Philadelphia is known as a bottomless well of talent, so be bold, get your act together, and you could be among the "Next Soul Stars" of the UniverSoul Circus, coming to town Oct. 24 – Nov. 4.
"We're looking for a person or a troupe of personalities to basically take the place of the ringmaster," said UniverSoul talent scout Angela Barrow-Dunlap. "Ricky (Cedric) Walker, the owner of the circus, has decided to go in a slightly different direction, much like the European circuses, where there is not your traditional ringmaster, but a troupe of dynamic personalities that do a combination of skits – multi-talented individuals that can engage audiences and take them on that UniverSoul Circus ride."
"We're looking for new talent," said choreographer Vic Carter, who is primarily seeking dancers, but states that entertainers of virtually every genre, including rappers and emcees are welcome. "Whoever wants to come out, they can come out and do their thing, and we'll put them in the show - especially if they're gifted and they're doing something that we have never seen before, and they're picking up choreography quick, and they're learning and they're dancing with power and showing excitement and joy in what they do, that's what we're looking for. Anybody can come out - a troupe or a [soloist]. We're looking for talent for next year's UniverSoul Circus."
Auditions will be held under UniverSoul's "Big Top" at 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue on Monday, Oct. 29 (3-7 p.m.) for comedic actors, mimes, improv or Troupes and on Tuesday, October 30 (12-4 p.m) for dancers.
According to the organization, dancers must possess a strong technical aptitude in ballet, modern dance and contemporary dance styles as well as a "strong dramatic stage presence." Actors should prepare a one-minute routine and dancers will be taught a combination routine. All interested candidates must bring a photo and resume and be able to travel in a non-union production.
"We're looking for standout performers with passion and energy," said Barrow-Dunlap. "We want them over-the-top, because we call it the Big Top - it's a big space, and you have to be able to reach those people all the way in the back - at the top. We want infectious energy from everyone, and improvisational skills are a big plus, because we don't want the show to be predictable. We want quick-witted individuals, and you never know what will happen in a live performance, so you've got to be ready!"