Local talent audition for a spot to entertain Metro commuters

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) --- Local singers, musicians, dancers and poets got to shine in front of five judges inside the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) headquarters, June 5, 2014. The annual summer auditions, MetroPerforms!, attracted a wide range of talent.

"I've never done this audition before, but I used to sing in the streets in Europe, when I lived there," said Virginia resident Liza Hodskins who sang an operatic rendition of "Danny Boy."

Hodskins was one of over 30 performers competing for a spot at one of Metro's outdoor stations starting June 9th. The volunteer positions also extend to the National Mall.

The five judges represented Metro, DC Commission for the Arts, Kennedy Center and a local composer. Performance qualities included: Expression, Form, Skill, Presence and Experience.

In the first hour and a half of auditions, the judges heard guitar and song, gospel singing, saxophone music. They also saw a modern interpretive dance.

I'll be doing a... spoken word piece entitled, Kingdom Come," said Aaron Smith, Jr., aka Poetic Injustice.

"They're looking for talent, for sure. They're looking for performers [who] present themselves well and have a repertoire suitable for the public. Metro serves a very broad range of customers and we want to make sure that the material is appropriate for them," said Michael McBride, manager of the "Art in Transit Program" at Metro.

Tony Harrod strummed his guitar as he waited for his turn. He said he usually plays indoors. But MetroPerforms! offered an opportunity:

"This is another way to meet other musicians, meet other people .I've known guys who have been in this program, who have gotten gigs to play for organizations because someone saw them playing on the street."

Artists will find out if they've made the cut next week.

Reported by: Elizabeth Jia


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