We knew Tacoma had talent. But who could have guessed it has dancing nuns, prancing mimes and enough singers and musicians to fill several concert halls?
The breadth of the South Sound’s talent was evident this morning as hundreds of people auditioned for the television show "America’s Got Talent" at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center.
The lure of becoming the country’s next entertainment sensation – think YouTube phenomenon Susan Boyle of "Britain’s Got Talent" – drew people from across the Northwest and as far away as Tampa, Fla. The line stretched several blocks as the talented awaited their 90-second chance to show their stuff and advance to a Wednesday audition for celebrity judges David Hasselhoff, Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne.
"We love to dance and we think we’re American’s next great talent," proclaimed Sara Gray of Edgewood, one of seven local "Dancing Divas" waiting in line early this morning.
The Divas – dressed as nuns and prepared to sing a medley from "Sister Act" –made a great time of it. Diane Eklund of Edgewood showed off the yellow polka-dotted bloomers beneath her nun’s outfit.
"I’m not very quiet and very shy," she said.
Nearby, 9-year-old Maxwell Mercier of San Francisco waited with father Keith. Maxwell is a singer-songwriter who planned to perform a rewritten version of a Miley Cyrus song.
"It’s called `Girls Night Out,’ but I changed it to `Boys Night Out,’" he said.
Inside the convention center, hundreds more waited for their auditions. They strummed guitars, lugged drum kits and played saxophones. They sang, blew bubbles and balanced chairs on their chins.
Teen sisters Victoria and Nicole Renard of Kennewick practiced tap dancing. And Sabian Pleasant of Tacoma – a mime – waited quietly in face paint. Later, both acts drew applause for pre-audition performances taped by the show’s producers.
"This competition is full of different kinds of talent," Pleasant said. "As far as mimes, I don’t know. I may be the first."
Maybe. But the show’s producers have seen stranger talents.
"We’ve had someone arrange flowers," said Jason Raff, one of the show’s executive producers. "We’ve had someone cut hair. You never know what’s going to come in the door."