Kiwanis Club reboots local talent show

Following a twenty-year run of Star Search--the local talent show sponsored by the Sweetwater Kiwanis Club, the civic group is unveiling a new type of talent show in an effort to boost involvement.Introducing..."Sweetwater's Got Talent."With only one performing act at last year's Star Search finals in the high school division, change was necessary, according to Kiwanis Club president Mitch Moore. The format of the show at the finals will be changed to resemble the television talent show "America's Got Talent" but with a local twist.The finals will be held on Saturday, April 20 at the Sweetwater High School auditorium, featuring three special judges across West Texas. They are J.B. Cloud (DJ from KBCY in Abilene), Collin Pittman (recent American Idol contestant from Abilene who will perform at the event) and Sarah Roush (former Miss Lubbock in 2011).This year, all acts will have access to the big screen on the stage at the high school auditorium. As a result, the audio and visual production of the show will change through the use of several video cameras for a variety of angles. Moore also shared that they plan on having high-defintion capability for video and sound, which will be evident through the DVDs sold of the performance. This year, the Kiwanis Club will be taking over the DVD sales to ensure a more professional look in the recording.The big screen will also feature something else: the judges. By placing a camera at the front of the auditorium--where the judges will be seated, the audience can see the judges and hear them offer positive evaluations after each performance, just like the NBC television show.One of the concerns which will be addressed this year is the waiting area for competitors during the show. Moore said that an 8-foot screen will be placed backstage so that the upcoming acts can watch the performances prior to taking the stage.Adding to division winners, a new level has been included to the talent show. This year, J.P. Cowen will take part in the competition with a pre-school division.Preliminary rounds started on Monday afternoon at Sweetwater Middle School and continue throughout the next week. The audition dates and times are as follows:Tuesday, March 19: -J.P. Cowen at 8:45 a.m. -East Ridge at 1:45 p.m.- Sweetwater Intermediate School at 4 p.m.-Monday, March 25: -Southeast at 1:45 p.m.-Sweetwater High School at 4 p.m.