Nicolette Norgaard has been attending auditions since the age of six but this one seemed particularly nerve-wracking.
A record producer was holding an open call for singers at a San Mateo hotel.
"I auditioned for musical theater," the Sequoia High sophomore said. "I'd never auditioned for a record contract before. There was a lot of anxiety."
Norgaard was required to prepare two songs for her audition. When she arrived at the audition, in the company of her mother Kim, a teacher at White Oaks Elementary School, the place was crowded with girls around her age.
She was brought into a room with a handful of people representing Ark Music Factory, including CEO Patrice Wilson.
Norgaard sang Elton John's "Your Song," and was about to deliver her next selection.
"He stopped me and said that was all he needed to hear," Norgaard said. "I have been going to auditions for a long time but this was the first time I was ever cut short. It was sort of shocking."
Even more shocking was the phone call she received the next morning at 9 a.m. asking her to report to a San Francisco Recording Studio that same afternoon.
"We drove into the city and went inside the studio," Norgaard said. "I sang 'Skinny Love,' by Bon Iver. Then they asked me questions like could I take criticism. Then they asked me if I knew any Katy Perry songs."
She sang the chorus of "Teenage Dream," and a week later was in negoations for a record deal.
Given a choice of a one-song, one-video trial deal, or a full 360 deal for five years, Norgaard chose the one-song deal, with the stipulation that she would write the song.
The result is "Nothing Stays the Same," a sort of mix of pop, rock and ballad. As of 3 p.m. on Wednesday (Oct. 17), there were 45,555 views on You Tube with 61 likes (and 15 dislikes).
"I thought it was pretty cool," Norgaard said when she first heard it. "I have been practicing so long on webcam I know how my voice sounds."
Norgaard has been performing with the San Carlos Children's Theater and Artistic Director Eron Block since she was six.
Her first musical, however, was with the Notre Dame de Namur's presentation of the musical adaptation of The Christmas Carol The Gift.
"From the very first show I was into it," Norgaard said. "Since it was a professional setting I learned to act professional."
Of course, she grew up in a family of musicians. Her father Joel has been in a band since middle school and 'The Conniptions' have played at local events such as peninsulaoktoberfest, Rock 'N Roll Fridays at Domenicos Winery and Hometown Days.
Older brother Trevor, who graduated from Summit Charter School in Redwood City, plays the drums while Nicolette is on the keyboards.
The family band, "Nicolever," also lets Kim play the bass. She acknowledges being the non-musical member of the family and said she plays by numbers.
Nicolette's first song was written for her cat, "Nina," while in the fourth grade. She was able to record it two years later. Joel built a sound-proof Band Room in the backyard, where Nicolette spends most of her time.
She will be performing in A.C.T.'s Cabaret Ensemble "Singer's Choice" on Oct. 27 and 28 at The Garret at A.C.T.'s Geary Theatre, though the shows are sold out.
Closer to home, she is in rehearsal as Sally Bowles in "Cabaret: the Musical" at Sequoia High School. Performances are scheduled for Nov. 16, 17 and 18.
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