New reality show plans Walla Walla episode

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WALLA WALLA -- A new reality show in the works will come to the community on a mission to find hidden talent in the untapped corners of the country.

"Road Show" is a reality-based docu-series that aims to showcase place and people. It's the first production to come to the community under the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce's new Walla Walla Film Office production recruitment initiative.

Chamber Chief Executive Officer David Woolson said he first learned of the production through a piece in "Variety," which announced AMC's green light for the documentary-style talent show.

He reached out to executives on the show and sold them on the community, officials said.

Casting Producer Frazier Bain explained in a telephone interview this morning the purpose of the show is to celebrate "small town America and its hidden treasures."

"This is not 'American Idol.' This is not 'America's Got Talent,'" he said.

The show is essentially a talent competition put on by local people, with an audience of locals and ultimately judged by locals.

A flier for the Oct. 23 casting call at the Power House Theatre calls for every kind of talent -- magic, juggling, dancing, singing, comedy, ventriloquists and more. There is a request for no fire acts or those that involve physical danger such as knife throwing or dangerous animals.

Participants must be at least 18, but there is otherwise no age limitation.

"The main thing is that we are looking for every kind of talent from all walks of life," Bain said. "Our flier says we are looking for everyone from the baker to the candlestick maker. We're really serious."

People who may have never had a chance to show off their talent -- anyone sing into a hairbrush? -- are encouraged to participate.

Mentors will be coming from Hollywood to help advise participants and teach stage presence. "We want to make sure that even if they're nervous they feel better armed and better equipped because of the training," Bain said.

After the casting call, four people will be chosen to be showcased. Filming will take place in the coming months. The show is expected to tentatively air on AMC -- known for "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" among other acclaimed series -- in March.

The casting call will take place Oct. 23 from 2-6 p.m. at the theater that Bain says has its own amazing story. Those planning to attend should bring their own equipment -- music players, for example, cued to the correct spot. Individuals will likely be the focus, but groups of four or five are OK. Participants who sign in should prepare themselves to wait. There are no recordings or cellphones allowed in the stage area.

The winner of the show will ultimately receive a cash prize. For more details, contact the Chamber at 525-0850.

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