Tomorrow’s dancing, singing and modeling superstars swarmed to the Michigan League yesterday hoping “Star Search,” a television program featuring talent competitions, can make their dreams come true.

The CBS program hosted an open audition for performers, drawing several hundred participants statewide.

The open call in Ann Arbor was the last stop on the show’s college tour, which included such universities as the University of North Carolina and Ohio State University. The producers of “Star Search” hope the college tour will open demographics to a larger audience. “Star Search” production manager Robert Willrich said the show currently mainly attracts children and adults over age 30.

Contestants auditioned in front of one or two of the show’s producers. Singers and dancers each presented 70-to-90-second prepared pieces, while models performed mock catwalks. By early afternoon yesterday, close to 300 people had already auditioned, Willrich said. “We’re hoping to see 400 to 500,” he added.

“They’re judged on show presence, entertainment value, level of difficulty, technique and artistic value,” said Cynthia Garcia, talent coordinator for the “Star Search” dance department. “Your energy has to be up. You’ve got to sell it to that camera,” Garcia said to participants before their performances.

“Most important is talent … but it’s also the presence and the aura (of the performer),” said Evelyn Warfel, a “Star Search” event coordinator. “You don’t want a performer with a sullen face,” she added.

Costumes ranged from shiny, sequined Lycra dance outfits to jeans and sneakers. “Everything’s got to be age appropriate. Costumes must correspond to age group because it’s a family television program,” Garcia said.

Callbacks for the top performers will be held today. “It basically comes down to your performance,” Willrich said, adding that the number of performers chosen to possibly appear on the show is unlimited.

“They could be appearing as early as next week or sometime next season,” Willrich said.

Many participants said they were auditioning for fun. Saginaw resident Carissa Cronk, who said she was so nervous she forgot the name of her audition song, decided to audition at 10 a.m. yesterday morning after learning about the auditions on the radio. “It’s something I always wanted to do,” said Cronk, who later remembered she was performing Martina McBride’s “My Baby Loves Me.”

Ten-year-old Stephanie Fallon, who performed a tap routine with her eight-year-old sister, said she enjoyed the experience but felt nervous about her performance. “The floor was slippery so I kept slipping,” Fallon said. “I think that kind of messed us up.” Wearing matching leotards and tutus, the Fallons performed their duet to “Ma, He’s Making Eyes at Me.”

LSA senior Hanna LoPatin was one of the many University students to audition. “If I’m allowed to, I might sing something original,” LoPatin said. “I’m not nervous. I’m just doing it for fun.”

Additionally, several University film and video studies and communications studies majors volunteered as production assistants for the event.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.