More than 90 young performers between ages six and 21 attended a workshop at Lord Beaverbrook High School last Saturday to glean tips from industry professionals on how to give their best audition. This free workshop was the first event on the Stampede Talent Search calendar for 2015, and all the participants left feeling more confident to own the stage.

Before being assigned to speaker sessions focusing on their specific talent, participants were inspired, motivated and serenaded by Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, our 2007 champion.

MIchael Bernard Fitzgerald performing  next to his 2007 winning performance picture.
Michael Bernard Fitzgerald performing next to his 2007 winning performance picture.

“Striving for perfection in an audition is unrealistic and unfair,” said Fitzgerald. “Prepare to be you, be your best and love what you do.”

The singer/songwriter session was hosted by Canadian Country Music Association nominated vocal duo Wildflower, Jennie Clarke and Dean Selby. “When it comes to song choices, it doesn’t matter if you’re singing a cover song or an original,” said Clarke, “it’s the sincerity of how you sing it that will showcase your talent.”

Wildflower Duo demonstrating how their audition looks, sounds and feels.
Wildflower demonstrating how their audition looks, sounds and feels.

Dancers participated in a session with several casting directors for Disney Parks and Cruise lines, Tara Wilson, Aimee Berkeley and Dani Wylie. “Don’t worry what everyone around you is doing, stated Wilson. “You never know what the judges are looking for so do your own thing!”

Dance professionals inspired and energized potential contestants.
Dance professionals inspired and energized potential contestants.

The junior performers participated in a hands-on session with Jaqueline Strilchuk, a Calgary-based actor, director and teacher with an extensive background with Storybook Theatre, and Heather Melville, a local choreographer, director, vocal coach and artistic Associate with TheatreWorks.

Jacqueline and Heather sharing the inside scoop of the Stampede Talent Search with aspiring juniors.
Jacqueline and Heather sharing the inside scoop of the Stampede Talent Search with aspiring juniors.

While junior performs are not eligible to compete for the Stampede Talent Search grand prize they are still required to audition for a spot in this year’s show. “Be aware of the impression you want to make before you step on stage,” explained Strilchuk. “Practice like you’re going to perform so that you’re confident in what you do.”

Madison McClelland, a junior performer, summed it up by saying, “this workshop taught me about stage presence and how to stand out. It’s our job to be confident in our own performance.”

Potential contestants walked away with valuable tools to enhance their audition and preparation techniques to help secure their spot in the 2015 Stampede Talent Search.

Talented young performers between 13 and 21 from across Canada will compete for the Stampede Talent Search grand prize: $10,000 cash, a customized performer development package from the Stampede, future mentorship opportunities, the Calgary Stampede President’s Trophy, and a one-of-a-kind 2015 Champion’s belt buckle.

Audition Registration for the 2015 Stampede Talent Search is now open.

Further details are available on the Stampede Talent Search website.

Young performers between the ages of six and 21 from across Canada interested in auditioning must register online. Live auditions will be held Friday, May 1 to Sunday, May 3, 2015 at the Boyce Theatre on Stampede Park.