With just a touch of Dixie Chicks twang to her voice, Stephanie LaRose is one of those people you hope will say just a few more words. But, right now, LaRose, a language arts teacher at Julie Rohr Academy, is trying her best not to talk. Each year, she gets so excited for the start of school that she loses her voice after talking too much with her students. Because auditions for the second Sarasota’s Got Talent show are on Sept. 11, she’s trying to ensure that her voice will be ready to rock the mic.
“Last year, I actually made it,” LaRose said. “It was a little intimidating going in there with the judges, and I probably would not have done it, but somebody anonymously paid for my entrance fee.”
LaRose auditioned with “Let ‘Er Rip” by the Dixie Chicks and performed “Uninvited” by Alanis Morisette before the judges for the actual talent show. Last year she placed third in the adult division. The hardest part, she says, is choosing the song.
“Most of the people do show tunes and Broadway tunes, and that is not my thing,” LaRose said. “I like country music. I can sing country. But even now I’m not sure what song to choose. So far, the consensus of my family and friends is ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries.”
To loosen up, LaRose pretends she’s on “American Idol.” She tells herself not to hold the microphone too tightly because the judges will notice it shaking.
“I actually try to transcend from myself so that I don’t get so nervous,” LaRose said. “This is a performing-arts school, and these students can get up there and do these incredible things in front of hundreds of people. If they can do it, I can do it.”
Also taking the stage will be 13-year-old Eilif Sorenson, who has been learning to play rock-and-jazz beats since he received a candy-apple red acoustic drum set for his eighth birthday. He hopes to dazzle the judges with a more advanced piece this year — one he wrote himself.
“The feel of it, when you really get into it, it’s sort of like you get carried away,” Sorenson said. “Sometimes, your sticks fly out of your hand. Thankfully, that didn’t happen last year, and hopefully it won’t happen this year. I think I’m going to have a better chance since I’m writing the piece myself.”
The final competition takes place Oct. 2, at Sarasota Military Academy.
The first place winner in each age category — 12 and under; ages 13 to 17; and 18 and up — will receive $200 and will perform at the Fall Follies Show at The Center For Musical Theatre at Julie Rohr Academy.
Sarasota’s Got Talent
Auditions: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Plymouth Harbor Auditorium, 700 John Ringling Blvd.
Final show: 7 p.m. Oct. 2, at Sarasota Military Academy, 801 N. Orange Ave.
Information: Entry fees are $25 per person or $50 per group. Audition applications will be accepted through Sept. 8. Call 371-4979 for information.
Winners: The first-place winner in each age category — 12 and under; 13 to 17; and 18 and up — will receive $200 and a guest-performance slot at the Fall Follies Show at The Center for Musical Theatre at Julie Rohr Academy.