Auditioning for America’s Got Talent

Last Sunday we auditioned for America’s Got Talent in New Orleans. Being that the Crescent City wasn’t an open call location, like Tampa or Anaheim I was curious to see who the talent scouts for the show had dug up. It turned out to be quite a scene of some of the city’s finest, mostly as yet “undiscovered” talent. I’m not naming names, but there was a singer from a top burlesque troop, a well know trombone based band and a crazy Ukranian band just as a tantalizing wink, wink.

We showed up at the Hyatt Regency at 1:30pm for our 2pm audition and finally turned in our paperwork at 2:30. They asked all kinds of questions about why we think we’re America’s next great talent, who our heroes are, events that have impacted our lives, struggles we’ve faced keeping the act going, etc. When we finally got called for our audition at 3:30 we were more than ready to head in.

Now, you will recall that this songbird was battling laryngitis. My nerves were steeled to push through, and the whole performance was to be only 90 seconds anyway. Since we were allowed only acoustic instruments, we decided two guitars were better than one and invited Chris Adkins, a guitarist and singer who’s been playing with us in New Orleans and who came with us to Colorado last summer to round out Joe Ransom on guitar and of course, Dave Brouillette on upright bass. We did “Satin Sheets”, a song made famous by Jeanne Pruett in 1973 and has a powerful vocal melody, gets right to the chorus and has a great harmony part. I should also mention that they specified that the selection should be a cover song. Here’s a good video of her version:

We walked into the room and there was a woman on her laptop sitting at the table who didn’t even look up. The handler who led us in took a picture of us holding our number and then another guy came in and sat at the table. First things first…we performed, my voice held up although I wish it had been stronger but all in all I think we did a great job. Then there was the Q&A with the fella at the table. So here are answers to those questions like, “What happens next?”

They don’t make any decisions until January and basically, if they call you back for the second round, that’s when you audition in Los Angeles in front of the celebrity judges from the show. Then if you make it through THAT it’s a week long process in Vegas and the final round is the show where you spend four days in Los Angeles for rehearsals and the taping of the show. And they let you know ahead of time to make sure that’s all something feasible for you to do. If you get selected they want to make sure you’re not going to bow out unexpectedly because you can’t get time off from your “real job.” So now you know how it works.

They also asked what we hoped to get out of the process. Although my joke usually goes something like, “people die from exposure” there didn’t really seem to be any better answer. And apparently there was a band a few seasons back who only made it to the second round, got 30 seconds of tv time and were able to parlay that into upping their asking price and tons of new fans. The first round judge also seemed quite impressed when he asked if we were on iTunes and we replied “yes and we’re also on Pandora.” Eyebrows went up. Our impression is that the foks at American’s Got Talent are interested in working with acts that already have something going for themselves and know how to translate any exposure into tangible results. Do we fit the bill? Only time will tell.