Closet stars emerge for NZ's Got Talent auditions
Don't deny it. Every one of us is a closet rock star.
Maybe you belt out Motley Crue in the car, or Power of Love in the shower. Maybe you randomly break into dance when no-one is looking, or perhaps you are a juggler who has never left the back yard.
All of us have a deep, dark suspicion that we are incredible at something, but often the only people who ever know you like to sing are the ones who pull up next to you at the stop light, or those who gather to watch you break dance when you have had too much to drink. Our secret awesomeness stays hidden away, dormant.
And then something like New Zealand's Got Talent rocks up. Suddenly the guitars are dusted off and singing practice in front of the mirror begins.
On Saturday morning, hundreds of people in the talent closet presented themselves for the nation's judgment at Hamilton's round of the competition. Me included.
This is not my first go at this. I did NZ Idol in 2006 and was told "you have a nice voice, but you were too nervous". Frankie Stevens voted me through but the other two judges said "maybe next time". Well, here I am – it's "the next time".
The auditions started at 10am and by 10.15am the line into the Southwell School 's auditorium was huge.
With me was a buddy, Times reporter Nicola Brennan-Tupara, who gallantly fed me chocolate to keep me awake and motivated. We made new friends as we waited, including the talented dance troop Deelicious, who were behind us and proved invaluable comic relief. But I could have done without hearing other singers practising. Nothing psyches a person out more than hearing someone very obviously better than you.
Nerves were fraying, but finally we were inside. This is where the news is broken: we are not singing in front of the mystery judges (yet to be named) but for producers instead. This is a little bit of an anti-climax after waiting two hours to meet them.
We are divided into groups, each outside one of the classrooms. One by one names are called and one by one hopefuls disappear into the rooms. Some return holding back tears while others are trying not to skip. My turn.
Inside are two producers with a handycam on a tripod. A rumour had circulated that if you had made it to the next round they would turn on the camera and ask you to repeat your performance. So I sang, pleased to have remembered the words, and then I waited.
"Lovely. We will be letting people know by mid-June."
I had waited three hours and after just two minutes I was on my way. Maybe the camera was broken?
So now we wait for the emails that will either send us to the next stage in Auckland or back to our cars, backyards and showers.
Watch this space.