Local musician tries out for national television showEvery year thousands of Americans from across the country try out for shows like American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent. But one day Two Harborites might get to recognize one of their own on television.
Every year thousands of Americans from across the country try out for shows like American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent. But one day Two Harborites might get to recognize one of their own on television.
Jim Holbeck said his wife originally encouraged him to try out for America’s Got Talent. Although Holbeck and his wife Heidi enjoy being co-owners of Safe Harbors, a boarding and lodging establishment, his passion is music—he plays the guitar and sings.
Last weekend was Holbeck’s fourth time trying out for the national television show. Originally, he and his wife Heidi would go to Chicago or Minneapolis for the auditions. But when no nearby Midwestern city was available for tryouts this time around, his wife Heidi decided to give him the trip to San Francisco as a Christmas present.
Unfortunately, bad luck followed him on the trip. Holbeck’s wallet—with his driver’s license inside—was stolen on his first day in California. Since America’s Got Talent places a lot of importance on security, Holbeck became nervous that he wouldn’t be able to compete. But local license bureau official Mary Lenzen swooped in and helped him out. “I really appreciated it,” he said.
Thanks to Lenzen, Holbeck was able to audition. Last Saturday, he waited from about 8 a.m. 3:30 p.m. to try out. Holbeck said he ended up enjoying the wait because of the other participants. “You meet interesting people from all over the country,” he said.
Holbeck said this year’s America’s Got Talent audition was his craziest national talent show experience yet. He cited one contestant who wore a rocket jet pack and “lifted off the ground” for their audition. Holbeck said his own audition where he performed Garth Brooks’ “Learning to Live Again” was a “nerve-wracking” experience. Contestants only get 90 seconds to perform for a show producer in the first round. He said about 10,000 people tried out. “Those ninety seconds could change your life,” Holbeck said.
Holbeck has been playing music since he was ten years old, when his dad bought him a guitar. His mother Diane Holbeck said she remembers him practicing over and over again in his bedroom.
“I think he’s wonderful, but I’m prejudiced,” she said.
Holbeck currently plays in the band Fish Sandwich along with local musicians Derrick Hietala and Curt Anderson. He has played in several other bands including the B-105 Hitkickers, the Cervantes, and the Accidentals and has performed in venues across the area. Holbeck said he doesn’t just enjoy country.
“I like all music,” he said. “I like performing.”
While Holbeck did not get a callback, he plans to audition again next year, possibly for the popular NBC show The Voice. He said it would depend on which show will hold auditions closest to Two Harbors. In the meantime, Two Harborites can check out Fish Sandwich this Saturday at the Landing.
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