As they say in the movies, it’s going to be lights, camera, and action as AMC-TV returns to Mount Airy on Jan. 23 with a final taping of the talent search and talent show set for Jan. 26 at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
Local residents have a chance to win $10,000 and be in the national television spotlight due to Mount Airy’s selection as part of a new AMC series about small-town talent competitions around the country.
Chamber Director of Tourism and Marketing Jessica Icenhour-Roberts said the time for final talent show set for Jan. 26 will be announced later. She said anyone interested in the talent portion of Road Show may audition again on Jan. 23 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and can go to http://www.storyvisionentertainment.com/roadshow for more information and required paperwork.
The final talent show on Jan. 26 at the playhouse is free and local residents will determine who the winner of the $10,000 will be. Final auditions will also be held at the playhouse. Roberts said she has arranged for the crew to have a squad car tour which will be part of the filming and portions of the final show.
“One of the things they shared with us was they want the show to demonstrate the flavor of the town, what it is like and showcase who we are as a town,” added Roberts. “The are trying to show what a visitor does when they come to Mount Airy.”
She said part of this project will include interviews with citizens including Mayor Deborah Cochran so the crew will actually be staying in town starting the week of Jan. 21. She said various other local residents have been suggested for interviews to the company in addition to ones already identified by the previous trip.
Roberts said the upcoming visit will be more organized because the crew is getting ready to film. She said they really want performers to come to the open auditions on Jan. 23. Turnout was good for the auditions at the scouting trip last October.
“We are so excited to be coming back,” said AMC Spokesperson Kim Kantner. She explained the biggest differences from the earlier scouting trip to town last October would be participants in the final talent show must download an appearance release and location agreement from the AMC website and have these forms filled out and signed before they audition.
Other differences include the presence of a film crew on the upcoming visit as well as singers competitors having to perform songs from a song listing which is also provided on the company website.
“This doesn’t apply if they are performing original music,” explained Kantner. “They can perform their own original pieces all day long and it’s all right.” She also explained that performers must come to the open call audition on Jan. 23 with at least two acts ready to perform and the acts must not be any longer than 90 seconds each. The auditions are for ages 18 and up. Kantner indicated that a team of Hollywood professionals will mentor finalists.
She stressed that even if the team saw performers on their last scouting trip to town they must come back and audition in order to be considered for the television show.
The “docuseries” involved is titled “Road Shows” and will be distributed worldwide, according to an article in The Hollywood Reporter. Its aim is to bring “a little bit of Hollywood to tiny towns across the country,” the article said. It will use a film documentary approach to detail what is behind organizing community talent shows.
A theme of “every town has a story, every town has a star” is involved with the effort. People from all walks of life are invited to showcase their talents as singers, dancers, musicians, jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists and more. Mount Airy made the short list of cities for the initial eight episodes of the reality series and was originally scheduled to air this March.
Other details concerning the audition process are available from the Surry Arts Council at 786-7998 or chamber at 786-6116.
Frank Garrity, casting producer for the project, said Lori Girion, the executive producer of “Road Shows,” had originally developed a list of 25 prospects, with the various locales chosen after follow-up research. AMC (originally standing for American Movie Classics) is a cable television network that in addition to theatrical films airs series such as “The Walking Dead,” “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men.”
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.