As she watches customers pop tags from her job at Vernon’s Value Village, Deborah Loker’s thoughts sometimes drift to a singing or acting career.
And with some pop in her voice, Loker is closer to that goal thanks to a competition called iPOP (International Presentation of Performers).
Loker, 32, returned from iPOP, an international talent presentation in Los Angeles, where she performed an original monologue, commercial and song.
“I won an award for third runner-up in the voice-over competition and received eight callbacks,” said Loker, resulting in a contract with the U.S.-based Crawford Management Company, and getting the chance to work with vocal coach James Lugo, whose background includes working as a vocal coach on American Idol.
To qualify for iPOP – which she found about through Tik Tok videos, one real, one scam – Loker had two months to prepare to perform an online audition for event organizers. That included singing parts of the rock classics White Rabbit and Under Pressure. She also had to read from a script even though Loker has no acting background at all.
“It was a new and exciting challenge for me to create a resume for something I have always fantasized about,” she said on a YouTube post about her journey to iPOP (above). “Working with a photographer to take head shots for the first time was definitely a fun first adventure for me.
“It was a mad dash to get my passport, and convince my best friend to come with me.”
On July 8, the pair got in Loker’s car and drove for three days to LA, including passing through five States in one day.
She said the contestants having to write their own monologues, commercials, and songs really allowed her to feel more confident and connected with her material, to audition with something she wrote.
“Showcase auditions were so much fun,” said Loker. “Although I did not make it into the showcase, I was extremely proud to have been given a blue ticket and make it to the final round.”
Loker was given only four hours to learn the script for the voice-over competition, something she called a “thrill.”
“I was flabbergasted at the award ceremony to be awarded the third runner-up medal in the women’s 18+ category,” said Loker, adding she is “ridiculously humbled by the love and support” she has received throughout this entire process.
Now it’s crunch time,” said a confident Loker. “Time to be heard, seen, and get my content out there. I am so grateful for this experience, and cannot wait for my future.”