Louisville’s Got Talent

Kylie McGuffey and Caroline Siegrist

For the fifth year in a row, CenterStage is hosting an extraordinary talent competition to benefit their traveling theater program, Acting Out. The event takes place on Sunday, March 25, but the audition process begins in February. To learn more about Louisville’s Got Talent and how children can be a part of the magic, we spoke with the event’s founder, Jake Latts.

Congratulations on five successful years of Louisville’s Got Talent! How has this event evolved since its inception?

Thanks so much! It’s so exciting that Louisville’s Got Talent is in its fifth year, and in those five years, we have raised more than $25,000 for Acting Out. We hope this event showcasing local talent and benefiting a worthy cause will last for decades!

Over the years, we have continued to see increases in the number of kids and the range of acts that the auditions draw. It is exciting to see kids from all over the region coming in for auditions. We also moved the final showcase last year to be a nighttime event. This really upped the sophistication and attendance of the event, and resulted in last year’s finale being standing room only.

What is the audition process like?

First, those wanting to audition can apply on the Louisville’s Got Talent website. They choose which block in the audition day they would like to perform in. On that day, four or five judges, including me, watch all of the auditions, rating each on a scale from one to 10. At the end of the day, all the ratings are put in order from highest to lowest. With some debate, the top 20 auditions move on to the final round. We do look for a variety of acts and welcome all types of talents from singing and dancing to juggling, improv and magic.

First place winner Vaughn Michael Ramirez

Who will be judging this year’s competition?

We have an awesome group of celebrity judges including Robert Curran, Louisville Ballet’s artistic director; Erika Denise, Louisville Central Community Center’s fine arts coordinator; Andrea Diggs, Kidsview founder and director; Ben Sollee, Kentucky-born cellist, singer-songwriter and composer; and Jason Clayborn, Louisville-born Grammy-nominated gospel singer.

What kind of prizes will the winners take home?

The best performance winner in the age six to 12 category will receive $300 and age 13 to 18 will receive $300. The People’s Choice winner will receive $150 and the grand prize winner will take home $500.

How does Louisville’s Got Talent benefit CenterStage Acting Out and the community at large?

Acting Out is an awesome organization that takes children’s theater out to area schools. These schools often have kids who otherwise would not have the opportunity to see live theater. All proceeds of Louisville’s Got Talent go to fund shows for Acting Out.

The competition is a great way to showcase the diverse talents of the young people in Louisville. Not only is it a great artistic outlet, it is all for a great cause. Acting Out brings live performing arts to students who may just be inspired to become artists themselves.

Can children still sign up to audition?

Yes! Anyone can sign up from now until audition day on Feb. 11. If you can’t make it to auditions on Feb. 11, please contact Anne Ensign-Urteaga at 502.238.2773 to arrange an alternative session on Feb. 8. VT

Louisville’s Got Talent