Subscribe
The Chatter

Baltimore Auditions for America's Got Talent

Several thousand pack the Convention Center for shot at fame and fortune.

By Ron Cassie | January 30, 2014, 4:15 pm

-Ron Cassie
The Chatter

Baltimore Auditions for America's Got Talent

Several thousand pack the Convention Center for shot at fame and fortune.

By Ron Cassie | January 30, 2014, 4:15 pm

-Ron Cassie

Get Baltimore Daily.

Sign up today and you'll get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

Hip hop dance troupes, twirlers, teen pop wannabes, comedians, crooners, classically trained musicians, magicians, belly dancers, exotic pink flamingo riding unicyclists—and, of course, Elvis impersonators because there always has to be at least one of those—filled Baltimore's Convention Center Thursday for America's Got Talent traveling open auditions. Oh yeah, bearded folk singers, too. And beatboxers. The place felt a little like being backstage at a carnival freak show. But we mean that in the best possible way.

Whether to relieve stress, the boredom of long waiting lines, or just for fun, an impromptu dance-off broke out in the holding room at one point early in the afternoon (see above photo).

With hopefuls lining up at 5 a.m. on Pratt Street, executive producer Jason Raff told Baltimore that he expected maybe 3,000 to turn out over the whole day. "It's like when you throw a party, you never know how many will come," Raff said. "But we'll be here to midnight or 1 a.m. if that's what it takes to see everybody. As long as you're here by 7 p.m. and have a photo I.D. and sign the paperwork, you'll get an opportunity to perform."

By "opportunity," Raff means 90 seconds to impress the show's producers, who arrived on the heels of similar open auditions in Greensboro, NC, Nashville, TN, and six other cities before finishing up in Providence, RI, and then Los Angeles, CA. Ultimately, the show's producers will whittle the audition tapes down to their favorite 500, which will then go to America's Got Talent judges Howard Stern, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and former Spice Girl Mel B. for further review—and a shot at TV and the million dollar top prize.

Below, melodica player Zach Feng Zhu, from Philadelphia by way of Beijing, and Baltimore beatboxer Cory Braxton improv after meeting in the morning registration line.




Meet The Author
Ron Cassie is a senior editor for Baltimore, where he covers the environment, education, medicine, politics, and city life.

You May Also Like


News & Community

Pipe Dreams

With two high-speed trains suddenly on the Maryland horizon, it’s kind of hard to keep up.

Arts District

Blind Balloon Artist HongSeok Goh Shows Off Massive Work at AVAM

South Korea artist creates one-of-a-kind installation at the American Visionary Art Museum.

The Chatter

Aaron Maybin Helps Shine Spotlight on Cold Schools

Former NFL player turned Baltimore City teacher shines powerful spotlight on school infrastructure.


In Good Taste

The Rowhouse Grille Hosts LLS Fundraiser Honoring Alex Wroblewski

The 41-year-old Locust Point resident was fatally shot outside of Royal Farms in November.

Outside World

How to Build a Kitty Condo to Keep Stray Cats Warm This Winter

A step-by-step tutorial to provide neighborhood cats a safe shelter.

News & Community

Tomorrowland

Port Covington will be like nothing Baltimore has ever seen. But at what cost?

Connect With Us

Most Read


Aaron Maybin Helps Shine Spotlight on Cold Schools: Former NFL player turned Baltimore City teacher shines powerful spotlight on school infrastructure.

Atlas Restaurant Group to Open Pizza Joint in Former Bagby Space: The ’80s-themed Italian Disco will combine mozzarella with music.

Tips to Stay Safe, Warm, and Energy Efficient This Winter: From home hacks to pet care, here are ways to keep warm.

BMA’s New African Art Exhibit Explores Humans’ Relationship With Birds: The earthy, exotic exhibit Beyond Flight is on display through June 17.

Here’s What We’d Like to See in the New Penn Station: Penn Station Partners will be refreshing the century-old train station.