, two students and talented singers, they were two of more than 100 acts preparing to compete in the St. Louis Teen Talent Showcase Competition.
Now, they’re each been selected as two of the 11 acts in the competition’s finale, brining them ever closer to thousands of dollars in scholarships and performance opportunities around the region.
Kirkwood Patch caught up with Lauren and Anna before their finale performance at 8 p.m. April 27 at the Fabulous Fox Theater.
Since we met Lauren, she changed the song she’ll compete with to “Astonishing” from Little Women the Musical instead of “So Much Better” from Legally Blonde.
“I’m really excited,” Lauren said. “It’s all been going pretty smoothly.”
Lauren competed in the talent competition last year but did not make the final rounds. Making the finale this year means Lauren will perform her song onstage at the Fox Theater.
“I can’t wait to actually perform at the Fox,” she said. “I feel like just going there is my goal already.”
When Lauren started the competition this second time around, the 16-year-old high school sophomore seemed put-off and overwhelmed at questions about her post-high school plans.
“Everyone asks me what I want to do when I’m older,” she told Patch in March. “I’m not sure what my future plans are. I honestly don’t even know what I want to be yet.”
After succeeding in the preliminary and semi-final rounds, Lauren seems more confident and passionate about her voice and her future. And she should; just by making the finals, she’s already earned a $1,000 scholarship to Webster University, and there are more scholarships in store for the winners of the competition.
“I would love to make this a career someday,” Lauren said about performing. “It’s a huge question. It’s a big deal.”
Anna calls performing at the Fox Theater “a dream come true.” The 17-year-old will compete by singing “My Party Dress,” an adorable romp about life as a child from Henry and Mudge.
Anna plans to major in musical theater next year at Southeast Missouri State University, so placing in the competition will mean earning valuable scholarships to fund her education.
“It would mean so much to me to win the competition,” Anna said. “It would be so nice to win the college scholarship since I am going to college in the fall, but if I don’t, no big deal. I got to perform at the Fox!”
Anna said there are no secrets behind her climb to the top of the competition.
“I am just giving it 120 percent all the time and showcasing the talents that God gave me,” she said.
For now, Anna is performing as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the Crestwood Kirkwood Youth Theater and trying to keep her mind off the stress of competing.
“I try to not really thing of the results of the competition,” she said. “I just keep practicing and hoping for the best.”
Mike Isaacson, the executive producer of the Muny Opera and a judge in the competition, said he’s excited to show St. Louis how “ferociously talented” its teens are.
“They are finding their voice artistically,” Isaacson said. “They are finding their voice as young people. It’s kind of pure. There is nothing false about it. It’s coming from their hearts and spirits and who they are as young people. We live in a very cynical time, and there is nothing cynical about these kids.”
If you’d like to cheer Ciara and her teammates on, The St. Louis Teen Talent Showcase Competition finale starts at 8 p.m. April 27 at the Fabulous Fox Theater. Tickets are free.