Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Does this sound like ageism...?

So, tonight I auditioned for Steamtown Idol…a local singing competition at a mall in Scranton PA.  I figured I’d be judged on my voice, but it turns out that it’s all about age.  After the competition and not being one of the finalists, I went up to the judges to see what I could do better the next time around.  The female judge told me that I should have chose a happier song, that with all the pop songs it’s difficult to contend with anything else.  I told her that I really don’t do happy.  She told me that it was because of what all us “young” people listen to and I told her that I’m not THAT young, that I’m 25.  I don’t listen to bubble gum pop, I’m don’t regularly watch Disney Channel.  Basically I was being judged on my age and the type of music I enjoy/sing and not my voice.  She told me that my voice was good, but to use a happy pop song next time. 
Does that seem like ageism to anyone else?  The judge pretty much told me that the basis for their judgment had been what music I enjoy and my age.  I’m 25, so it does stand to reason that I don’t listen to the same stuff a 13yr. old listens to.  Plus I choose to sing what I’m generally good at singing.  It was a singing competition, so it stood to reason that I would choose a song I sound good at. 
Not only that, but the song I chose was a contemporary pop song!  It just wasn’t a bubblegum song…When the judge told me that I needed to sing a pop song, I told her that what I had chosen WAS a pop song.  I feel that the judge was only judging me based on my age.
If you’re going to judge based on age, have age categories!  That, or if you want everyone to sing happy bubblegum pop make it a requirement listed in the waiver, if you want only teens/tweens to participate then make that a requirement.  Don’t judge what I sing based on what a 13yr. old sings.