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Old 01-21-11, 11:12 AM   #1
dave walbridge
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Default Auditioning for AGT ( America's got Talent)? My thoughts

I got to audition for a reality TV show here in town - "Last comic standing." I even got to be on the show.

Some friends of mine are auditioning here ( Mpls)for America's Got Talent in a few days -- so, for them - here is a bit of what I learned:

- Its not real.

I was invited to audition, and then told they didn't like jugglers. Told to be there at 1 PM and then got my slot at 5.

- Its their show, their judges, their rules.

There is no reason to expect fair, logical or even polite treatment. You will sign a 9 page waiver and release that frees them of all responsibility, releases them from paying you and grants them all rights, now and forever of anything you do say or submit...including a juicy background check. The 'judges' may or may not be part of the decision of who gets cut and who moves forward.

- They need winners and losers, heroes and villains, they need drama.

They might keep you if you are bad enough, or have a good story. Or have talent. On need a non-singing act. Or have the right look, location or color. Or have talent.

- 90 seconds

Can you be brilliant in 90 seconds? Or ten? Can you show off your strong personality? Does your act translate to very short segments?

- Its not about talent.

Talents is assumed.

- in 99% of all talent contests, everywhere, bar none, the cute girl singer wins.

Sorry, too harsh?

- It might be good for your career. Might not. Likely, it will make no difference whatsoever.

Thousands of people audition. dozens get on the show - How many do you remember?

- That being said, do it. You might enjoy the process or meet some fun people.

Don't enter contests to win - enter to learn, or play or have fun...or get the tee shirt.

Practical information:

1. Have your answers ready. They will likely chat with you before and/or after. Be cute/ charming/ interesting. See below.**

2. Expect to wait. A long time. A bloody long time. Bring a book, some food, water, change for the meter, a warm sweater. Chair. food. make-up mirror. Food. friend to chat with. food. a long boring time. Do they do this on purpose or is it just part of the show?

3. Its all over very fast. You might be ' in the room' for 2 minutes, give or take. There are camera, producers and mikes everywhere. There will be an 'exit' camera ( or 2 ) after you leave. ****

The most important part:

**1. Prepare your answers.

This is something almost no one thinks about. The judges and producers and cameras will want to ask you questions. Will you have prepared cute/ clever/ insightful answers ready? Who will speak for the group?

Write answers to the following: ( you may thank me later)

- How did you get started?

-What does your family/ friends think?

-Do you think you can win?

- Do you have even more amazing stuff for next time if you get to go to Boston/ LA/ where ever?

- Is this your job? If not what do you do?

****2. Prepare your answers for the other cameras. After you leave, you will be faced with 2-3 more cameras - possible one literally as you step out of the room. Think in your face. What will you say/ do for each of these opportunities?

3. Do you have a 2nd, 3rd 4th 90 seconds of your act that's different, but just as good or better?

My thoughts. Email me if you have any more questions


PS Prepare your answers. Actually, really write them out to support your act./ personality/ character.
David Walbridge
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Old 01-22-11, 08:36 AM   #2
Bruce Sarafian
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This doesnt surprise me. I love watching the show but have never considered going on there. They called me the other day and I told them that they are brutal with Jugglers. She was like 'oh, depends on the crowd'. .... yea right, whatever......

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Old 01-29-11, 04:23 PM   #3
The Twine
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Hi guys,
Our act made it to the finals of Australia's got Talent so we got to experience the whole ride.
It was actually a great experience for us, as we did not get bad mouthed and put down by the judges, had lots of TV exposure which really upped our profile as musicians, and generally enjoyed the attention I guess...
However, the ride can be brutal, unfair, and completely soul shattering. The producers know who they want and if you fit the bill..great! If not, they will drop you like a steaming mound of shite.
I honestly believe it has nothing to do with the 'votes', or the judges for that matter...the producers run the whole operation.They say who gets in and who does not.
We were given a massive booklet to read and sign, and we just had to change heaps of the fine print to suit us. It was not worth signing our freedom, creative control..and life away.
They wanted full control over our son,(he is in our show and is only 7yrs old and highly talented), for the following 5yrs, aswell as full control over our shows and music.We are 100% original and only perform songs and music written by ourselves, and they wanted to change this too.
At the end of the day we looked at each other, shrugged and decided it just was not worth it. Our life is too damn great to mess with.
So we changed the documents to suit us, and were consequently dropped the next day, not making it to the grand finals and unfortunately not having a chance at the prize.
But after it all, we still are completely stoked to have had the opportunity to raise our profile by being watched by millions. It has helped us out on our journey...
...Just thought I would let you in on our experience...
Melani from The Twine
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Old 08-24-11, 10:18 AM   #4
dave walbridge
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Default An actor talks about auditioning for a 'reality show'...useful
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Old 09-15-11, 12:42 PM   #5
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Hey Dave and everyone reading,

My name is Mike, a representative of America's Got Talent as we gear up for season 7. I appreciate your approach to our show and your right, there are a variety of outcomes to appearing on it.

As a whole, I would say that outcomes are favorable in that, if you are talented, even if you don't make it very far in the competition you receive a lot of views by the public, and we have had many contestants note that even after only one appearance on our show, they booked their calender for the year.

Anyway, mostly I want to bring up a way to audition that cuts out the huge lines and the craziness. We are accepting submissions through video. Its as simple as filling out a few questions about yourself and pasting a youtube link to your act.

If you have any questions, feel free to message me here, or at my email,
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Old 10-12-11, 07:24 PM   #6
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Also, keep in mind that:

a) Unless you are a singer, you are not going to win on the American version of this show.
b) The further along you get in show, the more of your act they own; it's in the contract you sign.
c) If you make it into the top 10, you are contractually obligated to be part of their tour show. The pay is $400 per week.

I know several people who have done the show. If you go into with the understanding that you are not going to win (unless you are a singer), that they control everything about you that the audience sees, and with the intention of using it as a tool to sell your act after the show, perhaps it's worth it. Also, everything will be on your dime, so expect to incur some debt.

Swami Yomahmi
~The Original Sideshow Geek~
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Old 06-06-12, 02:15 PM   #7
dave walbridge
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Another take, this one by whipchick
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Old 06-16-12, 08:58 AM   #8
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Thanks for referencing my essay

Also, if anyone else has had an interesting experience, there's some movement afoot in the press to talk about the unreal nature of reality. PM me if you'd like to know more.
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