‘Showville’ auditions feature much original music
The wide array of talent in Fairfield was on display Monday at the auditions for AMC’s television program, “Showville.”
Contestants congregated in the lobby of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s Stephen Sondheim Center as they performed one final tune-up on their guitars or one final rehearsal of their dance.
Diana Garles was one of more than 30 contestants to audition in front of the television cameras. Garles is a native of Fairfield and said it was evident Monday that Fairfield is a musically gifted town. She said the music scene is so great that it’s hard to find openings to play.
Garles and her friend Ty are in a band called “The Host Country,” and the two of them performed as a duo for the show. Ty wrote a song called “Modern Times,” which the band played for the judges.
“We do acoustic folk, with lots of harmony and a little spice added in,” she said.
Garles normally plays keyboard or guitar but for Monday’s audition she left the guitar-playing to Ty so she could focus on singing.
Garles and Ty performed at the Sondheim center in October, when the show’s producers were trying to decide if Fairfield had enough talent for its own episode. Garles said that night in October was a late night. Auditions were held from 4 p.m. until midnight.
“We got here last time very late,” she said. “The people before us were supposed to be the cutoff for that night, and we were supposed to come back the next day. I told them, ‘I can’t, I have to get back to work,’ so they allowed us to perform.”
Garles is excited at the possibility of making national television. She has plenty of experience performing on stage since she was a theater major at the University of Iowa.
Jeffrey Hedquist works in marketing and advertising but he lists “singer-songwriter” as one of many other careers. Hedquist sang two songs Monday that he wrote. They were “Miracle Man” and “This Can’t Be a Country Song.”
Hedquist spent some time in front of the camera in the lobby answering questions for a camera crew.
It was one of many interviews he has given to the show’s producers since he auditioned in October.
“When they came the first time, they interviewed some people, and I was one of them,” he said. “They interviewed me at my house, my business and my farm. They put a video together, but I never got to see it.”
Hedquist said the performers believed when the camera crew came in October, the producers would choose the finalists.
“No, that was not it,” Hedquist said. “They were simply here to evaluate the town to see if it was worthy to come back.”