‘Road Show’ to roll back into Walla Walla

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FYI

Those interested in learning the specifics about eligibility for the show and audition paperwork should visit storyvisionentert.... Crews have been shooting “Road Show” footage in Holland, Mich., over the weekend. They will be in Rhode Island next before coming to Walla Walla in January. Those with additional questions on open call auditions should call 818-431-0219.

WALLA WALLA — Producers of talent docu-series “Road Show” will trek back to Walla Walla next month.

Crews from the reality television series in the works for AMC network will return to the Power House Theatre on Jan. 5 for another open audition, said David Woolson, chief executive officer of the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce and head of its Walla Walla Film Office.

The open call audition is similar to one that took place in October. However, this time it will lead to the crowning of the $10,000 winner.

The previous audition was, in actuality, more of an audition for the town itself, Woolson said. Though performances during that seven-hour session were taped, it was rudimentary footage to take back to the network and demonstrate that Walla Walla should be included in the series. Nothing recorded from that period is for the actual show, Woolson said.

Those who auditioned the first time should plan to return for the next round in January, he encouraged. So should those who missed the first open audition.

“The score is zero-zero,” Woolson said. “For those who came, they kind of got a little bit of a taste for what it’s like.”

The series is the first of what Woolson hopes to be many turns in front of the camera for the community. “Road Show” is the first major initiative under the Chamber’s new Walla Walla Film Office recruitment program.

“Road Show” officials agreed to come and see if Walla Walla has what it takes after Woolson contacted them. He learned of the show from a piece in “Variety.”

The eight-episode series is described as bringing a little bit of Hollywood to Small Town USA. Talent of all kinds — from singing to stand-up comedy — is sought for what will ultimately be a community talent show.

More than 50 people attended the open audition two months ago, said Woolson, who had an up-close view of the otherwise closed event.

This time around things will be a little different, he said. The audition will be 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Those who plan to participate should familiarize themselves with the very specific guidelines for the show.

For instance, performers must arrive at the open call audition with at least two acts ready to perform. Those acts can be no longer than 90 seconds each, according to a rundown of guidelines.

Eligible participants must be at least 18 years old and must have numerous documents filled out and in hand upon arrival (even if they were already signed previously). Those include an audition release, talent show participant agreement and official program rules.

Links to the documents are available at storyvisionentertainment.com. The documents will not be available at the audition.

Those planning to perform music have even more steps to follow. Those not planning to perform original music must choose one song from an open-call list and another from a talent show list — both lists are linked through the aforementioned site.

The concept for the show was developed by Producer Laurie Girion, who was not immediately available for comment Saturday.

At the end of the open call audition that January Saturday, four finalists will be selected. Those four will work with talent coaches who will be provided through the show over the next two days. Woolson said the talent show will take place Jan. 8 in front of a local audience at the Power House Theatre, 111 N. Sixth Ave.

Free tickets to the competition will be distributed by “Road Show.” How the distribution will be determined is not yet known.

Woolson, who had a long career in entertainment before returning to the Valley of his roots as Chamber CEO, believes film and television production is an untapped economic development path for the Walla Walla Valley. Hence the opening of the Walla Walla Film Office.

The exposure of the community is just one aspect of that, he explained.

“Road Show,” for example, will be distributed on AMC, home to “Mad Men” and many other popular series, domestically and internationally. In addition to the talent and background of the people featured is the community itself and the one-of-a-kind sense of place that may intrigue viewers and ultimately attract visitors.

“I think it will be some great publicity for Walla Walla,” Woolson said.

Additionally, “Road Show” will have more than a dozen officials and crew members in town, staying in hotel rooms and dining out while they’re here during what is typically one of the slower tourism months. “It’s a nice little economic boost in the dead of winter,” Woolson said.

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