Jaci Durbin is no stranger to the mic, but when she sang Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” this year at Kidz on Stage – a Family Enrichment Center fundraiser – she was a bit anxious.
“I’ve never performed in front of that many people. The largest has been 30 people at the most,” the 12-year-old winner of this year’s competition said. “I wasn’t really scared. I was just nervous that my voice would crack, but it didn’t.”
Auditions for the eighth annual Kidz on Stage will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 6 at the Capitol Arts Center. Children in grades kindergarten through sixth should be prepared for a 90-second closed audition. Video submissions may also be uploaded to YouTube. The link should be copied, pasted and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. YouTube entries also should be 90 seconds long and will be accepted through midnight Jan. 6.
The show will be at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Capitol Arts Center. The grand prize winner will receive $200. Other cash prizes will also be awarded. Tickets are $5 for people ages 4 and up and free for children 3 and under. Proceeds benefit the Family Enrichment Center and its mission to empower families and prevent child abuse.
“They can do any talent. It can be singing, dancing, gymnastics, hula hoops – any talent that they have we’re happy to see them,” said Lynn Hulsey, director of programs at the Family Enrichment Center.
The judges never know what type of contestant they’re looking for.
“That’s why it’s so interesting to have a variety of talents to choose from,” Hulsey said. “We’re not looking for anything in particular. We just want kids who stand out and are talented.”
Participants get star treatment before they perform.
“They get to ride in a limousine and walk the red carpet,” Hulsey said. “They’re going to Spa Fabulous and then going to ride the limo from there to the Capitol.”
That’s one aspect that Jaci enjoyed.
“That was really cool. I got a little taste of what fame was,” she said. “They had over 20 people walking the carpet and 120 people on the carpet waiting for us. People were taking pictures. We posed.”
Jaci will perform at the upcoming Kidz on Stage.
“I won’t be able to compete,” she said. “I’ll perform while they’re judging, so it’s a win-win.”
Her advice for contestants is to “just get up there and show what you’ve got, and be yourself.”
“If you don’t be yourself, nobody will know who you are,” Jaci said. “Good luck to them.”
— For more information, visit www.familyenrichmentcenter.com.