Traverse City Record-Eagle

Arts & Entertainment

January 3, 2014

TC native makes first cut for 'The Voice'

TRAVERSE CITY — Fans of the NBC TV show “The Voice” tune in each week to watch singing contestants vie to make celebrity judges turn around in their chairs.

But what’s it like to try to make it to the stage of the singing competition?

Traverse City native Kendra Fleet recently found out.

Fleet, 25, is a registered dental assistant and a graduate of Northwestern Michigan College and Traverse City West Senior High.

“I’ve always had the dream of being an actress or some famous singer,” said Fleet, who participated in theater arts and choir in high school. “I’d love to be an inspiration to women all over the world to let them know that no matter what anyone says, you can do anything you set your mind to.”

After moving to Murphys, Calif., about two and a half hours east of San Francisco, Fleet began playing with a band and posted videos of herself singing on YouTube. And when a former boss sent her a link to open call auditions for “The Voice” in December, she decided to give it a shot.

After registering online and receiving an artist audition pass, she and a co-worker hit the road and drove six hours to Los Angeles, where their boss sprang for a hotel room. Early the next morning they drove downtown to the convention center, where they got in line with about 25,000 other people.

“I was realizing as I drove down this strip that there were all these people,” Fleet said. “It was probably two solid miles of people. And they didn’t open the doors until 7 a.m. and even then you waited until it was your turn to go in.

“It was exhausting. There were people who were obnoxious, singing really loud. Then there were people who were insanely nervous.”

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