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Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Z" is for No Time to "Zzz"

My theme revolves around the soon-to-be published memoir, REVIVAL, which I wrote for former professional opera singer, Donald Braswell.
…After making it past the audience and judges, Donald has several other, major adventures throughout Season 3 of America’s Got Talent. And, somehow, someway, he manages to battle through numerous cuts and disappointments to remain in serious contention.
(Read all about them in the book!)

"Z" is for "No Time to Zzz"


In Conclusion...

…By the time the two-part, Final Five show rolls around in September 2008, there’s so much going on inside my head. I’m worried it might pop on live TV. I never expected—surely I dreamt it, but I never thought these types of dreams could come true—to make the top fifty let alone the Top Five, but there I am standing onstage—again.

Before the show, I take a moment and let my barriers down a little. I think about the what ifs should I win the whole thing, I mean, I’ve a one-in-five chance now, which makes me smile, but I’m not there yet. I clamp down on the thoughts and close up the mental box. Then I lock it and put it in the back of my mind. I don’t want to jinx myself.

Apart from me, the finalists were:

·         Queen Emily, a spectacular singer who I thought had more of a general appeal to a larger audience.

·         Nuttin’ But Stringz, two brothers with amazing skills on the violin.

·         Eli Matson, a pianist and singer

·         Neal E. Boyd, an opera singer


It’s Neal who walks away as the overall winner. I place fourth, Eli is second, Nuttin' But Stringz comes in third and Queen Emily rounds out the Top 5.

When the lights come down for the last time, I let out a huge sigh of release. Yeah, I don’t have a million bucks burning a hole in my pocket, but what a huge accomplishment. Booed on a Dallas stage, kicked off the show in Las Vegas, recalled from San Antonio and here I am, standing proud at the end of the final show in Los Angeles. What a blessing that I had the chance to sing along the winding road that is America’s Got Talent.

I marvel at how many people stepped up to help me along the journey. My family, friends, colleagues and a whole bunch of people who offered up prayers to the Lord. I will be forever grateful to each and every one. There’s no way I could have done this alone.

I’ve already won so many times over. It not all about coming in first place, it’s about what I’ve personally achieved. I hadn’t merely recovered to where I could speak to my wife or sing in the shower again. I was singing to millions of viewers on national TV, and those millions of folks had endorsed me week after week by bringing me back time after time.

The whole AGT experience was a major accomplishment and I attribute one hundred-and-ten percent of that to God. He knew I wanted this opportunity in a bad way. I never expected he would have me glorify him through a reality show, but hey, whatever works to gain maximum exposure.
 For me, the reward is standing up as a positive image for those who struggle with various issues or inner demons. Paying homage to God after each performance allowed me to become a responsible voice to so many people who’ve gone through difficult times, and that reward was so much greater than a million dollars and a show in Las Vegas. God rewarded me in a different way. He does work in mysterious ways—and I couldn’t have asked for more...

Donald: Simply Enjoying Life - & his Second Chance to Sing

Tomorrow: What? There’s no more letters??

Photo Credit:  Neva Barnhart


Elephant's Child said...

Woo Hoo.
Now rest up.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

All the best, you have shared so much this month with Donald and yourself... you deserve a break... sleep...walkabout... :)
"Z" we made it... thank you!
Jeremy [Retro]
AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

There's no earthly way of knowing.
Which direction we are going!

Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark - yes achieving what Donald has done with all the ups and downs of life, as well as this America's Got Talent journey .. incredible and I'm sure he's been a success ever since ... and will shine now - congratulations to you for bringing us his story .. cheers Hilary

Bob/Sally said...

Congrats - it's been a long, crazy, interesting month . . . but we made it!

Unknown said...


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That he gave God the glory is awesome. More people need to hear that!

Elise Fallson said...

A nice way to wrap up the challenge, sometimes dreams do come true. :)

Tamara Narayan said...

I know, it's going to be weird not to blog a letter tomorrow, isn't it? I'm shocked Donald made it so far after the X-blog. It will be fun to get the whole story.

Tamara Narayan said...

I know, it's going to be weird not to blog a letter tomorrow, isn't it? I'm shocked Donald made it so far after the X-blog. It will be fun to get the whole story.

SpacerGuy said...

Congratulations on making it to the finish line!

SpacerGuy said...

There were nights, mornings when I wanted to keep going. Congratulations on completing the Challenge!

quietspirit said...

A good ending for Donald. He was thrilled to make the last five. May God be with him and with you as each of you progress in your chosen fields.

Lisa said...

Glad you made it through the A to Z! I've enjoyed your blog and the theme, and can't wait to see the Whole story! Are you doing the A to Z reflections? Thanks for coming by my blog too, so often in the middle of your crazy life right now! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

Jo said...

Wonderful story and I will look forward to your book later in the year.

Got my post up for tomorrow, as well as Sat, Monday and Tuesday. Yes, I'm showing off.

Stephen Tremp said...

Hey Mark, its like wow I can't believe this is the only time I made it over here, the slacker that I am.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've really enjoyed your posts this month, Mark. Good luck with the book when it releases in November :-)

Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

Misha Gerrick said...

Wow. He's truly an inspiring person. Thanks so much for sharing his story with us. :-)

Michelle Wallace said...

Good luck with the book release later this year!
Congrats on reaching the A to Z finishing line!
Sorry I didn't make it to your blog...
This time round, I didn't really visit as many blogs as I'd have liked to...
See you next year for another month of "alphabet madness"!

Melissa Sugar said...

Congratulations on surviving the challenge and best of luck with your book release . I'm so happy for you

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