The Open Range of Ash

A Pilgrim’s Progress

Experience of an America’s Got Talent Audition

I thought I’d write this while it is all half-way fresh in my head, but I just returned from a weekend in Dallas and did an audition for America’s Got Talent.  It was held at the Dallas Convention Center.  If you preregister prior to going to the audition, it doesn’t do much for you in terms of getting in sooner.  It is still, first come, first served.  When you preregister though you get an email with some nice to have details about the audition and the location etc, so still do it.  Make sure you follow the directions and check your spam in-box for their messages because that is where they go.  At least with Yahoo.  Also, make sure you print and complete the audition forms prior to going to the audition, it saves you a lot of hassle.

I drove to Dallas 3.5 hours from my home and spent the night in the Indigo Hotel in downtown Dallas Friday night, the Indigo is about 8 blocks or so from the convention center.  I planned to walk to the audition, but the stupid weather did not cooperate and it was biting cold.  Had to take a cab since the hotel shuttle was not operating yet.  Only cost $5.65 plus tip.  Glad I did not have to park my own vehicle, saw a big line held up at the convention center parking garage.  My cab rolled me right up to the entrance.  The line of people was not that bad, turns out I was number 72 in line.  I got there right at 6am, some of the fools were there in the wee hours of the morning freezing their rear-ends off and didn’t need to.  At 6:15 they let the first batch of 70 contestants and friends/family go in.  I froze in the wind for about 30 more minutes and then they let the next batch go through.

Inside they give you the paperwork if you need it, give you your contestant sticker/number, and then security uses a metal detector and has you empty your pockets and bags.  Then I got upstairs to a super huge room where you get in line to have someone look at and mark your paperwork good-to-go.  Then I sat down amidst a bazillion chairs and waited and started watching the people around me, good entertainment.

I got there at a good time, because I never had to wait very long at all, but the line was getting bigger and bigger behind me, so get there at least at 6am and you should be good.  The wandering camera crews started to appear about this time also, doing interviews and looking for the, how shall we say it, the energetic and peculiar contestants.  Wide variety of people in there for sure.

I only sat there maybe 15 minutes and then a guy with the name tag Dragon called for all contestants numbered 0-150.  He took us downstairs to a holding room.  We sat there for no more than 5 minutes and then we all went out into the open area of the convention center where it had stairs and balconies etc, this was where they were to film the commercial break type footage using the crane camera and other cameras.  You will spend about 1.5 to 2 hours doing this depending on how well the crowd is following instructions and giving them good footage.  Nick Cannon showed up for the last 30 mins or so to do his lines and all of us cheering etc.  I was like 3 people away from him so I should be in a lot of the footage even if I don’t make it back to the celebrity judging.

After that filming, we were back in the holding room and the audition process began.  They took the first 0-50 contestants and took them out to the auditioning rooms.  About 20-30 mins they came back for the next 50 which included me.  I took my paperwork and followed Dragon out to the hall.  In the hall they divided us into two groups, singer/musicians and variety.  Then they split the singers from the musicians.  Then, they broke us singers into groups of ten.  The ten of us were taken to a hall and sat down to wait for our number to be called to go audition.  About 15-20 minutes of sitting later they called my number along with three others, which happened to be 3 girls all about 10-12 yrs old.  Felt like I was trying out for a part in an elementary school play.  We walk into the audition room, it has a nice high ceiling for bouncing your voice around, so I was happy.  The three producers in there gave no indication at all what they were thinking.  A girl there probably no more than 24 yrs old hardly looked up from her Apple laptop, probably playing Tetris or updating Facebook.  The guy that did all the talking only said, “That’s good, thank you, next.”  The first girl sang real quiet, but sounded okay, but no projection.  Second one sang Carrie Underwood’s Cowboy Casanova with all kinds of attitude and belted it out, sounded pretty good.  Then I sang.   Go figure I worried myself sick leading up to this and had a head-cold going, but either way I still feel I did really good.  Then the last girl did Josh Groban’s Raise Me Up song and sounded good.  That was it…they called the Raise Me Up girl back in to sing another song, don’t know if that is good or bad.  They said we will be contacted in April if we are coming back.  I have no clue what to expect, but either way it was a fun experience and glad I did it.  I look forward to seeing the Dallas audition air this summer even if I don’t make the show, you will be able to spot me in the masses in some of the shots, fo’ sho’.


January 31, 2010 - Posted by | Open Range | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Good work

    Comment by Ryan | December 17, 2010 | Reply

  2. thank you for this blog. because of your experience, i felt better about attending, so i talked my husband into auditioning! Your blog was pretty accurate.

    Comment by Cindy | February 11, 2012 | Reply

  3. Thank you for this…I’m going to the NY audition tomorrow and it helps to have an idea of what to expect. 🙂

    Comment by Yvonne | February 26, 2012 | Reply

  4. Hey i auditioned in new york the second time around just a week or so ago and someone said that if you get called back in then that mean you go to the call backs.

    Comment by yneg | March 14, 2012 | Reply

  5. what a waste of time,, judged by afew people ,, whichis their opinion only, a total waste of time for an artist,, get yourself on the market and let the public judge you ,, not these fools that want rating,, I know i am a recording artist and I would never lower myself to do such a dumb show,,,

    Comment by anne bartee | November 14, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi Ann, thanks you are pretty correct, I am a piano composer, and want to do movie /tv scores,
      had thought it could be good for exposure, my gut says the same thing you did

      Comment by Leah Graham | January 6, 2014 | Reply

  6. Hi thanks I have been wondering if its really worth my time and energy to go to LA this feb,
    and decided to upload a video and see where that takes me

    Comment by Leah Graham | January 6, 2014 | Reply

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