So You Wanna Be a Celebrity?

by Morissa Schwartz

From childhood, I enjoyed being in the limelight. My parents entered me in my first pageant when I was only an infant and my first dance competition when I was three years old. I couldn’t get enough of it!

My music and writing career has been a journey that did not begin overnight. Any form of success takes work.1430425272_social_media_round_icons_pink_color_set_256x256_0002_twitter I remember coming home every day in middle school and practicing my singing with my little karaoke machine that my dad bought me from Target. I would record myself singing Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson songs on my $10 handheld recorder until my notes matched the singers that I admired so much. I later got a vocal coach who taught me more about perfecting my posture than singing. It was really all up to me to make my voice sound like the people I heard on the radio. I would sing in front of the mirror, then in front of my dad’s old Sony camcorder from the 90s, and finally, when I grew confident enough, for family and friends.

In high school, I would devote a few hours a week to finding casting calls for singing shows, normally with MTV. Finding them was easy. I just went to MTV’s casting page online and subscribed to other music competition shows mailing lists so that I would know when they were holding auditions. I was closed to being cast on big MTV shows two times, but both fell through. The first time, the show was never actually picked up, and the second time, I made it to the top ten. However, I did audition for American Idol…with ten thousand other people. There were so many people that my dad (who was my accompanying guardian, since I was only sixteen) had to camp outside the giant Izod center just to be seen. But it is not like what you see on television.  I did not see any judges, just a producer who listened to only ten seconds from each contestant. I waited over 26 hours just to be dismissed in a matter of seconds. My heart was broken.

Friends and family tried to shield me. They said rejection would just keep happening and suggested I aim for a more reachable goal. But my mind was made up: I was going to be a professional singer. My true passion was with performing in front of a large audience.

Friends and family tried to shield me. They said rejection would just keep happening and suggested I aim for a more reachable goal. But my mind was made up: I was going to be a professional singer. My true passion was with performing in front of a large audience.

I decided to just sing for anyone who would listen. I volunteered at nursing homes and veterans homes as entertainment. I sang at charity events like Relay for Life, the county fair, and town-wide events. I also started a YouTube channel when I was fifteen where I would post a lot of covers. It is true that the more you do something, the more comfortable you become with it.

My confidence grew as well. So for any of you worrying about actually performing in front of others, start small. I sang at school, then some local talent shows, then with the community theatre group until I felt comfortable enough to audition at the mall for singing the national anthem at professional baseball games when I was sixteen. My Dad brought me. There were hundreds of people auditioning, so we had to wait a really long before they called me to the audition stage to sing in front of the entire mall. All that time spent waiting and watching amazing singers go before me, made the pit in my stomach grow by the second; I was just so nervous. Nevertheless, that Tuesday after school, I received a phone call.I passed the audition, despite my legs shaking the whole time, and got to sing in a stadium filled with thousands of baseball fans. Having confidence when you perform makes a huge difference.

I was ready to take on the world…with my singing. Seventeen years later after my first dance competition, MTV flew me from the suburbs of New Jersey to the place I’ve always dreamed of going: Hollywood.

Morissa Schwartz is a writer and singer. Morissa has been highlighted on MTV, News 12, and Fox. As an accomplished singer/songwriter, Morissa’s song “A Hunting We Will Go” was featured in the trailer for New York Times Best Selling author Maggie Shayne’s book trailer. Additionally, Morissa is a contributor for Entertainment Weekly’s Community. She also broke the Guinness World Record for creating the World’s Longest Chain of Bracelets. Her book, “Notes Never Sent,” will be released by VIP Ink Publishing in Summer, 2015.

Visit Morissa’s website at Morissaschwartz.com
Blog: myneongreennotebook.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Feefeertr

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Written by: Morissa Schwartz

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