North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
INSIBE : r
see pages 4 and 5
see pages 3 and 7
By DAVID SCHMIDT
A case of TNT! isn't so explosive
at the Carrboro Art School,-but it
may just burst into an exclusive
showcase for dynamite amateur en
tertainment Every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.,
the Art School and WQDR radio co
sponsored "TNT! Tonight's New
Talent" at the Carr Mill Mall. As
organized by the Art School staff,
TNT! gives local performers the
chance to test their talents before
an informal audience.
"Our goal is to nurture the cre
ative talent," said Maria Evans, as
sociate director of the Art School.
"Entertainers can develop their tools
to decide if they want entertain
ment as a career. You can't do that
in your living room. You have to
have an audience.
"The intimacy that we have here
makes it really special," she said.
"The audience is very sensitive. No
body is made fun of."
That doesn't mean the audience
can't have fun. Bob Waters, a piano
player from Durham, said he has
regularly enjoyed the program since
July, when it was known as "Hot
Summer Open Mike Nights."
"It's pretty relaxing in here," he
said. "You can smell. You can be
dirty. They (the performers) don't
feel intimidated. I don't know why
the hell I haven't done it."
What the eight scheduled acts do
is perform for 1 5 (give or take a few)
minutes on an unornamented stage
in the Art School studio, where
close to 100 people watch the show.
Although the dimly lit and spacious
studio lacks luxury, it doesn't lack
the laid-back character needed to
relax both the audience and the acts.
Besides, the stage is rich enough
with area talent Comics, singers,
musicians and magicians perform
without auditions, rehearsals or
"The wonderful thing is, you
never know what's going to happen,"
Evans said. But this is by no means
a Gong Show unless, of course,
somebody wanted to play one on
stage. 'It's kind of like a revival. . . in
the same spirit of the coffeehouses
of the 60s," said Peggy McCown, a
UNC graduate from Raleigh. "Some
times you just want fresh blood."
"The talent, I thought, was in
credible," said Don Sonntag,
another member of the audience.
Could TNT! be another Second
City, where many anonymous enter
tainers in Chicago attained star
dom? After only 10 weeks, Evans
said it is too early to tell. It doesn't
really matter: The performers aren't
paid and seem to view their ap
pearance as a learning experience
"You can try out some new stuff,"
said emcee Larry Cannon, who last
month hosted the "Best of Hot
Summer Open Mike Nights" before
a standing-room only crowd of
nearly 300 people. "If it's bad, you
can always bring on someone else."
Cannon said such large audiences
excite him. Segried Barrow, how
ever, said she plays piano and sings
to reach a more melancholy mood.
"I just want feedback from peo
ple," the 1981 UNC graduate said.
"I think some audiences expect a
fast-paced beat. That's not me. I'm
' V i v.
'' 'ff '
$' f ?
. , ,
; I I
if I 1
Pisnlst Scgricd Osrrow
plays and sings to reach a melancholy mood
Darryl Walden, a UNC sophb
more, gave perhaps the most strik
ing performance of the evening (at
the Sept. 1 5 show) when he sang a
cappella. While most of the enter
tainers seem to learn something
from the audience, Walden said he
hopes to teach them something as
Walden said he spent more than
eight years in the federal prison
system for robbery, a crime he ad
mits. During his confinement, Wal
den said he was introduced to and
deeply affected by the songs and
lyrics of artists like Minnie Ripper
ton and Quincy Jones.
Jones wrote "Everything Must
Change" in 1974, Walden's second
year in prison. Walden said he sang
it Wednesday night to help refute
the public's image of ex-cons.
"This is my attempt to show an
intelligent and rational side of a sit
uation (in which) we're depicted as
hard-core criminals, especially
blacks," he explained. "How is it
that a man like that can relate to
If success does come to artists
such as Walden, audiences in Car
negie Hall may someday have some
thing like that to think about.
Admission to TNT! Tonight's
New Talent is $1.50 for Art School
members and $2 for non-members.
Cold draft beer is sold at .50 a
round, and two 16 oz beers come
free when a Domino's Pizza is or
dered at the bar.
David Schmidt is a staff writer for
The Daily Tar Heel.