A dollar, a dream

| 22 Feb 2012 | 01:27

and a Fox 5 audition By Nancy Kriz MONROE - If it’s true that all you need is a dollar and a dream, then Laura Arrant, a cashier at the Dollar Tree in Monroe who sees a lot of those greenbacks, might have a head start on a successful singing career. Evidence of that could be her luck in winning an opportunity to sing as part of the recent “Fox 5 American Idol Contest,” held July 22 in Manhattan. Arrant was one of 50 people selected to win a chance to sing before judges - newscasters from Fox’s Channel 5 in New York - who would then pick only three singers to advance to a second round of competition the following day. The winner of that final competition would be given a “free pass,” according to Arrant, to bypass the long season 10 “American Idol” audition lines - where tens of thousands of people have been known to wait. That person would appear before “American Idol” judges including Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres to sing and possibly be selected to appear on the wildly popular television show. “My mother had entered my name in the online contest,” said Arrant, 19, a singer/songwriter who is studying psychology at Rockland Community College and who has been working part-time at the Monroe Dollar Tree for the past four years. “I didn’t believe her. I just blew it off.” ‘Who am I’ And when she got the call on July 20, she equally didn’t believe what the Fox caller had to say either. “I said to him, ‘You’re lying,’” Arrant recalled. “I told him, ‘This is a joke. You’re pranking me.’” But it was no prank. Arrant had only 48 hours to select her song and rehearse. She would be given only 30 seconds to attempt to wow the Fox 5 judges with her a cappella singing. Arrant, who sings country music, selected “Who I am,” by Jessica Andrews, a song she said she’s been singing since she was a baby and one she had a comfort level in performing with minimal advance notice. She and her mother took the 5:30 a.m. Metro North train into the city, arriving at Fox studios three hours later. They needed to check-in, register, have photos taken and wait on more lines for the 10 a.m. auditions to begin. Arrant, who hasn’t worked with a singing coach since high school, wasn’t overly crazed about singing before judges as she’s done that many times before for other competitions. But this was different; this was chance to possibly be on “American Idol.” “I was excited and nervous and anxious all at the same time,” said Arrant, who lives in nearby Salisbury Mills. “For this, it was the ‘what if’ pressure. It was the nerves taking control.” ‘Better prepared for the next time’ Alas, Arrant wasn’t picked to come back the next day and sing again. “I didn’t sing my best, but I did well,” she said. “But I really wasn’t upset because I got to have that experience. I did what I came there to do. I didn’t go forward, but that’s okay.” Her experience reinforced something else too. “I want to get with my voice coach,” said Arrant. “I want my voice to be better prepared for the next time.” Arrant is certain there will be a next time. She’ll skip the upcoming Aug. 3 national “American Idol” auditions at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. because she now realizes her voice needs some additional work. But, she vowed to eventually be standing on one of those long audition lines for either NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” or another season of “American Idol.” “Personally, it’s my dream to get my music noticed, whether I do it myself or get an artist to perform my songs,” Arrant said. “I want my music shown and get the message out. This was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”