A Boy-Band Singer’s New Calling (Insider Story)
Robert Cerda’s journey has taken him from the cusp of stardom with a boy band to his “true calling” as a special-education teacher. We recently spoke to him about both phases of his life and how his Sleep Number bed helps power his days.
Hi, Robert! So you were in a boy band! How did that happen?
I had just graduated from high school, and at the time, NSYNC and Backstreet Boys were popular, and my friends were really interested. We were all into music and dance, and one day, someone went, “Oh, we should try harmonizing!” So we did, and the we ended up just meeting up every couple days at someone’s house. Two of the guys were brothers and their dad knew people in the music industry and helped us. We started out doing little venues like fairs and festivals. People started getting to know us, and we signed to a local record label.
Where did your band experience go from there?
Through one of our friends, we met people from a major record label and they came to see us. They helped us get some gigs and started shopping us around. But this was also around the time there when there was starting to be more digital music and the company didn’t want to take risks on a new group, especially a boy band, because there were so many. We were constantly traveling places, going doing things. We were in music videos. The first year Ryan Seacrest hosted the New Year’s Eve show, we were extras but the person in charge tried to make sure we were always on camera. People did know us. But we weren’t able to get picked up, and it got really hard, and I made the decision to leave.
Are there any things about being in a band that my surprise people?
You can be the hottest thing one minute, and then all of a sudden you’re not. That’s one of the reasons I decided it was too much and got out. I loved it, but it was very competitive and very demanding, and if you weren’t relevant, you were done. But I also got to meet a lot of famous people and go to different places that I never would’ve seen otherwise. It was a great experience.
Are you still involved with the music industry?
Not really. I work in a school district with special ed children. That was one of things I kept going back to. I feel like that’s my calling. If I do sing, it’s usually with the children. A lot of times, that’s how I get them to interact with me. I do one-on-one work in their homes, including children under three years old who have no language, but I do some singing and music activities with them to get them to talk and start using their words.
What sparked your decision to get a Sleep Number bed?
I’ve always seen the commercials and one day about four years ago, I was looking for a bed, and I thought I’d give it a try. They had a deal and the salesperson was great. I still talk with her every time I go in—she remembers me each time. The first time I laid down on the bed, I thought, “Oh, I really like this.” And once I got it, I know I’d made the best choice. I love my bed and how it helps me relax. I tell everyone about it. My brother just recently bought a Sleep Number bed.
Are there any particular features that you like?
I like that I can switch my Sleep Number setting depending on how I feel. Some days I like it really firm, and other times, like if I’m really stressed with work or something, I like it soft. Just knowing I can do that makes me feel better.
What’s your bedtime routine?
Lately it’s watching TV in bed. Recently, through the Sleep Number loyalty program, I received a new duvet for testing, and before that Sleep Number sent me a pillow. So I like to use those and watch TV.
If you could sleep anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would say those places with the little huts over the water in someplace like Maldives, as long as I could take my bed with me.
Finally, what is your Sleep Number setting?
It ranges from 35 to 100 [that’s the beauty of a Sleep Number bed… you can adjust whenever you need to]
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