Student auditions for America’s Got Talent

Published 9:49 pm Thursday, January 31, 2019

A freshman at Prince Edward County High School and her father recently had the opportunity to audition for America’s Got Talent.

Zoe Morgan attended a recent audition for the talent competition at a Charlotte, North Carolina, conference center.

Zoe said they arrived around noon and stayed for more than five hours.

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She auditioned in front of one of the show’s producers. She said the producer told them he would get back to them if they got on the show.

Zoe was initially nervous about the audition.

“There was a lot of people with a lot of talent, and I was like ‘woah, these people are way more talented than me,’” Zoe said.

She said she felt the beginnings of regret about attending, but pushed it aside.

“I knew that I had to do it, because I just had to,” Zoe said.

Whether Zoe felt nervous going into the audition, her father Tim said she did not show it. He praised how she hit all of her notes. Her voice was steady. She didn’t forget the words.

“I told her afterward, I was like ‘you held up under pressure that some people crumble under,” Tim said.

“In my opinion, she crushed it,” Tim said. “I was very proud to hear her play. She did really well.”

Tim said it was after hearing Zoe play at Uptown Coffee Cafe that the idea first came to light. Zoe said they talked about what it would be like to audition for a show.

“We just went to the website and they had sign-ups,” Zoe said about the America’s Got Talent website.

Tim said he and Zoe struck up a deal: if she auditioned, he would audition too.

Zoe said they initially planned to go to an audition in Knoxville, Tennessee, but saw the audition in Charlotte would be closer.

Zoe said she got her ukulele for Christmas in 2017. She has not stopped playing since. Zoe said she enjoys playing the song, “Riptide” by Vance Joy. This was the song she played during her audition.

She also likes playing “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and “I’m Not Okay” by My Chemical Romance.

Deborah Rush, the director of the PECHS drama program and fellow ukulele player, said Zoe is a student in the program and praised her music ability.

“Zoe was a very dedicated, hardworking member of the PECHS Drama Team this year,” Rush said. “She had that ukulele with her at all times, and I heard her sing and play her audition song many times, so I think she was well-prepared for her audition. She’s a talented young lady. Not to mention, I’m a uke player myself, and she definitely has skills. I’m proud of her.”

Zoe said she told close friends and a few teachers about the audition, and like her mother, stepfather, father and siblings, they have been supportive.

Zoe is the middle child of five and the only girl, having four brothers.

Angela Perkinson, Zoe’s mother, said Zoe performed for the PECPS talent show and has performed at Uptown Coffee Cafe in downtown Farmville.

Perkinson said Zoe’s talent extends far beyond her age at 14 and they are impatiently waiting for the end of February.

She said her stepfather Russell Perkinson, plays guitar, bass, drums and sings.

He has helped Zoe with her craft and they have spoken about the possibility of collaborating.

Angela said Zoe also plays piano and “is a natural at it.”

“Ukulele is her favorite though,” Angela said.

Tim said he sang in school and considered pursuing a music career.

Tim sang “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” during an audition separate from Zoe’s. He was critical of his performance, saying he sang in a lower key than he intended.

Tim said if he or Zoe don’t make the cut this time around, they would try to audition again next year.