The East End is known to be both home and a getaway for a bevy of directors, producers, agents, etc. Now that summer has passed, and the crowds have disappeared, there exists a golden opportunity for those aspiring locals who feel they can sing or act—especially during the Hamptons International Film Festival.
We have “The X Factor,” “America’s Got Talent,” “The Voice” and “American Idol.” So yes, there are a lot of forums, but who wants to travel to wherever they are holding auditions and then wait in line for days. How about a better plan to being discovered? Why not walk into King Kullen, Wild By Nature or even Citarella and just start singing or reciting some lines? Who knows what entertainment influence may be in the store at that exact moment?
Think it won’t work? Recently, a girl in the Philippines walked into a grocery store, wielded a microphone and a portable speaker and started belting out the Whitney Houston classic “I Will Always Love You.” Soon, she had 1.5 million YouTube hits and now has a record contract. For those doubters you can simply google “Philippine Grocery Store Karaoke” and you will find dozens of links from credible news agencies about the story.
If you can’t sing and are trying to get recognized for your acting abilities, simply pick your favorite part of a play, movie or book, head over to the produce section and let the vegetables be your ensemble cast. Natalie Portman was eating pizza at a Long Island pizzeria when she was discovered. In between slices, a Revlon Talent Scout took notice and subsequently signed her to a modeling contract. She was 11 years old. She landed her first role, in The Professional, when she was 13 years old.
Charlize Theron was discovered while at a bank. She was throwing a fit because she could not get a check cashed and an agent just happened to be standing in line behind her. He admired the performance and the rest is history. Will Smith was already a rapper, but hadn’t done any acting when he stopped and asked for directions. The guy he asked happened to be none other than Benny Medina, who then cast him as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Hollywood and New York are full of stories where former waitresses, bellhops, house painters and even garbage men have been discovered in unusual places and recognized for their talents. They just happened to be in the right place at the right time. And I believe the right place is in a Hamptons grocery store, the time during the Hamptons International Film Festival.
Let’s say Billy Joel is tooling around on one of his custom motorcycles and gets thirsty. He whips into the parking lot and runs into the store for a Gatorade. And what does he encounter…Karen singing her heart out. She’s got talent and Joel gets her info and passes it on to his agent. Next thing you know a Grammy is being awarded and Joel is being credited with having discovered a great talent.
Or, maybe Andy Cohen is searching for some exotic cheeses and he comes upon a housewife who is reading aloud from the book 50 Shades of Grey. With a little bit of luck she may be on the next season of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”
The grocery stores shouldn’t mind. These performances might actually attract more customers. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Come on, Hamptonites, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…and your talented waiting to be discovered”.
If you don’t get discovered, nothing will have been lost because you can still do your weekly shopping. See you at the grocery store!