Now's the time to audition for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent
Time is running out to snag one of 100 available audition spots for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent.
The summer talent competition returns for its eighth season, and the deadline to register is Saturday, May 25, at events.dailyherald.com/talent.
Main location: Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 962-7000 or arcadalive.com or events.dailyherald.com
Private auditions: 11 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 2; 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, June 4 and 5
Top 20 show: 6 p.m. Sunday, June 30
Top 15 show: 7 p.m. Sunday, July 14
Top 10 show and finale: 1 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at Little Italy Fest-West at Centennial Park, Lake Street at Rohlwing Road, Addison
Shannon Nugent, formerly of Arlington Heights, was a Top 10 finalist in 2018. Now living in Elmhurst, the singer/songwriter/pianist has already registered to audition this year.
"I had so much fun," Nugent said about her initial Suburban Chicago's Got Talent stint. "It's one of the best musical experiences I've had and I got a lot of great feedback."
As with many reality TV competitions, Suburban Chicago's Got Talent features a panel of judges who give direct feedback to the finalists. For instance, Nugent said she tried to heed suggestions to interact with and face out toward audiences as she accompanied herself on piano.
Nugent and other contestants are vying for the top prize, which features a development package with a custom video, website development, mentor and photo sessions.
There's also the choice of a trip for two to Nashville to meet with music agencies or a trip to Cleveland to visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (includes admission). Airfare, hotel and $200 cash are included with either trip.
The top prize features a headline concert at the Arcada Theatre and opening slot for a national act.
Suburban Chicago's Got Talent has an online component with the Fan Favorite prize. It's determined by online voters at dailyherald.com/entertainment/talent after the top 20 and 15 rounds at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. The contestant with the most votes automatically advances to the next round. The act with the most cumulative votes wins the overall Fan Favorite title; the prize is still being finalized.
Suburban Chicago's Got Talent is co-sponsored by the Daily Herald, Onesti Entertainment, Amita Health, Zeigler Auto Group and Salon Lorrene.
Though Nugent didn't win either of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent prizes in 2018, she said it was invaluable to have the chance to perform on major stages and to network with other suburban entertainers.
"All the other artists, despite it being a competition, were so welcoming and encouraging," Nugent said. "You never know what other opportunities it's going to lead to."