ACTING DIVISION

Judging is based on acting ability, projection, believability, marketability, confidence, delivery technique and casting potential. Handheld or headset microphone provided.

Category Descriptions:

Cold Read: script will be given to each contestant in this category during their registration. Script will be age appropriate, showcasing acting ability in a non-rehearsed environment. Script can be held in performer’s hand for reference, talent should try to be familiar with script. MC will be reading script with performer. Cold read gauges a performer's ability to perform new works. A good dramatic cold reader is able to communicate with fluency and clarity and to project speech rhythms and rhymes well, bringing out the intent, mood and characterization of a piece through appropriate articulation and body language.

Commercial: Commercial copy should focus on commercial products, food, home and office products. Preferably no costumes, or large accessories.  Commercial copy should be committed to memory. Actors supply their own Commercial copy.

Comedic Monologue: material selection is at contestants’ discretion…A form of dramatic entertainment, comedic solo, or a prolonged humorous talk by a single speaker. Monologue should be committed to memory and is supplied by the actor.

Dramatic Monologue: material selection is at contestants’ discretion…A form in which a single character, addressing a silent auditor at a critical moment, reveals him or herself and the dramatic situation.  Monologue should be committed to memory and is supplied by the actor.

Legit (Theatre) Monologue: material selection is at contestants’ discretion…A long speech by one actor in a play. Monologue should be committed to memory and is supplied by the actor.

Show and Tell (ages 3-5, 6-8 only) contestants must display a hand held object and describe the object or event or emotion connected to said object. Object is provided by the contestant.

Scene (2 or 3 people ages 6 and up) material selection is at contestants’ discretion, scene should be age appropriate, scene should be committed to memory, Props acceptable.  Scene is provided by contestants.

Television Host: (ages 12 and up) script will be provided to contestants prior to competition by Talent America Area Director and staff. Host will be introducing a new show, possibly fictional, ie: reality show, game show, competition show, sporting event.  It is preferred script be committed to memory, BUT a hand held script is allowed.

TIME LIMITS Solo: 2:00 Duo/Trio/Scene: 3:00  

DANCE DIVISION

Judging is based on technique, execution, costuming, musical interpretation, originality, synchronization/timing, stage presence, and overall impression.

Category Descriptions:

Acrobatics/Gymnastics:  consists of tumbling movements incorporated to music

Ballet/Pointe:  consists of ballet or pointe technique, must include classical steps & movement.
                      
Hip-Hop:  consists of fusion, street, funk, MTV style movements, no obscenities in music allowed

Jazz:  consists of jazz technique utilizing up tempo music

Lyrical/Contemporary:  consists of jazz, ballet technique, interpretative movement, demonstrating strength, control & lyric interpretation

Musical Theatre/Song & Dance:  Musical Theatre: consists of Broadway/theatre style movements.  Song & Dance: dance movements
and vocal performance, track must NOT have lead vocals, but background tracks are allowed.

Open:  consists of all other dance/movement categories, ie: folkloric/ethnic, modern, lip sync, etc…

Tap: consists of tap technique, classic, contemporary, stomp, etc...must wear tap shoes

TIME LIMITS   Solo: 3:00   Duo/Trio: 3:00   Small Group: 3:00   Large Group: 3: 00 Line: 4:00   Production: 6:00

FEMALE RUNWAY DIVISION

Judging is based on confidence, grace, poise, physique, posture, marketability, connection to the audience and overall presentation. Models clothing choices should portray the contestant’s personal sense of style and fashion.

Category Descriptions

Casual: model will showcase casual wear or sportswear, while walking, turning and posing.  
         
Petite Casual- ages 15 & up, 5’2”-5’6”, size 0-4 model will showcase casual wear or sportswear, while walking, turning and posing.               
Plus Size Casual - ages 18 & up, 5’6” & up, size 10-14 model will showcase casual wear or sportswear, while walking, turning and posing.

Formal: model will showcase dressy or formalwear, while walking, turning and posing. Short or long dresses are allowed.
    
Petite Formal - ages 15 & up, 5’2”-5’6”, size 0-4 model will showcase dressy or formalwear, while walking, turning and posing. Short or long dresses are allowed.
                           
Plus Size Formal - ages 18 & up, 5’6” & up, size 10-14 model will showcase dressy or formalwear, while walking, turning and posing. Short or long dresses are allowed.

TIME LIMITS  2:00

Music for ALL MODEL Divisions will be supplied by performer.

MALE RUNWAY DIVISION

Judging is based on masculine style, marketability, ability to display their character, physical attributes, style and self-confidence and stage presence. A lean, well-proportioned, physically fit, toned and healthy looking body is the look that is wanted.

Category Descriptions

Casual: model will showcase casual wear or sportswear, while walking, turning and posing.

Formal: model will showcase dressy or formalwear, while walking, turning and posing. Suit, Tuxedo or Business attire are suggested.             
TIME LIMITS  2:00

Music for ALL MODEL Divisions will be supplied by performer.

SONGWRITING DIVISION:

FOR PRELIMINARY: ON LINE SUBMISSIONS ONLY to TA Headquarters at TalentAmericaHeadquarters@gmail.com

Judging is based on song structure, concept, musicality, interpretation, rhythm, style and over-all appeal.

FOR NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL FINALS: contestant performs LIVE at event

Category Descriptions:

Singer/Songwriter: **NEW** song must be performed by at least one of the songwriters of the song.  Should the Singer/Songwriter(s) not be able to accompany themselves, an accompanist(s) is allowed.  Musical track is also allowed, but no lead vocals. For preliminary entries, the number of members performing on the video submission will determine how the act is entered...ie...solo, duo/trio/, or small group.  Original song will be critiqued as well as vocal and musical performance/track of song.

Song Only:  **NEW** For preliminaries: Contestant may submit a video or an mp3 of their song.  For a video submission, song may be performed by any vocalist accompanying themselves, or with one other accompanist, or a maximum of TWO accompanists if they cannot accompany themselves, or with a track with no lead vocal on it.   For Nationals:  Song may be performed by any vocalist accompanying themselves, or with one other accompanist, or a maximum of TWO accompanists if they cannot accompany themselves, or with a track with no lead vocal on it as there must be a live performance of the song at the National Finals.  Performance of song and accompanist(s)  will not be evaluated, only the “song” will be critiqued.   Song Only is a solo submission regardless of the number of performers or songwriters involved.  Either a copyright number or signed affidavit must be provided as proof of authorship of the submitted/performed song.

TIME LIMITS Solo:  3:00   Duo/Trio: 3:00   Small Group: 4:00

VARIETY DIVISION

Judging is based on entertainment factor, technique, artistry, skill, delivery, musicality and commercial appeal.

Category Descriptions:

Comedy:  an entertainer whose act is designed to make an audience laugh. Cue cards and notes prohibited


Keyboard/Piano Instrumentalist:  contestant must play an 88 weighted key keyboard. Instrument is supplied by performer at preliminary and supplied by TA for National/International Finals


Magic: contestant entertains by apparently influencing events mysteriously by slight of hand or illusions, not allowed: fire, dangerous , chainsaws, knives and swords at Talent America discretion. This category is open to soloists, duo/trios and groups and will be judged together as ONE category regardless of number of members in the performance

Novelty: any other type of talent/act/performance that does not fit any other Talent America division and or category. This category is open to soloists, duo/trios and groups 

Percussionist: contestant must play either Drums, bongos, or cajon. Instrument is supplied by performer at preliminary and supplied by TA for National/International Finals


String Instrumentalist: contestant must play either Guitar, violin, cello, or banjo, Instrument is supplied by performer

Ventriloquist: contestant speaks or utter sounds so that they seem to come from somewhere else, especially an entertainer who makes their voice appear to come from a dummy of a person or animal.

Wind Instrumentalist: contestant plays either  Brass instruments (horns, trumpets, trombones, and tubas) Woodwind instruments (recorders, flutes, oboes, clarinets, saxophones, and bassoons) Performer supplies instrument


TIME LIMITS: Solo: 3:00  Duo/Trio: 3:00 Small Group: 4:00     

 
VOCAL DIVISION

Judging is based on vocal quality, tonality, musical skills, delivery, confidence, musicality, lyrical interpretation, and star quality.

Costuming is optional. Handheld or headset microphone provided.

Category Descriptions:

Broadway/Classical: contestant must perform either a Broadway, Off Broadway or Theatre show tune or a classical/operatic style song.

Country: contestant must perform a traditional or contemporary country style song. Song may be original, but will be judged on VOCAL performance NOT on songwriting. Contestants may sing a Capella, accompany themselves or sing to a music track without lead vocals and preferably without background vocals.

Hip-Hop/Rap: contestant must perform a song consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. No obscene lyrics allowed.  Song may be original, but will be judged on VOCAL performance NOT on songwriting. Contestants may sing a Capella, accompany themselves or sing to a music track without lead vocals and preferably without background vocals.

Inspirational/Gospel: contestant must perform a song lyrically focused on matters concerned with the Christian faith or referencing lyrics of a Christian nature. Song may be original, but will be judged on VOCAL performance NOT on songwriting. Contestants may sing a Capella, accompany themselves or sing to a music track without lead vocals and preferably without background vocals

Pop: contestant must perform a Popular song.  Song may be original, but will be judged on VOCAL performance NOT on songwriting. Contestants may sing a Capella, accompany themselves or sing to a music track without lead vocals and preferably without background vocals.

R&B/Jazz: also known as Rhythm and Blues. Contestant must perform an urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat. Song may be original, but will be judged on VOCAL performance NOT on songwriting. Contestants may sing a Capella, accompany themselves or sing to a music track without lead vocals and preferably without background vocals.

Rock: also known as rock & roll. Contestant must perform a rock song.  Song may be original, but will be judged on VOCAL performance NOT on songwriting. Contestants may sing a Capella, accompany themselves or sing to a music track without lead vocals and preferably without background vocals.

TIME LIMITS **NEW** Solo: 2:30   Duo/Trio: 3:00   Group: 3:00
 
Suggestions: limit long intros of songs as well as leads/interludes.  Make sure song choice is age appropriate and meets judging criteria. Select songs that showcase performer’s voice.


RULES AND REGULATIONS

General Rules and Regulations

To participate in the Talent America National Finals, you must first qualify at either a Talent America Preliminary Competition, TA

Sanctioned Event, or as a Contestant-At-Large. Click here for How to Participate

Talent America has Talent performances  & Modeling performances

TALENT consists of  five divisions, Acting, Dance, Songwriting, Variety, and Vocal.  Within each of those 5 divisions are categories.  

As long as a talent qualifies in the specific Talent division in which they are entered, ie…acting, regardless of the category they performed in, they are eligible to enter any and all acting categories at the National Finals that are applicable and within the Nationals guidelines and specifications.  If a contestant performs more than once in a category or division, the contestant’s highest score will be used to calculate placement.  Click here for Preliminary Divisions         Click here for National Finals Divisions

MODELING consists of two divisions** at the preliminary level, Male Runway and Female Runway.  There are four divisions at the National Finals, Male Runway, Female Runway, Male Print and Female Print.  As long as a model qualifies in their modeling division regardless of category, they are eligible to enter any and all modeling categories at the National Finals that are applicable to them and fall within the National Finals guidelines and specifications. Click here for Preliminary Divisions   
Click here for National Finals Divisions

AGE GROUPS:  3-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-17, 18-24, 25-39, 40 +

The performer’s age group for preliminaries is determined by their age on the first day of the preliminary event.

The performer’s age group for Nationals is determined by their age on the first day of Nationals.

The age of a group, 2 or more, for preliminaries is determined by the *average age, on the first day of the preliminary event.

The age of a group, 2 or more, for Nationals is determined by the *average age on the first day of Nationals.

AGES:  To reach the average age of an entry, add all the ages together and divide by the number of contestants in the entry.  When an average ends in .5 or above, you must round up to the next age.  Names and birthdates of all contestants must appear on the entry form or it will not be accepted.  All competing contestants must be prepared to present their birth certificate as proof of age should a question arise.  All ages are of the competition date.  For National competition, age as of First Day of Competition, regardless of age group contestant qualified in.

MUSIC: Each competition routine must be submitted electronically as an mp3 as well as on a separate, high quality cd or loaded on contestant’s mp3 player/computer/phone.  CD’s must have Contestant name, studio name, title of performance routine and entry #.  Please have a back up cd for each entry.  All preliminary music must be submitted during registration on the day of the event.  All National Final’s music must be sent electronically to TalentAmericaMusic@gmail.com 2 weeks prior to the event

JUDGING:   A panel of qualified, competent judges will judge all performances.  All contestants, teachers, coaches and parents agree that the method of judging shall be solely within the discretion of the directors of Talent America and that all decisions of the judges and Talent America directors are final.

*At a preliminary, any protest must be in writing, signed and received by the area director within 30 minutes of the performance in question and at least 30 minutes prior to awards.  At The National Finals, all protests would be made to Talent America Directors.

*Judges and/or Talent America reserve the right to change the performers’ category if the performance is deemed to have been entered improperly.

*All participants and observers agree to conduct themselves in a manner displaying good sportsmanship.  Unsportsmanlike conduct may result in disqualification.

*All routines/performances must be appropriate for family viewing and listening including but not limited to language and lyrical content, monologues, copy, scripts, etc.  Any routine(s)/performance(s)that are at all questionable as to content being objectionable and/or suitable for family audiences must be presented to and approved by Talent America National Headquarters 30 days prior to performance.  Any performance(s) in violation of this policy may be subject to disqualification.  Such decision is made at the sole discretion and interpretation of Talent America Headquarters or Talent America personnel authorized to make said decision.

PROPS: ABSOLUTELY no glitter, no confetti, or liquid of any kind is allowed on stage (water, paint, etc.) No pyrotechnics allowed.  Throwing of any item off the front of the stage is prohibited.  You are encouraged to please use discretion as to the size and quantity of props keeping in mind that space is limited in the backstage areas of some venues. Only those props that can be carried on by the performer and/or performer's assistant, are vital to the act, and that do not require extensive set up/tear down are allowed. Mats will be allowed if necessary (not provided) but are subject to the same set up/tear down time limits as all other props.

*In Dance Division: Production props must be in place within 2 minutes and cleared from the stage in 1 minute.

*Props for all other solo, duet/trio or group acts must be in place within 1 minute and cleared from the stage in 30 seconds.

Hint: If the use of power tools is necessary on stage to set up your prop, you should probably reconsider. Any prop which damages the performance venue in any way due to, but not limited to, dragging, weight, sharp points, etc., shall be banned from future use, and the act for which it was used may be disqualified. Studio owners/directors, performer(s), and/or parent(s) of minor performers may be held liable for any such damage

*Performers requiring microphones must use Talent America mics: No additional sound equipment or microphones may be used or connected to Talent America’s sound system without Talent America’s approval. All Acts/performers must make Talent America aware of all stage requirements such as mics, stand(s), piano/keyboard etc.  Pianos are generally not available at events.  Please contact your Area Director or Talent America Headquarters for your specific event.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Absolutely no video recording is allowed in performance area(s) except at awards ceremonies.  No photography is allowed when an official Talent America photographer(s) is present at the event, except at award ceremonies. Flash photography is never allowed.   The use of video and/or digital recording cameras and devices are at the discretion of the Talent America Area Director.  The use of video recording or unauthorized photography may lead to an entry being disqualified. We urge all studio owners, teachers, and especially parents to keep our performers photographically safe by reporting suspected photographic violations.

* No photography or video-taping in dressing rooms.

*Contestants, parents, family members of contestants, and/or studio directors and/or owners give their permission to the directors and headquarters of Talent America to use their photographs, video, and/or likeness from the time of their arrival at the venue to the time of their departure from the venue for advertising, media, radio, print, promotions, television, webisode(s) or news coverage of Talent America and/or its’ competition(s).

PRELIMINARY DOOR ADMISSION FEE: There is an admission charge for ages 3 & up, children under 3 are free.

Preliminary Registration Deadline: The deadline for all Preliminary Talent America Entry forms and fees is 14 calendar days prior to the event.  Any Preliminary Entry forms and fees that are received within 14 calendar days from the event will be assessed a $10.00 late fee per performance and all late fees must be paid with entry form.   

National Finals Registration Deadline:  The deadline for all National Finals Entry forms and fees is Wednesday June 1st, 2016.  Any National Finals Entry forms and fees that are received after Wednesday June 1st, 2016, will be subject to a $15.00 late fee per performance and all late fees must be paid with entry form.   

*All payment must be made using cash, credit card/debit card, cashier’s check, or money order and are non-refundable, no exceptions.  No refunds.  ABSOLUTELY NO CHECKS ACCEPTED!

*All Entry fees are due in full with entry forms.

*Entry fees are transferable within the same competition year.

*Violation of any rules and regulations, may result in disqualification at the sole discretion of Talent America.

*Competition policies, event schedule, personnel, venue, and judges are subject to change.  Talent America reserves the right to cancel events for any reason.

*Talent America does not guarantee employment, callbacks, or career opportunities deriving from its’ events.The above rules, regulations and requirements apply to Talent America Preliminaries and National Finals.  TA Sanctioned Events might vary from part or all of the above rules, regulations, and requirements as they function under their own rules, regulations, and requirements.  However, Talent America will have approved those differences and ALL CONTESTANTS that qualify for the Talent America National Finals will be subject to all Talent America National Finals rules, regulations, and requirements.

DIVISIONS

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