ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Army News Service, Dec. 31, 2008) - Jan. 22 is the extended deadline to apply for an audition to join the cast and crew of the 2009 U.S. Army Soldier Show. The previous deadline was Dec. 31.

Those who want to continue the spirit of giving this holiday season now have the extra preparation time to join the Soldier Show and keep that spirit alive for the coming year, according to the show's director.

Army Entertainment Division needs vocalists, dancers, musicians, technicians and specialty acts for the song-and-dance extravaganza that provides "entertainment for the Soldier, by the Soldier."

"I'd like to look at Soldiers with any kind of talent, including but not limited to comedians, magicians, baton twirlers and gymnasts," said Victor Hurtado, U.S. Army Soldier Show production director.

Hurtado was named production director on Dec. 28 after serving one year as military casting and production liaison with the NBC show "Nashville Star," military casting consultant at the NBC show "America's Got Talent," and serving as senior producer and co-host of "Operation Rising Star." Currently, he's helping to produce a recording in Los Angeles for Joyce Dodson, winner of the 2008 "Operation Rising Star."

Technicians are needed for audio, video, lighting, costuming and stage technology. Performers and technicians with experience in theatre leadership, team building, and mechanical or electrical aptitude will also be considered for positions such as stage manager. They must be available from Feb. 1 through Nov. 30.

In addition, drivers are needed to help keep the U.S. Army Soldier Show on the road. Freightliner trucks and a commercial bus are used to transport the cast, crew and equipment around the country. Active-duty, Reserve and National Guard Soldiers with a valid Class A driver's license are preferred, but applicants with any valid driver's license are eligible for training.

Application instructions and a letter of release sample are available on the Internet at by clicking on Recreation & Leisure, Entertainment, and then U.S. Army Soldier Show.

If sending a nomination via the U.S. Postal Service, mail the packet to: United States Army Soldier Show, Attn: 2009 Selection Committee, P.O. Box 439, Fort Belvoir, Va. 22060. Via other carriers: United States Army Soldier Show, Attn: 2009 Selection Committee, 6091 Sharon Lane, Bldg. 1434, Fort Belvoir, Va. 22060.

Vocalists must submit a DVD or video cassette that exhibits musical styles, vocal range and special talents emphasizing musical variety. A suggested format features a spoken introduction, a minimum of two songs of contrasting styles, and a segment devoted to additional talents, such as dance or instrumental ability. Musicians must also submit an audio CD.

Dancers must submit a DVD or video cassette that exhibits different styles of dance. A spoken introduction, followed by at least two performance numbers illustrating various techniques, is required. Both solo and partner-accompanied dances are acceptable. Be sure to include additional talents, particularly vocals.

Vocalists who play musical instruments are ideal candidates for the Soldier Show, officials said. The show will also consider instrumentalists who can sing. Such candidates are not required to have musician as their military occupational specialty, but they should be proficient in reading basic lead sheets or chord charts. Musicians' audition videos must include a recording of a solo performance, which can be supplemented by a recording with an ensemble or band.

Singing ability is desired but not required, and additional talents will be evaluated in conjunction with proficiency on the primary instrument, including singing, playing of multiple instruments and dancing - which should be revealed in the video.

The Army Entertainment Division's panel of judges will select Soldier-musicians for live auditions based on the videos and application packets.

Technicians must submit a resume that illustrates experience in sound, lighting, construction, carpentry or stage management. Photographs of past work are encouraged. Performers should also list their technical experience, if applicable.

All nominees must have a minimum of 90 days time in service remaining after completion of the tour in November 2009, and be deployable worldwide. Soldiers selected for the 2009 U.S. Army Soldier Show must have a change-of-duty or change-of-rater evaluation report completed prior to leaving their units.

Review of video auditions and technicians is scheduled for mid-January and finalists will be notified through their respective regional headquarters by the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command's U.S. Army Entertainment Division by Jan. 23. Temporary duty orders will be issued and costs paid by FMWRC for Soldiers to travel to Fort Belvoir for final auditions.

Those selected for the show will be attached to FMWRC through Nov. 30, and the others will return to their units.

For further information as well as artistic and technical inquiries, contact Army Soldier Show Production Assistant Sgt. Daren Taylor at 703-380-8879, or via email at

(Rob McIlvaine and Tim Hipps both serve at FMWRC Public Affairs.)