Alexis Gomez, Musician from Centerville

Announcements

  • Patrick Arehart announced that the CNO website has been redesigned. There are public and member calendars on the site. https://centervillenoonoptimist.com/cal/
  • Denise O’Neill announced that the Tom Frazier Tee Off for Youth Golf Classic will be held on 7/18/2022. On that day a lot of volunteers are needed. Volunteering on that day is a great way to meet fellow Optimist members. The committee would appreciate any ideas for businesses that may wish to sponsor the event. The event is one of the three major fundraising events of your club.
  • Jane Fiehrer announced that the Visual Arts contest is now open. Point potential participants to this page.

Committee Meetings

  • 4/20/2022, 6 PM, Tom Frazier Tee Off for Youth Golf Classic 2022. Meetings in 2022 will be on Wednesdays on 1/26, 2/16, 3/16, 4/20, 5/18, 6/15, 7/13. Additional golf committee members and volunteers are always welcome. The event will be held on 7/18/2022.

Community Events  

  • 4/16/2022 10 AM, Easter Egg Hunt at Oak Grove Park. Volunteers are needed at 8:30 AM to distribute the 8000 eggs before the event. There will be 36 gold eggs with prizes.

Social Events

CNO 2.0 Venue and Details

The venue for tonight’s CNO 2.0 meeting was Heavier than Air Brewing Company. Thank you, Nick Tarkany, the owner and CNO member and his team for the great beer, food and space!

Gary Hansen won the 50/50 drawing. As always, the other half of the 50/50 is donated to the Optimist International Fund.

There were 42 people at the meeting (34 members and 8 guests).

Greg Fay, chair of CNO 2.0, said he was so thankful for all the guests and members that came to tonight’s meeting. He also gave a recap of what our club is all about and that information is at the bottom of this article.

Musician Alexis Gomez

Greg Fay introduced professional musician Alexis Gomez. Alexis graduated from CHS and Wright State University. She placed in the top 8 girls on American Idol in 2015. You need to see her live to experience the energy she brings to country music!

Greg has known Alexis from a young age. Alexis’ family and Greg’s family both attend Southbrook Christian Church. He remembers teaching her in the bible study class he taught. Greg said It is exciting to watch her becoming successful and to have seen her on American Idol.

Alexis Gomez’s Story

Alexis started off by saying, “It is her pleasure to be here this evening.” She has spoken at a CNO lunch meeting in the past, but that was before she had become an entrepreneur. She was excited to speak tonight at a CNO 2.0 which features Centerville area entrepreneurs. If you are working as a musician, you are an entrepreneur. Aspiring musicians put in a lot of work and just like any other business, there are no guarantees of success.

She is still chasing the goal of becoming an established artist. She has had to figure out how to grow her business and to stand out in a crowd where there are many others with the same goal and a similar product.

Alexis loves her family and large extended family. She chose to get her degree at Wright State University to stay close to her family.

The Family Band

Alexis grew up playing music. Her first public performance as part of the family band was when she was 8 years old. Her father is a very talented musician who taught music to Alexis, her brother and sister. As the youngest she was very excited to finally be part of the family band. At 15 her father promoted her to lead singer. The first time she performed as lead singer was at an open mic night at a venue in the middle of Uptown Centerville.

Alexis said she has fired her brother 5 times. It feels a little weird since he is 8 years older. Now his wife is in the band and he is not.

Nashville

When Alexis was 19, she and her family drove to Nashville for the weekend. They walked up and down the strip asking venues if they would allow her to perform. It didn’t go well because the minimum age to enter the venues was 21.

On Sundays some venues have specific times that she would be allowed in. She asked several venues if she could sing and still wasn’t having any luck. Finally, the “Honky Tonk Central” said she could perform, but only upstairs in their smaller, less popular space where there were about five customers. She waited a long time for her turn. When all the customers left, the guy in charge let her sing. He was impressed and asked for another song, but she didn’t have one prepared. He asked if she knew the words to a song which had lyrics you wouldn’t want to sing in front of your parents. She reluctantly said she knew the song and sang it. Her father asked how she knew the lyrics and she said she was only able to sing it with God’s help.

The Honk Tonk Central guy was impressed with both songs and told her to go across the street for an audition. The man holding the auditions though would be done with auditions at 5 PM. She made it there at 4:45 PM, but there were 10 people already waiting. The guy at Honky Tonk Central must have called ahead because she was the next person called into the studio.

On the drive home Monday, the audition man called and said congratulations your first gig is tomorrow. The family was already in Kentucky by this time. She told him she would be down next weekend and he accepted.

So, at just 19 years old, Alexis moved to Nashville.

When college was not in session, she worked 6 nights a week for 4 and sometimes 8 hours. The early days were especially difficult, because it is a daunting task to memorize enough songs to fill 4-hour sets.

To work and to go to college, she scheduled her classes for Monday through Wednesday and performed Thursday through Sunday. She commuted back and forth from Centerville to Nashville.

Alexis said that as an aspiring musician, this is called, “paying your dues.”

American Idol Take 1

Alexis tried out for American Idol three different seasons.

When she was 18 Alexis auditioned for American Idol in Wisconsin. Wannabe singers go through 3 rounds of producers before getting to perform in front of the celebrity judges. After she and her family waited 10 hours in line, the producers heard ten seconds of her singing, stopped her, and said, “Thank you have a good day.” She offered to sing another song, but the producers had no interest. Alexis’s extended close and large family helped fund her trip to Wisconsin, which only increased the disappointment.

Alexis didn’t give up. She spent the next few years honing her talents to try American Idol again.

American Idol Take 2

The second time Alexis tried out for American Idol, she made it through the three rounds of producers and was able to perform in front of the celebrity judges.

While Alexis was in front of the celebrity judges in Chicago, Ryan Seacrest hung out with the 22 family members who made the trip.

Alexis performed “Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About,” by Bonnie Raitt, a blues singer and guitarist. Long time judge Randy Jackson just started laughing and asked, “Aren’t you a country artist?” Randy tore into her for not being even close to a country artist. Randy said, “You need to leave.” Two of the judges, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, said nothing. She didn’t leave and instead asked if she could sing another song. Luckily, they agreed.

She decided to sing an Elton John song and as soon as she started singing Randy just got up and left. Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey said nothing. Keith Urban said, “You have some talent, but you aren’t ready yet.” It was very difficult to tell her family that again she didn’t make it.

Her Dad said don’t worry you can come back next year, but she had no plans for doing so.

American Idol Take 3

In 2015, the celebrity judges for Season XIV of American Idol were Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. Randy Jackson had stopped being a judge.

While on a family vacation in Florida, Alexis received a call from California. The caller said he was from American Idol and that the producers had seen her videos on YouTube. He said they were short on country music singers. They offered her a fast pass to the celebrity judge round. Additionally, the judges were going to be in Columbus, Ohio, and she could perform for them there.

Alexis made it to the final twelve for Season XIV. She said it was a once in a lifetime experience, but it was also a lot of hard work under difficult conditions. She reminded us that American Idol is a reality show and drama makes it interesting for the audience.

American Idol is Difficult

Alexis said that during American Idol she didn’t get a lot of sleep. She knew she didn’t want to be the first contestant to break down and have a dramatic moment.

She didn’t like the food and she was skinnier than she is now. Breakfast was eggs with mushrooms mixed in, and she does not like mushrooms. One day after skipping breakfast and missing dinner the night before she felt like she was going to pass out. She ran into the bathroom, soon followed by several contestants. Luckily the cameras are not allowed in bathrooms. The paramedics were called and they found her blood sugar was extremely low. The good news was that for a week she got to eat whatever she wanted.

In Detroit with her family in town to watch, she had a double ear infection and the flu, but she still performed.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez was her favorite judge. People assume Jennifer is a diva, but she is not. She is very genuine and nice. Jennifer was helpful to Alexis and even didn’t react when Alexis once addressed her as “J Lo.”

Work to do After American Idol

After American Idol many doors opened for Alexis. She had finished college and decided it was time to return to Nashville. Soon she realized there was still a lot of challenges left in her journey to become an established artist. She pursued many music managers, but they just aren’t interested until you are already established or at least have a record contract. Of course, a record contract is hard to get without a music manager.

Social Media

An artist’s Social Media presence has been important for a while, but with COVID it is even more so.

The Sony record label helped her produce one of her new songs, ““What is Love.” They said if she can get it streamed a million times, they will consider signing her to a record contract. It is a great song, but so far it has only reached 100,000 streams which Sony said is not even getting started.

Music labels expect aspiring musicians on their own to figure out how to become popular on social media.

Current Perspective

From the outside looking in she realizes that American Idol is not the highest achievement she will have. American idol helped but didn’t come close to guaranteeing success.

Last year, she decided to leave Nashville and move back to Centerville. She is done allowing others to judge her success. She learned that real success is being happy. You get happy after you are happy with yourself. In and around Centerville the fans and venues appreciate her for who she is and what she can do.

Alexis Sings

After her informational, entertaining, funny and all-around great stories, Alexis sang two songs while she played the guitar. One song was “What is Love.” I didn’t capture the name of the second song. Both songs were fantastic. She is such a great musician.

Thank You Alexis Gomez

Thank you, Alexis Gomez, for speaking at tonight’s CNO 2.0 meeting and telling stories of your music journey and for treating us to two fantastic songs!

About CNO 2.0

CNO 2.0 is a club within a club of the Centerville Noon Optimist Club. CNO (and CNO 2.0) is a world class service organization. CNO is the largest Optimist International Club in the world! Being a member of either club allows their members all the same opportunities to participate in fundraising and club activities. CNO 2.0 was created about 5 years ago and is very much a part of the 53-year-old Centerville Noon Optimist Club. CNO has given away over $2 million during its history. CNO is a group of like-minded members that are passionate about helping youth and having fun in the process.

The speaker at each 2.0 meeting is someone with a local business success story.

Annual Fundraisers

  • Christmas Tree Lot
  • Avenue of Flags
  • Golf Outing

Major Activities for the youth in our community

  • Build-a-Bear at Children’s Hospital, 3 times a year
  • Fishing Derby in June
  • Kid’s day in the park in August
  • Easter Egg Hunt

Meeting Photos and Videos

CLICK HERE to see Photos and Videos of the Meeting

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