A short, scrappy, and obviously broke Filipino with shoulder-length hair walked into the embassy and got in the line to apply for a U.S. visa. Now it’s almost impossible to get a visa the states unless you have a lot of money or a damn good business there sponsoring you, so the man was out of place.
When he got to the front of the line and the skeptical lady working asked him what his reason was for applying for a visa. He told her that a band in America was looking for a new lead singer and stumbled upon a video of him covering one of their songs on YouTube. He often sang their songs in his local small-time bar band in the Philippines, and the group was impressed enough to email him with an invitation to come to America and try out.
It sounded so far fetched that the lady scoffed and started reaching for the ‘Rejected’ stamp to send him packing, but mockingly asked him that if he was such a good singer, why didn’t he do one of the band’s songs right then and there?
So the man put down his things, stepped back, cleared his throat, and busted out a dazzling rendition of Don’t Stop Believing. Everyone in line and in the office applauded and the lady working was so stunned, too, that she grabbed the ‘Approved’ stamp and ok’d his travel visa right on the spot with no more questions asked.
The man’s name was Arnel Pineda and he was hoping to try out for the band Journey to replace Steve Perry.
Against all odds, the little Filipino man, who’s family was so poor they were homeless at a time so he went to work singing in the bars to earn money for them to eat, did make it to the U.S. He did audition and won the job, becoming the new lead singer of one of the most iconic bands in the world, all because of a life-changing impromptu performance at the U.S. embassy.
Here's a 2007 Youtube video of Arnel Pineda singing Don't Stop Believing.
Click here if the vid doesn't play correctly.