This post is brought to you by our Fabulous Spring Intern, Sara Rosso. Sara is a junior at St. Louis University.
High school students from across St. Louis will perform on Friday, April 12, 2013 at the Fox Theatre as they compete in the 3rd Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition. The competition showcases teens who excel in the performing arts, rewarding their talents with various scholarships and prizes. Acts from this year’s competition include a violinist, singers, and dancers.
During the competition, students will be critiqued by a panel of judges who will select one of the acts based on technical ability, stage presence, interpretation and originality.
The judges for the 2013 competition are:
Before the competition, we had the opportunity to interview six of the judges to learn about their talents and what advice they would give to the finalists as they prepare their performance.
-If you had the opportunity to perform in the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition when you were a teen, what talent would you perform?
Steve Woolf: None! I don’t play an instrument, dance or sing. I was already directing and producing as a teen and these aren’t skills that are part of this competition. The teens we see are so talented in so many performance areas, I’m absolutely impressed by what they can do (and a little jealous too).
Adam Sage: Classical Ballet
Carl Nappa: As a teen I would have jumped at the chance to perform, not only in this talent show, but to be able to perform at the Fox Theater would have been an incredible experience.
Taylor Louderman: If I had the opportunity to perform in the competition when I was a teen I would have explored a wide variety of options. I love getting others involved and collaborating so I definitely would have brainstormed some ideas I could do with my sisters or my peers. We always enjoyed writing and performing skits similar to what we saw on Saturday Night Live. Otherwise we would have sung a country song, and if that didn’t work out I would have sung a little solo on my own! No matter what, I would have put all of my energy into it and jumped on the opportunity to perform and fulfill my dream of performing on the Fox Stage!
Mike Isaacson: I wouldn't. I was blissfully aware that I had no performing talent, and I've always been much more comfortable backstage. Unless it were some variation of "The Gong Show" you don't want me to perform.
Ken Page: I would have used my singing ability. I started singing in the fourth grade.
-What advice would you give to the finalists of the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition as they advance to the finals?
Steve Woolf: I’d suggest that the finalists keep themselves truly focused on their act and not worry about the competition. The idea is to do the best work possible and that means being confident in the material and the performance routine. I’d also say the other important part of this is “owning” the stage—filling the place with your personality. Your act is about you and we want to see you not an “act”.
Adam Sage: My advice is to be in the moment and perform without hesitation or pause. It is moments like this that will shape and mold who you become as an artist. Our job as artists is to share our talent and gifts with the audience in the most open and honest way we know how. There is so much going on in life these days and we are fortunate to be able to create an experience for the audience that will take them away from their everyday problems, even if it is just for an hour. Be selfless with your gift.
Carl Nappa: My advice is simple. Be yourself and have fun during your performance. Enjoy being on stage and everything else will fall into place.
Taylor Louderman: I say focus on having a good time and reaching into the audience’s hearts! The more passionate you are about what you’re performing the more fun you will have, but also the more likely you are to reach out and touch someone in that audience. Doing a Broadway Show 8 times a week you come to realize what the real goal is in performing. It’s about delivering a message and guiding your audience through yours or someone else’s perspective in hopes they can leave changed! It can be extremely powerful, and that is what I hope these kids get a chance to feel. All that being said, have a blast and try to change the world!
Mike Isaacson: Talent is never about perfection. Talent is about sharing your unique view of the world through what you do. Vision, personality and style is always more important than the execution. I would encourage the finalists to be bold and take risks in showing us who they are. Lots of people can sing. Why are you singing, and why this song? What is it you have to tell me through the piano? How does your dance allow me to know you. Those are the things to think about. We want you all to succeed. Give us a chance to celebrate you.
Ken Page: Stay focused and know you are already a winner to get this far. Learn everything you can from the experience.