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    American Idol on Fox Network

    I have heard for many years people talking about the American Idol Show. I never had any interest in watching it until the end of last season. The guy that won the competition is called Taylor Hicks. He was really worth watching and I felt he deserved to win.

    Now, keep in mind I didn’t start watching the show until the last two weeks it was on. As for this season, which is the sixth season, I haven’t missed one audition or performance. It was really hilarious watching the audition process. What is the most fun about the whole show are the three judges, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell.

    I’m not sure how they selected the auditionees who made it to the television series, but I’m guessing they picked both the best and the worst to appear on TV for the entertainment value.

    The show brings back memories of all my auditions, both in New York City and Los Angeles. Now, keep in mind I was a voice major in college. So I thought my destiny would be some kind of musical theater.

    The auditions were seldom as they appear on American Idol. First of all, you generally need an agent to get an audition, so there is a scheduled appointment. Before I had an agent, I would go to what are called “cattle calls,” where there are literally hundreds trying out for the same part. This does bear some resemblance to American Idol auditions.

    What frustrated me the most when I was pursuing this career is that you basically had to have an agent to secure an audition and you couldn’t get an agent without having work credits. A true “Catch 22.”

    I can’t tell you the number of picture resumes I would submit to agents through the  mail in hopes I would get an interview. The situation was you had to have a friend who already had an agent to bring you in. It was very hard to do it “cold.”

    The odds are kind of like winning the lottery.

    I met my first agent, Tom Jennings, while in the studio audience of a pilot my friend was shooting for television. There are many pilots that are shot each year. A slim few make it through to the television you and I see.

    Some of the best contacts I made were in the restaurant business. It was a casual atmosphere and I of course made sure to keep pictures and resumes handy in my work locker. The owners and managers of course, strongly looked down on this practice.

    One thing that does bear some resemblance to the American Idol show is how few ever make it to the “top 10.”


    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com