The in-person talent show, in which participants muster up the courage to sing, play an instrument, spin plates or perform magic to an audience of their peers, has been a rite of passage for generations of aspiring entertainers—and perhaps a foot in the door to a promising career. Just ask NBC-TV, whose glorified talent-show series, “America’s Got Talent,” has raised the profiles of countless performers in myriad disciplines.
This fall, one South Florida nonprofit is bringing back this tradition, albeit without a live audience. Owing to the pandemic, Artists and Charities Hand in Hand, founded by Ingrid Robinson, will debut “Virtualoso,” a compilation of short video auditions from entertainers in a wide range of artistic practices. Robinson is seeking participants to submit their videos (no longer than two minutes each) now through Sept. 30. Viewers will then vote for their favorite performer, with votes costing each spectator $1; all of the funds raised through voting will benefit a nonprofit of the performer’s choice. While Virtualoso is a charity-driven enterprise, there are cash prizes, from $1,000 to $250, awarded to the top three vote getters.
These funds will be raised, in part, through $10 entry fees for each prospective entertainer. Visit the Rules page for more details—including, for instance, mandatory proof of identity or residency in one of the three South Florida counties. As for the type of (“family-friendly”) entertainment that will be accepted, the sky is presumably the limit, from ballet dancing to bird sounds to recitals of pi, opera singing to speed painting to performance poetry. The competition is open to adults and children of all ages. Interested parties can sign up here.