Area and local residents turned out in droves for the chance to win $10,000 and appear on international television in a new AMC talent series.
It was announced earlier this month that Mount Airy had been chosen for a location on the show. A call was put out to those who had any kind of talent, whether it be singing, dancing, juggling… anything that can be featured on the show.
Frank Garrity, casting producer for the upcoming cable TV program called “Road Shows,” said the talent he saw in Monday in Mount Airy was “outstanding.”
“It’s blowing me away,” Garrity said.
He said he saw everything from opera singers to storytellers during the auditions that were held at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
“It’s all over the map. God as my witness, there’s not a bad one in the bunch,” said Garrity.
The show is scheduled to premier in March. Out of the ones who auditioned Monday, those who are chosen by producers to go on to the next step will be called back between December and February for additional filming.
“When this show comes to town, it’s going to be really hard for them to whittle this down to four finalists. This is something to look forward to. This is going to be a really exciting show,” said Garrity.
Mount Airy is on a short list of cities selected for the initial eight episodes of the reality series, which will focus on small-town talent competitions around the country. The aim of “Road Shows” is to bring “a little bit of Hollywood” to those communities, its production team has said.
“Every town has their special niche and Mount Airy might even rise above that,” Garrity said.
He said he senses that much of the talent from this area is generational. He thinks it goes back to a time when folks from this area were poor and had to rely on talent to entertain themselves.
“It’s passed down. I sense that there is a history and a love of for whatever it is these people do. I think that families wanted to keep that creative spirit alive,” Garrity said.
Although auditions weren’t supposed to begin until 2 p.m., so many people came to sign up early, auditions began at 11 a.m. By the time the last person was filmed at 7 p.m., 90 people had signed up to audition.
Garrity explained that the producers are not seeking those trying to make it big in the entertainment world, but people who are content with living in small towns yet still hoping to show off their talents on a large scale.
“Road Shows” will utilize a documentary approach in detailing the process involved with organizing community talent shows.
Jessica Roberts, tourism director for the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce, said she was impressed with the level of the talented folks who turned out for the auditions.
“The amount of talent that has come through has been amazing. This will showcase our local talent and put our community in a great light.”
Reach Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.