LEWISTON – It was the audition that could change his life.

If 16-year-old Dan Rossi got on an MTV show called “MADE,” it would help fulfill his dream of becoming a musician. The show would give him a guitar coach. It would put him on TV.

His fledgling music career might get off the ground. Or at least, he might find a good band to join.

“I just need training to learn how to sing and play at the same time,” Rossi said, as he waited for his turn with a visiting MTV casting director.

Around him, more than a dozen other Lewiston High School students milled around the school gym, some anxiously tweaking their applications while others giggled with friends about their secret goals. Everyone had a dream. Everyone hoped MTV could make it come true.

“Even if there’s a slim chance, there’s still that chance,” said Kim Bechard, a 17-year-old comedian wannabe.

MTV, the rock music television station that caters to teens and 20-somethings, hosted the open auditions at the high school Tuesday in an effort to cast its reality series “MADE.” The year-old documentary-style show follows young adults as they make themselves over to achieve their dreams.

“MADE” provides the help and the TV cameras.

The 1,300-student school immediately went through more than 150 applications when officials announced last month that MTV was stopping in Lewiston. But Tuesday morning, only 15 students showed up for the casting call.

“I don’t think they believed it was real,” said 16-year-old Ashlee Bartlett, who wanted to become a drummer or a comedian/break dancer. “No one really thought they would come. I almost didn’t come.”

A single casting director with a portable video camera held the private auditions in a small storage room off the gym. One by one, students went in, handed over a short application and a photo of themselves, and smiled for the camera.

Some interviews lasted four or five minutes. Derrick Gardner’s lasted almost 15.

A former JV football player, the 16-year-old sophomore wanted to become a cheerleader.

“For something different,” he said.

During the interview, casting director Victoria Asness asked Gardner about himself, about his school and about his goal. She asked him to do some sample cheerleading moves for the camera.

“I didn’t do them to my fullest,” he confessed after the interview. He gauged his chances at “one in a million.”

Daniel Brooke, however, figured his chances were a little higher. He wanted to become a professional wrestler.

“It’s something they haven’t done before. It’s interesting,” said Brooke, 18.

But after a 10-minute interview, he left the room dejected.

“Apparently, they don’t want to do that,” he said. “It’s too violent.”

At the casting director’s urging, Brooke went with a backup goal: prom king.

Rossi’s interview lasted less than 10 minutes. But the 16-year-old musician thought it went well.

He tried to exude confidence as he talked about why he wasn’t already in a band. He gave Asness a CD of some of his songs. He handed over a black and white photo of him and his girlfriend, one of the few pictures Rossi had of himself.

He was a little nervous, he said.

“Just knowing I’m auditioning for something real I could be doing. Something big,” he said.

Asness is looking for new “MADE” stars throughout New England, including a teen center in Bath. No place is guaranteed to have a winner.

Like the other students, Rossi will have to wait at least a month to find out whether MTV wants him for its show.

“I’m pretty confident. If I don’t make it, it won’t hurt my feelings,” he said. “But I hope I do.”


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