My thanks to Dr. Chris Deason of Winter Park, Fl for re-creating my previous website into a much more professional one than it was. He also made it possible for me to begin selling my seashell instruments on line, something I never would have been able to do by myself. My computer skills are limited to writing blogs, answering e-mails, surfing the net and occasionally buying an item on line. But that is going to change soon. I will be learning how to manage my website with Chris’s help.
Even the best website in the world needs good advertising to generate sales. Yes, I discovered and developed a new and unique family of musical wind instruments; but the world is not beating a path to my door. Very few people know about me or my seashell instruments. Mostly it’s those who have seen me at farmer’s markets and Native American Flute Festivals. Some may even stumble across this website while surfing the net.
It has been suggested that I use social media as a marketing tool for my website. To me my friends are just that: “FRIENDS”. I don’t feel they should be ‘USED’ to generate sales or encouraged to tell their friends about my business. Sorry but that’s just the way I feel. And besides, I’m not on any social media sites anyway. That may change in the future, but for different reasons.
I decided to audition for America’s Got Talent (AGT) this year, thinking that if I make it onto national television playing my seashell flute just once, that that could be great marketing for my new website. I think people will be intrigued by what I discovered. There’s always the possibility that I might make a fool of myself also. There’s no telling what will happen on America’s Got Talent. But that’s why I like the show.
So I drove twelve hours north on January 28, 2014 from Orlando, Fl to the AGT audition in Greensboro, NC. It snowed six inches that night. I arrived at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Greensboro at 7:30 am the next morning for my 8 am audition. It was 12 degrees outside. I wore snow boots, heavy pants, a sweat shirt, parka, hat and mittens. I love snow. Before I moved to Orlando seven years ago, to take care of my elderly father, I lived ‘up North’, so I still own a lot of winter clothes.
I waited for hours along with thousands of other ‘hopefuls’ to audition in front of the AGT producers. The atmosphere inside the large and well lit audition room was jovial. Each performer was given 90 seconds to impress the the judge with their talent. Most of the performers in my group of ten were singers. One guy was a comedian. I was the last to perform. I showed the judge a sample seashell flute so he could see what I was going to play ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’ with.
After I finished we were all thanked for taking the time to audition and asked to wait outside in the hall. A few minutes later a young woman came out and asked me to come back into the room with her. The producer was a young man sitting behind a laptop at a banquet table. He asked me if I could play anything else. I said sure and played ‘If I Only Had A Brain’. Then he said that the executive producers wanted to see me upstairs.
There were three executive producers seated behind laptops in this room. One asked me to stand on an X taped to the floor in front of a television camera and play three tunes of my choosing. I played ‘If I Only Had A Brain’, Take Me Out To The Ballgame’ and ‘Danny Boy’. I missed some notes I think because I was a bit intimidated by the TV camera. One of the producers began shaking his head from side to side which made me feel like I really messed up.
They thanked me for taking the time to audition for them and said that they would call within a month’s time if I made it to the next round of auditions. If I didn’t there would be no call. That’s it. I collected my belongings in the room downstairs and drove back to Orlando.
On March 3rd a producer from AGT called and told me I’d been selected for the next round of auditions to be held in New York City April 5th in front of the celebrity judges. They are taking care of everything to get me there and back. I’m excited, to say the least. I don’t know what to expect. It’ll be springtime in the Big Apple however and I’ll be playing ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’ inside Radio City Music Hall, I hope. This is truly the land of the free and the home of the brave. Play ball!!