slow her down.
J.T Chase is a man possessed by his passions. Having left the Seminary, he’s spent the last eight years working the bar and club scene, trying to share his music. Rising Star is his chance to show the world that he can succeed.
Copyright © 2019 J. Haney & S.I. Hayes Rising Star
1 - Cassiopeia
WHAT WAS I THINKING? I can’t do this. Yet, here I am, pacing the corridor, waiting on my final audition into Rising Star. The newest singing competition. My best friend, Zuela, is waiting for me to be called to the stage. I can hear clapping and talking from where I’m at, but not much more at the moment. I can’t tell you what anyone is saying but it sounds like there’s a lot of people out there. Zu and I decided on a sea-foam green maxi chiffon dress matched with a pair of my favorite cowboy boots. It’s cut up to the thigh with a low-cut v into the neck, and I’m really starting to think I picked out the wrong outfit. I should have just gone with the jeans. Then we fall to the questions. What if I mess up? What if I forget the lyrics? What if I miss a note on the piano? These are just some of the questions that have filtered through my head throughout this process.
“Miss, you can take the stage.” A guy says handing me a mic.
I take the mic with shaky hands. “Th-Thank you.”
With a nod he’s gone and I’m walking through a door that could possibly change my life forever. Did I pick the right song? Jesus what if they don’t like the song? What if someone else has already done it?
“Shut up Cassi! It’s time to pull on your big girl panties and show this world what it’s been missing.” I say my new little mantra to myself once more, before taking a deep breath and walking up on stage where the piano awaits me. There’s a sheet like thing between me and everyone else in the room.
I fix the mic, so it’s stationed, before I face the piano and situate my fingers on the keys. I play the first notes of New York State of Mind by Billy Joel. The world seems to melt away and I’m all alone doing what I love.
I don’t come back to reality till I’m shutting the lid on the piano and taking a deep breath. This also happens at the same time as the cheering and clapping starts. Looking around I see people everywhere. I can’t even guess how many people are in here. I grab the mic from the stand and take my place before the four people that can change my life forever.
From right to left we have… Arthur Crow, he’s the front man for United Underground. It’s an UK rock phenomenon. Next to him is MC Rolland and he works specifically in Rap and R&B. Beside him is the only female judge, Kay Hernandez she sings what the world considers Bubblegum Pop but dresses as a Cyber Punk Goth. It’s really weird but she’s got quite the following. Last but most certainly not least is Kyle Jagger he’s part of the southern rock sensation known as Fallen Angels. Three of them are writing notes while the one I’m most nervous about is looking me up and down.
“Well, if you all ain’t gonna speak.” Kyle says uncrossing his legs from the top of the table, sitting forward. “You most certainly don’t look like a Ringo, but you play like one and I respect that.”
He refers to his band mate, Ringo Thomas. Their keyboardist and right now, man of the hour. “T-thank you, I don’t think I’m anywhere near his caliber, but I’ll take the compliment.”
Arthur Crow speaks but only to say. “Billy Joel would be proud.”
“Thank you, he’s an amazing artist.”
MC Rolland finally looks up from his tablet. “Now how does such a big voice come out of such a little girl? Come down here and let us see you.”
I walk so I’m closer to the judges. “Pretty sure Ma would say it’s from growing up singing in the church choir. You have to stay on your toes with those ladies.”
“I don’t know about you guys, but I want to see what else she can sing. Whatcha got in you honey? Just something off the top of your head.” Kay instructs.
I take a deep breath and say my mantra in my head once before starting the opening to Tough Lover from the movie Burlesque done by none other than Christina Aguilera. I connect my eyes with each of the judges at least once before the song is over.
Kyle starts laughing and clapping. “You know I’ve meet her, sweet little thing.”
“I can’t say that I’ve ever actually met her. I’ve waited on her once but never actually got to meet her.”
“So, you wait tables, well I hope you can get some time off because I think I can speak for the rest of us here when I say welcome aboard miss…?” Arthur raises a brow at me...
Kay sits back. “Well isn’t that a mouth full?”
“That’s what she said.” Comes from Kyle.
“Thank you all so much.”
I shake each judges hand before walking away. Holy Shit! I made it. I can’t believe I’m actually going. Yes, I’ve got to battle against a hundred or so others to make it through but at least I get that chance.
It doesn’t take me long to find Zu and my stuff. I wrap myself around her. “I can’t believe I did it!”
“Careful honey or I’m going to start to think you like me a little too much.” She kisses me on the forehead.
“I just got eye fucked by Kyle Jagger and I liked it.”