‘Dream Night,’ an opportunity for young musicians to showcase their unique skills for the chance to win prizes, a huge amount of exposure, and a potential slot on America’s Got Talent, started as the dream of one woman. Utopia Artists President, Wendy Kay, is an industry insider who books influential artists decades past but also has an ear for rising stars. Every season, Wendy receives a call from America’s Got Talent producers looking for contestants. Wendy had a vision, she’d find new young talent, hiding in plain sight throughout the world and help them get a crack at the big time. But how to facilitate those first few steps? Luckily for Wendy, TalentWatch was the perfect breeding ground for her ‘Dream Night’ competitions.
Wendy sets up ‘Dream Night’ competitions all around North America, where artists age 12-29 receive a day of mentoring and performing leading up to the choosing of one winner. Just last year, ‘Dream Night’ gave rise to multi-talented Zachary Lane during a contest in New Brunswick, Canada. The teen’s voice and performance stunned the internet and live audience – and prompted Wendy to personally coach the soon to be star.
‘Dream Night’ competitions are a huge benefit to artists such as Zachary. Winning can mean a private audition for America’s Got Talent and a chance to take it all the way and win on the show. ‘Dream Night’ also provides access to industry pros, publicity, and a career changing experience for young artists. But ‘Dream Night’ is also beneficial to the music industry personnel who use the contest to extend their reach and cull talent from the unknown throughout North America. Many of these performers would go unnoticed without ‘Dream Night.’
‘Dream Night’ begins online. Potential contestants upload videos of their performance on TalentWatch, along with a short bio video so voters can get a feel for the artist as a person. Registered users will pick the top 40 artists who will move on to the ‘Dream Night’ competition. One day before the live competition industry professionals work one-on-one with each of the 40 contestants and prepare them for a live performance. On the night of the live performance, the top 20 finalists are announced and perform live with the winner selected by the 3 judges. Early on, Wendy recognized the TalentWatch platform as a way to choose performers and kick-start the competition.
For this season’s ‘Dream Night’ contest in Enid, Oklahoma, Wendy has a special guest judge: 2011’s America’s Got Talent winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. Landau and Wendy, along with other industry pros, will coach the 20 live contestants before they hit the stage, providing important advice and a priceless look into the music industry. One winner will be chosen.
Winners receive $1,000, a professionally filmed and edited video of the performance, and most importantly, a private audition for America’s Got Talent. Wendy’s connection to the show makes this exclusive prize possible. The champion also shares a stage with a headlining act at a premier venue the following evening. The Oklahoma ‘Dream Night’ winner (along with the other finalists) will be the supporting act for 2011 “America’s Got Talent” winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. at a concert the next evening.
Look for two more ‘Dream Night’ competitions – one in Florida, the other in New York – launching next month.