Thursday, December 25, 2014


Follow us:
Follow @NY1 on Twitter Follow NY1 News on Facebook Follow NY1 News on Google+ Subscribe to this news feed 


MTA Holds Tryouts For Subway Performers

  • Text size: + -
TWC News: MTA Holds Tryouts For Subway Performers
Play now

Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.

out of 10

Free Video Views Remaining

To get you to the stories you care about, we are offering everyone 10 video views per month.

Access to our video is always free for Time Warner Cable video customers who login with their TWC ID.

  To view our videos, you need to
enable JavaScript. Learn how.
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.

Then come back here and refresh the page.

The MTA on Tuesday auditioned a new crop of performers to work underground. NY1's Tina Redwine filed the following report.

A total of 65 performers got onboard Tuesday, auditioning to be part of the MTA's official Music Under New York program.

Performers said it felt a bit like American Idol.

"I play all the time, but to come out in a venue out like this and see 20 judges out there waiting to see you audition. It was a little nervous at first," said Musician Don Service.

If they win, their audience will be 8.5 million daily riders.

"You never know who is out there watching or who's passing through, maybe taking a train somewhere. It might be that producer that I'm looking for," Service said.

But not everyone even wants fame.

"I'm interested in enjoying it. And if they give me money I'll probably connect with some charity," said Singer Dan Brody.

The agency says 250 performers sent in applications this year. Musicians who auditioned Tuesday are the semifinalists. And from the pool of performers, judges will choose 20 to 25 winners.

"We're looking for a variety of musicianship, of variety of types of music, for quality of musicianship and for musicians whose music really fits well into the subway environment," said MTA Arts for Transit Spokesperson Amy Hausmann.

The MTA says the winners will join 350 other authorized performers: All are unpaid.

"Musicians who play in the subway play for tips, they can put out a hat and they're able to collect tips as they go along. So we encourage everybody to show their gratitude and generosity," Hausmann said.

Musicians perform at 25 different stops throughout the system including Grand Central.

"Someone who will lift up the spirits of the commuters. That's why we are here. To be a blessing and to serve," said Longtime MTA Performer and Judge Arlethia Lindsey.

Winners will be announced in two weeks. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP