i cried me a river all the way to a standing ovation

I've always had a passion for singing. As a kid, I would watch American Idol and  always believed that Simon Cowell would say 'yes' to me. (And let's face it- he would.)

I had no idea how to get started in the entertainment business, but I would just sing my heart out in the car... and my mom would tell me that I sounded terrible!  She was lovingly speaking the truth. At this stage of my life I was so confident that Beyonce herself could not hold a note next to me. My mom saw how serious I was, so we decided to check out local voice studios. We looked at a couple in the area and they were ridiculously expensive for a low-income family that just wanted to test this out and see if singing was for her (me) or not.  I mean, I already knew it was for me. It was my mom that needed convincing! 

We stumbled across this little place called Destiny Voice Studio and MAGIC happened. Actually, a catastrophe happened in my first lesson, and the natural disaster of nature's choice was my voice. I decided to sing 'Beautiful' by Christina Aguilera and for once in my life, I heard what my mother heard... anything but beautiful!  Absolute screeching. I was pitchy, flat, off key and could hold out a note for as long as you can touch a hot stove (aka-I couldn't). The dose of reality made me sad, but I was not going to give up on this dream. I just found myself singing all the time, practicing over and over with the artist in the car, in the bathroom (you're welcome family)... everywhere. I put on full-blown concerts on Saturday mornings while cleaning. My audience of toilets and dishes loved me. I went into every voice  lesson with a goal to check off one song from my list-- to master it completely.

A few months after this journey began, I had the opportunity to perform at our school talent show. My performing and stage presence was decent because I had quite a bit of experience singing at church. I chose 'Cry Me A River' by Ella Fitzgerald, because I felt like the song would highlight my strengths, which were lower notes. It wasn't until I looked up and saw the whole crowd standing up and clapping that I knew I had actually done it. I was no longer a screecher or terrible singer! At the end of the show people came up to me and said how blown away they were and how much they enjoyed the performance.  I felt like an iPhone in a room full of Androids and everyone wanted to see ME. In that moment I knew that singing was for me and that I was closer to my dream of being the next BeyoncĂ©. Thank you, Sarah, and Destiny Studio for everything. Teaching me, molding me, believing in me, instilling drive and determination, and giving me music vocabulary so that I can converse freely with other musicians. Thank you most of all for seeing my potential and never giving up on me. 

Abigail Achiri is 19 years old now and a student at Texas A & M University. In addition to singing for anyone who will listen, she is also an actress and represented by the Kim Dawson Agency.  Her passions (in no particular order): JESUS, Tori Kelly, pizza, smiles & hugs, Demi Lovato, sarcasm, and discovering undiscovered music.