TIFFANY HEALEY/STAFF WRITER
Former Poway Alumni Jackie Foster makes it all the way to semi-finals on the popular T.V. show the voice.
Frequently, we dismiss our dreams as something we will never be able to achieve. Poway High School’s very own Jackie Foster, class of 2014, followed her dreams and made her way to the top eight of season 14 of The Voice on team Alicia Keys.
Foster, 22, started her singing career at the age of 6 and was put into voice lessons at the age of 7. She auditioned for both American Idol and America’s Got Talent when she was in middle school and The Voice back when she was a sophomore at PHS. Unfortunately, she was did not make it on screen for those shows and decided to put her dream aside to focus on college.
Before her freshman year at Poway High, Foster attended the Berklee College of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Rock Workshop on a full scholarship in Boston, Massachusetts.
“Berklee College of Music offered a summer program where I was introduced to Berklee for the first time. That was when I really realized that Berklee was the place I wanted to be and music was the thing I wanted to do,” Foster said.
Later, Foster won the four-year, full-tuition Berklee Lollapalooza Endowed Scholarship given to one outstanding musician each year with a strong interest in rock music. Foster soon met three students at Berklee who would eventually become her bandmates in Self Portraits, the guitar-driven alternative rock band she leads with big vocals.
When Foster started her senior year at Berklee, she was focused on majoring in Music Business with no intentions of auditioning for any shows. But this season, it was the producers of the hit NBC show who called her, asking her to audition.
“I got a call out of the blue one day from a number in Los Angeles, and it was a producer of The Voice! They said they had heard a couple covers of me on YouTube and that they thought I would be a great asset to the show. They asked if I would consider coming out and doing a blind audition for The Voice. I said yes and I flew to Los Angeles back in October,” Foster said.
Foster’s journey on The Voice has been ongoing for 6 months, which has allowed her to gain many opportunities along the way.
“To work with Alicia Keys and her team and gaining connections through that is an amazing opportunity. There’s so many outlets where you can meet people and networks to find future jobs,” Foster said. “Past contestants on the show have had people reach out, so it’s really a ground-breaking experience for your career and it opens up so many doors.”
As one can imagine, being able to be a part of a show like The Voice must also be daunting. But, Foster felt ready for a big step for her future.
“I felt ready like it was the perfect time in my career. I know myself as an artist, and I got to sing “What About Us” by Pink, and that was a song I knew I could nail, so the only thing that was intimidating was the stage,” Foster said. “You’re in front of four mega star artists, but you can’t see them, so it’s the suspense of not knowing if the chairs are going to turn around in time for your song. It was very nerve-racking. I was shaking and freaking out beforehand, but as soon as I walked out onto those stairs on the stage, I was at a complete peace.”
Foster is grateful for her time to grow as an artist on the show and work with several different coaches, gaining new insight and memories each time.
“Some of my favorite moments have to be with Alicia. She’s so funny and so laid back – just real and raw,” Foster said. “She was learning how to play the song “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles on the piano for me, so it was crazy to have Alicia Keys, THE Alicia Keys, play the song that I was doing that week. She’s such a light, so joyful, and to see her in her craft is insane. The times when the cameras aren’t necessarily rolling are the best parts.”
Although performing is what many musicians love the most, fame and crazy fans might get a performer’s head.
“Having fans is the craziest feeling ever because these fans are so dedicated to you. They want to be a part of your life, so one thing that’s been difficult – but also very rewarding – is that I can be much more present on social media,” Foster said. “They are so sweet and send me some of the sweetest messages, and it’s just encouraging because it makes me want to pursue music even further and give me more reason to stick around, so I don’t think fame will ever get to my head. It’s more so humbling and makes you grateful to be in a position like this.”
During her time here, Foster was a part of choir, Titan Theater musicals, Peer Counseling and Titan Ambassador. She also was a Miss Junior Poway and eventually Miss Poway. Traci Barker-Ball, her Peer Counseling and Titan Ambassador mentor, is so proud to see one of her students shine in the spotlight.
“By her senior year she knew who she was and what she wanted,” Barker-Ball said, “The best part for me is seeing that she gets to follow her dream because so many people don’t get to.”
To everyone who may have doubts about their future after high school, Foster says, “You can have dreams coming out of Poway High. It’s only just the beginning of your career.”