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updated: 6/6/2012 10:06 AM

Got talent? Sign up for summer-long search

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  • Charlie Beck, the executive director of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights, is a judge for the summer-long Suburban Chicago's Got Talent contest co-sponsored by the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce and the Daily Herald. Beck says that last-minute contestants can still show up to perform during the initial three-day audition round, which is scheduled from Thursday, June 7, to Saturday, June 9.

       Charlie Beck, the executive director of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights, is a judge for the summer-long Suburban Chicago's Got Talent contest co-sponsored by the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce and the Daily Herald. Beck says that last-minute contestants can still show up to perform during the initial three-day audition round, which is scheduled from Thursday, June 7, to Saturday, June 9.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
 

There's still time for contestants to sign up and audition for the first round of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent.

Schedule your time today or drop in during the auditions, which are from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, June 7; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, June 8; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 9. Last-minute contestants, however, will probably have to wait for an opening to perform.

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"In our business, we're used to people walking in for general auditions who have not preregistered and we will do our best to accommodate that," said executive director Charlie Beck of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. "But we prefer that people come in preregistered."

Beck is also advising that those contestants who are already signed up arrive at least 15 minutes early to officially check in, pay the audition fee and sign the contest waiver.

As of Tuesday, nearly 130 contestants had signed up for the summer-long talent contest, which is co-sponsored by the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce and the Daily Herald. All sorts of acts are welcome, as long as they are family-friendly and not hazardous.

Beck, who will judge alongside Metropolis education director Michelle Shaver and resident music director Micky York, says there is a preponderance of singers, bands and instrumentalists who have already signed up. But some quirkier routines are also on the bill.

"We do have several dramatic reading actors coming in, several standup comedians coming, and I'm really interested in seeing a yo-yo man doing tricks," Beck said. "We've got a couple of martial artists and an interesting band that plans on making music using Game Boys, so I think the good news is that we have a pretty good variety."

After the initial auditions, a top-20 list of contestants will be chosen to perform on Sunday, July 8. Ten will then perform on Sunday, July 22, and the final five contestants perform on Sunday, Aug. 5, and at the Taste of Arlington Heights on Saturday, Aug. 11. At that time, the winner -- who gets a paid trip to audition for NBC-TV's "America's Got Talent" -- will be announced.

Beck says tickets are already being sold for the general public to watch later performance rounds at the Metropolis. This is important because the general public will be able to select and vote online for a fan favorite winner where the prize is a Funjet vacation for two.

But now Beck's main focus is on the final push to attract contestants to participate -- even those waiting until the last minute to join.

"It's better to preregister if you can, but we're used to dealing with people getting off the couch at the last minute and saying, 'You know what, I'm going to to do this,'" Beck said. "We would certainly welcome them coming down on Thursday, Friday or Saturday, and we'll do our best to accommodate that. More the merrier, I say."

To register for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent, visit metropolisarts.com or call (847) 577-2121.

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