Written by Jill Nossa: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 27 April 2012 00:00
Lisa Vetrone, a senior at North Shore High School, has been singing for as long as she can remember, but only recently started performing publicly. Several open mic nights in New York City last summer, and one at Page One in Glen Cove, gave the singer-songwriter the confidence to send in an audition video for MSG Varsity’s Talent Show on Cablevision last fall, and this spring, she found herself on stage, in full make-up, performing to a crowd of about 60 people while being taped for the cable network’s high school talent show.
“It was beyond my expectations,” Vetrone says of the experience. “Performing on stage made me realize this is what I want to do.”
She says she first began thinking about a music career when she was in eighth grade, which is when the self-taught pianist also began writing her own songs. Around that same time, she set her sights on NYU, where she will head this fall to study music at the College of Arts and Sciences.
Vetrone says she listens to all styles, so her own music reflects those influences. For the Talent Show, she was required to pick songs from a list to perform, which she describes as being challenging.
“I try not to sing songs that have been done before, in the same way,” she explains, adding that she put her own twist on all three songs she performed for the show’s taping. “This definitely helped me figure out what I’m doing right when I perform, what works and what doesn’t.”
The Talent Show is in its second season, and features vocalists, vocal ensembles and dance ensembles.
“Lisa was great and actually sang all of her songs while she was playing piano, which is different, probably harder – most kids used backing tracks, so she was really showing off,” says the show’s host, Jared Cotter.
Cotter, who was a finalist on American Idol and grew up on Long Island, says, “The show is awesome, a lot of fun; it’s something I wish I had as a teenager because it showcases talent. It’s a great introduction to the music industry.”
He added, “I can relate to them, on a smaller scale, but nerves are nerves. This year, there are few standout kids. I think every year it keeps progressing.”
Vetrone is on YouTube at www.youtube.com/ LRVmusic, which she shyly admits to getting a lot of hits on. In fact, she has more than 400 subscribers to date and has had nearly 63,000 video views.
Her videos are home productions, and she says she has not yet done any professional recording because it is so expensive. If she wins, she will get a recording session to produce a demo, and will also have a professional photo shoot.
“These are kids you wouldn’t see yet on American Idol because they are not old enough, but it gets them ready for what’s to come,” says Cotter.
Vetrone’s performance will air on Sunday, April 29 at 7 p.m. on MSG Varsity. Voting takes place online, beginning immediately after the show airs, and will be open until 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 3.
“I want to win, obviously, but, more than anything I want people to see my other two performances because I ended up liking them more,” says Vetrone.
It’s up to each performer to do their own self-marketing; Vetrone will set up fliers and plans on performing session an open mic session at Page One on April 26, for those interested in getting a preview of her talent.
“I want people to hear me sing but am not one to brag,” Vetrone says.
“She really put herself out there, and it takes guts. I think Lisa will do well,” says Cotter.