Local talent hopes to showcase their rising stars

Published on April 1st, 2021

By Jim Dail

Talent can be found virtually anywhere, and quite often it is located within one’s own community, a fact that is not lost on J. Scott Lapp and Jordan Beck, known in Temecula for the Cabaret at the Merc series. On Jan. 27, the duo presents “RISING STARS,” an evening of local talent with songs from mainstream radio, Broadway and the hit television show, ‘SMASH.’”

“It is an exciting time for us,” said Lapp. “We were looking to find some of the hottest upcoming talent in the local schools in Temecula, Escondido, Riverside, and bring in these kids and showcase their talent and show people in the community just how much talent there is here.”

For the most part, that means students from high schools, but there could be a freshman or two from colleges.

“We haven’t selected all of them yet,” he said. “We’ve been looking at YouTube videos, contacted local theaters, and local teachers to let us know who is on their radar within 50 miles or so we can showcase them and let them shine for a night.”

And they have a bit of freedom in what they choose to perform, as the producers have set up category areas with multiple selections.

“We give them a general area and they are going to pick what song they would like to showcase,” he said. “We will also have them out together for some group things and maybe a duet, but for the most part it will be solos.”

That said, getting on the stage is not the easiest task in the world for local talent.

“We’ve looked at close to 150 people hoping to fill about six slots,” Lapp said. “It’s going to be a tight one to get into to. You have to have the talent.”

And has everyone been spectacular?

“Jordan and I have watched a lot of video submissions, and a lot of the YouTube people will try to boost themselves to be better, but it comes down to what they can deliver,” he said. “It’s pretty easy at the start because you have people who submit who aren’t on the level. After cutting the applicants in half, then it gets tougher because many of them are very good.”

They clearly were looking for something in particular, though not for any particular role.

“We are looking for someone who has that spark and that star quality,” he said. “It does make it trickier that there aren’t the same guidelines of a true role. We don’t have that with a cabaret. But that also makes it more fun.”

Lapp is a veteran of the Temecula community.

“I got to Temecula four years ago and got involved with the scene because  I wanted to showcase the talent,” he said. “There’s no professional theater in this area, and we were doing a production in Riverside so Jordan and I thought how great it would it be to come there with this great venue and do our own thing.”

Then came the idea for “RISING STARS.’”

“I’ve been doing this now for just about under a year,” he said. “Since we did Cabaret at the Merc and crossed the gamut of different show titles, I had never done something with a younger crowd so we just decided to showcase that. These kids don’t have the chance to do more professional work. Now they get to sing.

And it may help in future casting.

“We are looking for that because Jordan and I work on shows year round, and not just here,” he said. “We are giving them a stage to do their best.”


Comment guidelines, edit this message in your Wordpress admin panel