The Washington Post

Metro Idol? Metro holds talent auditions

Got talent? Or just think you do?

Well, here’s your chance to share it with some of Metro’s 700,000 daily riders. And who knows — among those harried commuters, there could be a talent scout or two.

Metro is holding tryouts for MetroPerforms! part of the authority’s Art in Transit program. Would-be stars are invited to auditions from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at WMATA’s downtown D.C. headquarters, 600 Fifth Street, NW. Auditions will be held on a first-come, first-served basis.

Those selected will perform at selected Metrorail station entrances. And for the first time this year, some artists will be invited to take part in the Music on the Mall program — a joint venture between Metro, the National Park Service and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D).

Metro first invited artists to share their talents in 2007.

“The talent pool was amazing,’’ said Cathy Asato, a Metro spokesperson. “There was such a great diversity and a lot of very talented performers.”

Though they have in years past, Metro won’t be able to pay performers. Grant money that provided stipends in previous years is no longer available.

Judges will include Michael McBride, Metro’s Art in Transit program manager; Diana Ezerins, programming coordinator at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Aisha Davis of Desho Productions and El Weatherspoon, a Metro employee who plays in the Mass Transit Band.

Asato said the number of performers selected will depend on the talent pool. Performers must pass a background check and will not be permitted to sell merchandise or solicit in any way while performing. The performances at Metro stations and on the Mall will run from July throughout September.

Acts of all types are encouraged to tryout, though, fire eaters might want to skip this one.

Said Asato: “I’m not sure our safety department would approve.”

Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.


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