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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Voice May Wear Me Out

My friend Kurt is auditioning for season two of "The Voice" tomorrow. The New York auditions (those closest to here) are being held in East Rutherford, New Jersey, at the Izod Center, formerly the Continental Airlines Arena, and originally the Brendan Byrne Arena. (And if you know who Brendan Byrne is, you win...nothing. At least nothing from me.) This place is in the Meadowlands Sports Complex, where the New York Giants and Jets of the NFL will play once the lockout is finally over, and the Izod Center is where the New Jersey Devils and Nets used to play before both teams moved on to the new Prudential Center in Newark.

So, logistically speaking, it's in the middle of nowhere in northern New Jersey.

Kurt had a friend who was driving him tomorrow, until said friend had to cancel because of unexpected work commitments.

Have I mentioned that the Izod Center is in the middle of nowhere?

He has been instructed to arrive at 7 am. The plan is to take a Greyhound bus to New York City and then a New Jersey Transit bus that goes to the Meadowlands. To get there at 7 am or so requires taking the 3:20 am bus from Philadelphia to the Port Authority terminal, and then the first NJT bus on the Meadowlands route, which leaves at 6:50 am. This basically means it is impossible to get any sleep before going on this trip, and my guess is that with the number of people attending, it will be an all-day affair.

And, out of concern for his well-being and because this is a big deal to him, I am going along for the ride.

(Have I mentioned that the Izod Center is in the middle of nowhere? And that today's high temperature was 98, and tomorrow it's expected to hit or go past 100? And that none of the coaches/judges shown above are actually going to be there, I assume, since these are the very first rounds of auditions?)

The next 24 hours or so are going to be interesting, if not torturous. My cell phone is fully charged. Expect Facebook and Twitter updates.


Anonymous said...

Can you please post an update as to how it went at the auditions? I am going tomorrow at 2. Despite the assigned time, I'm afraid I'll have to wait hours. Any tips you have are appreciated. Hope your friend made it through.

Anonymous said...

What a great friend! Make sure you get 10% of any money Kurt makes in perpetuity.

Joe in Philly said...

He didn't get a callback, sadly. We're both still financially challenged.

Anonymous #1: Hope you see this as I'm not going to write a full blog post tonight...

It's very well-organized. You'll have some waiting but the lines moved at a nice pace. Kurt said it was twice as fast compared to when he auditioned for Idol at the same arena a while back. We arrived at the back of the line at about 7:20 am and he was at the front and headed inside about 9:30 am. He was out of there a little after noon.

If you get there earlier, you'll get in quicker. While I was waiting outside (they don't let any friends or family into the building) a car drove by and a man spoke over a PA system saying "if you're here for the 2 pm auditions, start lining up at the box office now." Not many people did right then. That was about noon, just before Kurt finished his audition.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, Joe in Philly! I'm sorry your friend didn't make it.

Anonymous said...

They tell you right away if you don't get called back? Is that how it works?

Joe in Philly said...

In most cases. But I overheard one woman telling another "they gave me a 'maybe'" and that they told her they'd let her know that night.