Television is now so glutted with reality TV competition shows, you’ll be forgiven if you need a primer on which one America’s Got Talent is. Consider AGT the rambunctious one, the show uniquely primed to attract gaudy acts, the kinds of groups that would feel at home on a stage in Vegas, which is exactly where the winners of America’s Got Talent end up, in addition to receiving a million dollars. There’s no age limit and no restriction on how many people can be in an act, so it’s essentially a free-for-all with Nick Cannon as the master of ceremonies and celebrities like Howard Stern as judges. (Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne haven't yet signed on for season 8).
But before potential Susan Boyles and Jackie Evanchos audition in front of the judges and a rowdy audience, they have to get the green light from a team of casting producers who go around the country in search of the next hot act. They’ll be stopping by Chi-town on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27.
“Chicago is full of variety, that’s what we love about it,” says Rosslyn Taylor Jordan, the senior casting producer for AGT. “It’s a slice of America. [Being in Chicago allows] us to meet people from different states.”
If you want to get on the show, here’s her one tip: “Bring your best self. Crescendo at the beginning.” It may sound like gobbledygook, but it actually makes sense when you consider you have only 90 seconds to make an impression. So start with that tricky key change.