Silver Linings Songbook: Dowell to Audition for The Voice Amid Health Issues

Assistant Editor

When things were seeming to fall apart for one local woman, she found her silver lining in her email inbox. In a year filled with unexpected twists and turns in her health, Heather Dowell has been selected to audition for NBC’s The Voice.

Earlier this year, Dowell began experiencing issues with her health including chest pain, fainting and a rapid heart rate. After numerous doctor visits, tests and a hospital stay, she was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS. The illness is characterized by an extreme fluctuation in heart rate and is described with the patient feeling as though they are running a marathon even when standing perfectly still.

“Many of the problems I have been dealing with the last year make so much more sense now,” she said after receiving the diagnosis in late October. “I’m still having testing done and we’re working on figuring out options. Either way, it has changed my life so why not try and make something good come of it.”

Dowell — the director of the Arts Place Auglaize-Mercer Center — has been a singer for as long as she can remember, including being a member of choirs in high school and college. She said she had previously auditioned for the televised singing competition in June of 2017.

“NBC has my contact information and I occasionally receive emails and things from them but I’ve normally just ignored them,” she said. “In light of all my medical issues, I’ve had a little bit more time on my hands and I took the time to actually read one of their emails and it was a casting call for the upcoming season.”

From there, the pieces continued to fall into place for the 33-year-old. 

There were a few dates for her to select from for her audition but Dowell noted “it seemed like destiny” there was an audition the weekend of her birthday in the city where her cousin lives so she went with it. At 2 p.m. on Feb. 15, Dowell will audition for a spot on The Voice at the Baltimore Convention Center.

“I’m taking it as a sign that this is meant to be," she said. "Sometimes when life is doling out a whole bunch of bad stuff, you have to just take a look around and realize there is good if you look for it. If I was working all the hours I had been working before I got sick, I wouldn’t have had the time to do this.”

She said the hard part now is figuring out what song she will perform and what outfit will work best with that song. 

Having the experience of auditioning before is helping because she said she has an idea of what to expect. A the time of her audition, she said she and about 10 other people will be called back by an NBC producer to each sing a 45-second acapella piece. That group is then narrowed to a handful who will perform for different producer who will further narrow the selections. Those few who move on will audition in Hollywood to try and make it to the next round where they can earn a spot on TV.

Once she arrives in Baltimore, Dowell said she is looking forward to being in that atmosphere with the thousands of other people with the same dream. She added that she is hoping to keep everyone back home posted with updates about her trip and the results of her audition. The Evening Leader will be following Dowell’s updates and will relay them as they come in.

“Right now, it’s just a matter of choosing a song and hoping for the best,” she said. “I never would have taken the time to do this if I wasn’t looking for my silver lining and I’m excited that things are working out the way they are.”