Seal Beach man takes a ‘chance’ on stardom

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Chance Perez, in the center, as he competes to be one of the winners of the ABC reality show “Boy Band.” Courtesy photo

Los Alamitos High School graduate Chance Perez, of Seal Beach, has made it big on ABC’s latest singing competition show Boy Band.

Chosen from amongst thousands of talented young performers across the nation, Perez, 19, has garnered one of eight coveted spots on the program. He now performs live every Thursday alongside his fellow contestants, hoping to evade elimination and become one of the five final contestants to join America’s next favorite boy band.

Drawn to music from a young age, Perez has been a singer since he was four. “I’ve grown up with music around my house. My mom plays music all of the time, and my dad was a singer, so I’ve always done music my whole life,” he said. Musically, Perez describes his biggest influences as Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, and his father.

Perez’s love of music eventually brought him to the Los Al High choir program where director David Moellenkamp became a teacher and mentor. “I’m really thankful for my experience at Los Al, and I really loved the choir I was in and Mr. Moellenkamp and all of my friends there,” Perez said. “I really think that helped shape me as a person and as a performer and singer, so I just want to give thanks to them.”

Whenever he finds himself back in his hometown, Perez counts visiting his old school as a top priority. “I’ve got to visit Moellenkamp and see how he’s doing. I really like to see what he’s up to,” Perez said.

According to Perez, Moellenkamp was a large influence in his decision to join Boy Band. “Mr. Moellenkamp had contacted me saying that they needed a couple of backup singers for Steve Harvey’s show Little Big Shots,” Perez said. “While I was there at CBS studios doing that one of the casting agents was there and he gave me a bit of information about ABC’s Boy Band show. It was just being in the right place at the right time. I had never heard of the show, and I knew nothing about it,” he said.

Originally, Perez was skeptical. “I had already been in a boy band when I was 16 and it didn’t work out.”

Perez also recalls worrying about providing for his two-year old daughter, Brooklyn. “Being in the music industry is really finicky, so I was not full-throttle going into the show,” he said. “I was trying to provide for her and create a stable life for us.” In the end, however, the support of his family as well as Moellenkamp pushed Perez to follow his dreams.

For Perez, the entire experience has been quite an adjustment. For the duration of the show, he now lives in a hotel alongside his fellow contestants.

The living arrangement keeps Perez away from his daughter, which Perez describes as a “big adjustment.”

“That’s kind of hard, not being around her.”

Perez also had to adjust to the program’s grueling schedule. “I kind of gave up on singing as a career, so I just kind of like singing in the shower, or around the house, or with my daughter,” he said. “But being on the show, you have to sing 14 to 16 hour days constantly.” With only one day off a week, Perez describes the program as “a lot on your voice and a lot on your body.”

Performing on live national television every week, Perez has also had to learn how to handle the nerves that come along with his newfound fame.

“The first audition we had to do for the judges was just by ourselves with our solo audition song, and I think that one was the most nerve wracking. I don’t remember what I was thinking while I was onstage, I was just kind of singing,” he said. “I remember getting offstage and asking one of the producers, ‘how did I do?’”

Thankfully, Perez said, the nerves have gotten a bit easier to handle. “I’m really excited for the shows to come. You always get the pre-show jitters, but once the clicking and the counting starts in your ear with the monitors, you get into it really fast,” he said.

Perez describes his fellow contestants as a huge help.

“All of the guys are great. It’s really amazing being around this much talent every single day. Everyone has something new to offer, so you kind of learn from everyone else and become friends with everyone,” he said.

With every step he’s taken in the show, Perez hasn’t forgotten to say thanks.

“I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned is not to take anything for granted. You never know how long you’re going to be here,” said Perez, “every show could be your last show, so I’ve got to just keep giving it my all.”

Be sure to root for Perez by watching new episodes of Boy Band every Thursday on ABC.

Seal Beach man takes a ‘chance’ on stardom