The lights dim, the crowd goes silent for a split-second as you enter the stage. Then, before your eyes can adjust, a bright flash of white blinds you as thousands of voices roar inaudibly. You're at the Grammy Awards, opening for a new artist making a splash in the music scene.
For many, that's the dream.
For Aptos-native and singer-songwriter Katie Ekin, it's a very possible reality, but she needs your help.
She's one of 40 finalists vying for a shot to open for "The Neighbors" next month in the Grammy "Gig of a Lifetime" contest.
Finalists were chosen based on a video clip of a live performance they submitted. Several popular recording artists, including Fall Out Boy, Austin Mahone and Emile Sande helped picked the finalists.
Katie told Central Coast News she's just excited for the exposure.
"I think it'd be a really great experience and then the connections that you can make through it," Ekin said. "I think that'd be really great because it is kind of hard to get yourself noticed." She said just living in the middle of the scene isn't enough to ensure success. "It really is who you know in LA and I think that would be a really big stepping stone."
The winner is selected by public votes on the Grammy website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
Voting ends January 10th. The awards are on January 26th.
To vote on the Grammy's website go to http://www.cbs.com/shows/grammys/gig-of-lifetime/