Elkhart Has Talent

Elkhart Has Talent

Two budding performers and an experienced vocalist trekked to Chicago Monday to show their stuff to the producers of the television performance competition show “America’s Got Talent.”

“They were smiling the whole time,” said Leandrea Crenshaw, who auditioned for the first-round judges along with fellow student Precious Evans and their musical theater teacher from school, Karen Hoover.

The AGT crew was making the rounds on a national search for performers for the fourth season of the popular show, which will air this fall on NBC.

The panel of judges didn’t tell Crenshaw or her fellow Elkhart auditioners if they made the cut — that information will come by phone or letter in a few weeks — but all three had a good time experiencing a big-time audition.

Hoover teaches the girls at The Crossing, an alternative school in Elkhart. A seasoned local performer with Elkhart Civic Theater in Bristol, she got wind of the audition first, via e-mail, and asked her students if any of them would like to accompany her to it. Seniors Crenshaw and Evans have sung at their churches and agreed to the lark.

The initial plan was to perform as a group, Hoover said. But each eventually went her own way during the week of preparation, so it was decided that they would solo.

Evans wasn’t nervous before her turn, she said.

“I was praying in the back, but then I thought, ‘It is what it is,'” she decided. The judges smiled throughout her performance of the gospel song “His Eyes on a Sparrow” and clapped at the end, but she says she’s all right with whatever decision they make about her talent.

“You can’t let it get a hold of you,” Evans said. “The goal is to get the experience.”

That’s the reason that Hoover invited them to go along.

“They learned a little about TV, how some of it’s kind of staged, and they got audition experience,” Hoover said. They were told to pose for filming, acting as though they were nervous about going on stage, and had to watch their marks for the film crews.

Arriving at McCormick Place around 5 a.m., the group was fortunate to wait only about an hour to begin their television audition experience. Horror stories of two-day waits for “American Idol” auditions notwithstanding, the ladies were in, done and out of Chicago within eight hours.

They were told they’ll be notified within three months whether any of them have made it to the next round of competition.

(an article writen in the Elkhart Truth)