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HomeArts/LeisureDay 2 through 5 at Operation Rising Star

Day 2 through 5 at Operation Rising Star

Voting for Fort Campbell & Clarksville is 8:00-10:30 on Sunday night. You can also watch live via the internet, at www.pentagonchannel.mil

Thea Agnew was selected to represent Fort Campbell in the 2009 Operation Rising Star CompetitionThe second day… First of all, from this day out I will refer to Operation Rising Star as ORS. Breaking it down a little. Whew! What a day.  It was suppose to rain but it held off and the sun shined through.  We started our day going through some vocal group warm ups, learning different technics.  We were able to get two of our group songs down for the show. We are above the curve, we were told, and so he gave us a little more time this morning to sleep in.  It was a late night.

After our practices on the group numbers we went to eat and then left for Ft. Myers.  On the way there we passed the Pentagon and saw the Airforce memorial, the Washington memorial (from afar) and the Arlington Cemetary.  I also got a call from Mayor Piper’s office saying the Mr. Piper requested me by name to sing the National Anthem for the Volunteer ceremony that will be going on November 19th, my birthday.  I am in VA so I wouldn’t be able to make it. I told her to please keep my name for any future events. She said she would. Anyway, when we arrived at the home of the Army Band, we went into a room with the band that will be playing for our competition.  They are DR, short for Down Range.  Great group of talented individuals.  You have to be, to be in this band!

We went over our solo numbers if we make the top 6.  This song was broken down to 90 seconds.  All of our songs that we sing alone will have to be broken down except for the winner.  I was given my song and it is “How do I live”.  There is still some tweaking we need to do but all in all I think it will sound good.  I want to add some brass or horns into the music, so I will see if that can be done on Thursday.  I will only be singing this song if I get enough votes from Ft. Campbell, Clarksville , fans, friends and family around the world.  If not, then I will still be here but only do group numbers.  But we aren’t going to focus on the “if not”! I know you will all come through for me with your votes.  You believe in me or I wouldn’t be here!

By the time we all finished our numbers it was about 5 pm and the 6 contestants that still needed to tape their accapella version had not been done.  So we waited for them to finish their tapings.  Once that was done it was around 7 and we headed to the restaurant to eat.  We were all tired and acting crazy.  Some laughing uncontrolably and some just laying their head down trying to sleep.

Today we are going to be going over the two songs and working on the 3rd one.  So, I am going to go ahead and end now and start listening to some music, getting more familiar with it.

Please remember that you need to vote on the 15th at 8 pm eastern and you only have two hours to do so.  If you want to vote more than once you can but you have to go through the whole process of voting again. I don’t think there is an easier way.  Voting will be on this website and you can also view the show at www.oprisingstar.com or if you would like to see it on t.v. the Sportsman Lodge will be having a viewing there with a buffet.

“I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky. I think about it every night and day!”  Thank you for your support and helping me reach the stars. I have always felt that what ever you do, when done with the right heart, it will come back to you. Plus just doing something to help another smile is very rewarding in itself.  Blessings…

The third day… I woke up to hearing the rain outside and it was cold! What a change in the temperature. We were able to sleep in a little longer because of the day before, which was nice. I did some warm ups in my room and of course was keeping you up to date with how day 2 went.

Yesterday we started off going straight to rehearsals and singing from 9-11:30.  We went over our group songs, even did a little contest on which group of 6 contestants sold the show for one of the songs we are doing, “Party in the U.S.A.”  It really is going to be entertaining for y’all to watch.  My group didn’t win that time due to the meshing and not really connecting with what we were doing with our movements but we won with the vocals. :) The second time we did it, my group won.

We then took our lunch break and ate where we will be eating every lunch and dinner, Vinny’s. I believe we will be made of cheese when we leave here.  It is an Italian restaurant. Very good food but it doesn’t help if we are trying to fit in our performance clothes!  It’s funny, one of the girls has a bottomless pit for eating.  She just doesn’t seem to get full. So when I was done with my food and I still had some left on the plate she wanted to know if I wanted it. I gave it to her and she ate and kept eating.  It’s been like this almost every night.  So, last night she said that her clothes felt like they were getting a little tight and I said, “You want some more of my food?” She gasped and asked if we were trying to make her fat by offering her our food. We all laughed.  I wasn’t thinking that. I just thought she was still hungry. Some people can eat like that and still remain thin.  Must be nice! Not so with me!!

Another contestant offered everyone a throat lozenger in rehearsals and Joey, our vocal coach, gasped and said that he doesn’t want to see us singing with that in our mouth because when we take a breath the lozenger could be sucked down and we could choke.  So the joke from then on out was when someone is doing good, “Do you want a throat lozenger?” :)

After lunch we came back to the hotel and had to get the 6 outfits that we will be performing in.  We went back to the theatre and picked a row to place each outfit on a seat, along with shoes, for the director to see.  He called each person out to go over the outfits.  When he called me, he looked at my clothes and wanted to know what I was singing and then would point to an outfit and say, “You’ll wear that….you’ll wear that.”  So, that was cool being directed on what I would wear for the show if I move on to sing the songs that I am singing.

We then rehearsed from 1-5:00 pm.  It was a long day of singing.  Afterward I needed help with the song I will be singing if I make it to the top 6 and Joey helped me with that for about 10 minutes.  Everyone was waiting in the van to go eat dinner while Joey got the arrangement together.  I recorded it on my iPhone and then we were off to eat and then get back to the hotel.

Every night I come in here and get ready for bed and watch HBO.  Last night I watched some of the CMA’s. Gotta love Taylor Swift and her innocense. She is so refreshing.  It would be good to have an older singer singing songs about “When your 40?.  Us women need songs we can identify to now, in the age we are in and the song being sung by someone that looks like they can experience it. I have had a lot of women coming up to me saying that they cannot relate to a song about them being sung by a 20 year old who probably has never experienced it. They don’t want to look back at 15 and wishing they were there again.  There is life after 15, after 25, after 35, after 50.  Who wants to write a song with me?

Anyway, we are on day 4 now. So be watching for my daily post tomorrow.  Busy day ahead and I gotta get going.  Have a great day.

Remember, voting to get me to the top 6 will begin on the 15th at 8pm eastern for 2 hours.  Go to www.oprisingstar.com and click on VOTE.  You will be able to vote more than once but there is a process that you will have to start over with.  Thank you for taken an active role in achieving my dream! Blessings

The fourth day… Yesterday was back to the normal schedule.  We ate the hotels breakfast and headed back to the theatre.  It was another cold, rainy day.  I am sure it didn’t help with what I have now.  A couple of contestants had a fever and some drainage. It went away after two days.  I don’t have the fever but I have the drainage.  I have been real careful with where I put my hands and using sanitizer.  Don’t know if this was something from being in a room with the heat on for the first time the other night.  That is when I woke up with a sore throat.

Anyway, my day was full of choreography.  It is going to be sooooo good.  We all have great harmony.  We worked on our first group performance on stage all morning until lunch.  After that wonderful italian restaurant we went to Ft. Myers again.  It is something to be inside the building that is home to the Army Band.  You see men and women walking out to go play at a service at Arlington.  While I was sitting in the foyer waiting for my turn to go in and rehearse my song with the band, I could see the cemetary.  I mean, I would only have to walk outside the building and maybe 500 feet and I am there.  That is how close it is.  Arlington takes your breath away. Seeing all the brave men and women who have served our country finishing their time on this earth here. It is just speechless.

I had a good practice to go over a part that Joey and I changed to allow me to sing higher.  This is for the day 2 song if I make the top 6. I will be singing, “How do I live”.  My first song will be what I sang to win the installation, “Just a Dream”. We had to send in that performance. Whatever was sent in for them to judge is what we are singing.  The Band sounds so good.  Now with this first song, this is the song that the judges have already seen and what made them choose the top 12.  So, it won’t be a judgement of why did I pick that song.

Yesterday after I practiced I got some really good feedback and advice from one of the back up singers with the Down Range band. So, hopefully I will make the top 6 and you can see what I do with it!

Remember, voting begins at 8 pm eastern, November 15th on www.oprisingstar.com and click on VOTE.  You will have 2 hours. You can vote more than once also.  I need your votes.  50% of them will either move me up or out. The other 50% is the judges. You can also go to the Sportsman Lodge to view it on t.v.  They will have the Pentagon Channel there.

Thank you for all you are doing to support your local resident representing Ft. Campbell!!

The fifth day… Yesterday we started off around 10:45 but our van didn’t come until 11:30.  So we had some time in the lobby area of the hotel to visit and talk about our performances with each other.  We can honestly say that whoever wins, we will not be saying, “How did he/she win this?”  Whoever wins we will understand and be thrilled for them.

We went to eat first and I went to the grocery store to get some medicine to get over this sinus drainage cold thing I got going on. I just don’t understand why I come all this way and I get a cold the day before I am to sing! Why? Why? Why?  I am still going to stand up and do my very best and your votes will pull me through, if the judges are pulling too. I can still sing but it might sound a little nasally. I will sound more like Willie Nelson..:) NOT!! Just watch to see what a cold does and then comment!

We got to the COLD theatre around 1 pm and started rehearsing with the whole show. Group 1 singing “Party in the USA” and then the first contestant singing, etc…  Then group 2 (my group) getting up and singing and doing our solo parts.  After 4 hours of doing that, we then went to eat at where?…… VINNY’S and then we went back to the theatre and practice the whole thing on stage.  Went over it a couple of times and one of the men who help cast for America’s Got Talent and our Contest was sitting in the judges seats and watching.  He gave us all good advice.

After that was done we all did some relaxing exercises with Joey, our Vocal Coach, and then came back to the hotel.  It was around 9:30 pm when I put my head on the pillow.  I woke up at 3 a.m. and then fell back to sleep, had some nightmares and now I am up at 7 a.m. filling my nose with Afrin and Salin sprays, trying to clear this out.

Anyway, y’all have a great day and be praying for my voice and performance.  I want to bring this song across to everyone sitting in listening ear shot. I hope you enjoy the performance and vote for me!

Voting begins tomorrow, Sunday, at 8:30 pm-11:30 pm Central for 2 hours. The broadcast can be seen at 7 pm central on the pentagon website: www.pentagonchannel.mil clicking on steaming live or if you see Operation Rising Star, click there. Voting is done on www.oprisingstar.com clicking on VOTE then picking me.

Thea Long
Thea Longhttp://www.diariesofafruitcake.com/
As an Assistant Loan Officer for VA Mortgage Center and a retired REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Conroy, Marable & Holleman, Thea has been investing in Real Estate for 12 years now. She has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce since 2007. In her spare time, she sings the National Anthem for Chamber events, military events and sporting events, including the Nashville Predators opening season in 2007/2008, and the Nascar Qualification at the Atlanta Speedway 2008. She is currently Ft. Campbell, KY Operation Rising Star 2009. Thea Long, previously Agnew,  is no stranger to Clarksville, TN. Raised in a military family, she graduated from Northeast High School and all three of her children are attending and graduating from her alma mater.  Her hobbies include writing, reading, research, marketing & design, blogging, sports and exercising.
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