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

Investigators From The Keepers Share Updates on Sex Abuse Scandal

In our podcast debut, our guests reveal shocking allegations against Father Joseph Maskell.

News & Community

Marching On

A year after the Women’s March on Washington, Baltimore women band together to make their voices heard.

News & Community

Building a Skate Park for Jake

After Jake Owen was killed in a distracted-driving car crash in 2011, his parents continue to honor his memory.


The Chatter

Baltimore is No. 15 on New York Times List of Places to Visit in 2018

Citing cultural and historical events, the newspaper puts our city in some great company.

News & Community

Tomorrowland

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

The Chatter

A Citywide Day of Service to Replace MLK Day Parade

Residents are encouraged to volunteer to celebrate the holiday.

Connect With Us

Most Read


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.

Ten Incredibly Easy Ways to Be More Active in 2018: Get creative with walking meetings, workout buddies, and local sports leagues.

Walters Curator Says Google Arts App is Good Start But Not Perfect: The museum has more than 1,400 works represented in the app's collection.

Ryan’s Daughter Owner Shares Fond Memories Before Closing This Weekend: Marwan Daas and his wife pay tribute to their 14-year-old Irish pub.

Former Terp Makes Catch For the Ages: Wide receiver Stefon Diggs shocks the world.