An Anteater’s Quest for Rock-Stardom

MTV’s ‘Making the Band 3’ is the network’s latest band/reality show. Renowned hip-hop artist and producer Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs and his crew, including Johnny Wright, Phil Robinson, Laurie Ann Gibson and Doc Holiday, set out to form the next all-girl pop group. After conducting an exhaustive nationwide talent search, 19 girls are chosen to live in a house, decorated with a definite P. Diddy flair, in New York City.
Of these 19, unscheduled cuts will be made until P. Diddy is satisfied he has his group.
Aubrey O’Day, a fourth-year UCI student, member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and performer since the age of 5, made it past the talent search and auditions to become one of the 19 girls in the loft. Before she left to shoot the next segment of the show, the New University was able to obtain an interview with the potential pop star.

New University: How did you start your singing career?
O’Day: I started performing when I was five, in my first show ‘Hansel and Gretel’ for a nonprofit organization down in my hometown of La Quinta.

New U.: So you started performing when you were five?
O’Day: Yeah, but I sang before that. I always got dressed up and put on shows for my family. Actually, I joined a children’s choir when I was five.

New U.: And you knew from that early an age you wanted to be a performer?
O’Day: I remember one time my mom and I were watching ‘The Nutcracker’ and I started crying. … She asked why was I crying. I said I was upset that I was in the audience and couldn’t be onstage. I got my start in a big touring company when I was about 10. I was a musical theater baby.

New U.: How long did you tour?
O’Day: I did that until I graduated and came to college. My last show was ‘Chorus Line’ where I played Val, the tits-and-ass girl. It’s funny because I was with the same producers that had produced shows when I was just their little baby and they were laughing that I played tits and ass.

New U.: So what was touring like?
O’Day: I performed and did a lot of competitions. I won tons of different titles. Obviously, in this business, there’s a lot of winning titles and getting nowhere, but I definitely won a lot of crap. I believe that if you get involved in competition at a really young age, you have a false sense of the reality of true talent. You get stuck on learning how to win something instead of learning how to be truly great at your craft.

New U.: Now you’re in a situation where you are constantly being judged to live up to your utmost potential.
O’Day: Everyone on the show is incredibly talented. Now, there were people that were weak in one of the three areas which are vocally, dancing and your presence, the way you shine. You either shine or you don’t.

New U.: What was it like meeting Mr. Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs during the auditions?
O’Day: I had so much nervous energy. I think all of us were really nervous. And when he came … he’s got this very strong presence. I don’t think there’s anyone that would be unaffected.

New U.: And life in the house?
O’Day: It’s so stressful … There are cameras everywhere. I remember waking up every morning, going ‘Ah!’ because there was a camera in my face. There’s no privacy. You have to develop a very strong sense of self.

New U.: How involved has P. Diddy been thus far?
O’Day: Not involved as much as I would like him to be. [Though filming has not concluded.]

New U.: Especially with reality TV of this nature, there are going to be detractors. How do you feel about their criticisms?
O’Day: There are constructive criticisms and there are negative criticisms. Why? When you go on the show you know you’re being put out in the open, but people are judging these girls passions. And the show leaves a lot open to be interpreted.

Unfortunately, winter quarter was to be O’Day’s last as she goes on to film the next segment of the show. To the students and organizations she leaves behind she would like to say that the most important thing in college, ‘is to find a strong sense of self so that you can learn a lot from your relationships.’
As for long term goals, if all goes according to plan Miss O’Day will be a member of a successful pop group. No going solo, except for maybe a few side projects which include a charity she’s been working on for several years now known as FAN (Fighting Aids Now).