News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 27, 2010

Fans of FOX’s ‘Glee’ pack Honey Creek Mall to audition for show

Brian Boyce
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Hollywood hopefuls took a step toward their dream in Honey Creek Mall on Saturday afternoon, belting out songs with all the “Glee” they could muster.

Michael Finchum, 22, sang 30 seconds of “Stand By Me” a cappella in the mall’s center, auditioning along with 45 others for a spot on the television series “Glee” which is opening three new roles.

“I’m a huge ‘Glee’ fan,” the December graduate of Indiana State University’s theater program said after his audition. Finchum said he’s previously auditioned for “American Idol” and made it as far as the third round, but eventually he wants to do musical theater on Broadway or Chicago before heading back to graduate school.

The Wabash Valley’s FOX 38 hosted the tryouts from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and will resume auditions today at Vincennes University.

Tim Sanders, promotions director for Fox 38 and WTWO explained each contestant was given 30 seconds to sing. Performance tapes will be reviewed and results publicized on the station’s nightly newscasts, with the winner announced April 7.

The top prize includes a professionally produced promotions package and a shot at trying out for “Glee,” he said.

Doug Edge, one of the contest’s judges, said Finchum’s performance was one of his favorites.

“I liked him,” he said during one of the event’s breaks. “He was probably one of the stronger ones.”

Everything from “Cowboy Casanova” to “No Business Like Show Business” and “Sweet Caroline” was fair game on the stage. Contestants came from around Indiana and helped make up a supportive crowd, filling in the back beat for songs, clapping and even singing along.

Triplets Derek, Devin and Dustin Summan drove all the way from Connorsville for their shot.

“I’ve never done anything like this, but once you get up there and get into it, it gets easier,” Derek, 19, said after singing “Take A Chance On Me” from “Little Women.”

The three Indiana University-East students clapped along for others on stage, and WTWO’s Katie Shane, a contest judge, said win or lose, the performers had her respect.

“You can see them shaking,” she said after one of the songs, adding that she’s used to being on television, but singing live without back-up in the middle of a shopping mall is tough. “It takes a lot of guts,” she said.

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or brian.boyce@tribstar.com.