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'American Idol' auditions in Dodge City on Friday

"American Idol" auditions are scheduled for Friday in Dodge City’s Wright Park.

On the lookout for ways to generate interest and excitement in the show as it prepares to begin its 12th season, producers came up with a new way to access the thousands of hopeful young talents across America.

The “American Idol Small Town Audition Bus Tour” will visit 10 small towns from Montana to Mississippi this summer, and Dodge City was chosen as one of the stops.

Information about the dates, times and places of the auditions has been carefully kept secret, with details made available from time to time on the show’s website, and the date and location for the Dodge City auditions were announced late Tuesday.

Singers are encouraged to show up no more than an hour before the announced start time.

Depending on the number lined up to audition, producers may do some sorting and eliminating of people in line and may send some singers in to audition right away.

By the end of the day, one singer will have a golden ticket to the next round of auditions — time and date to be announced, and you must provide your own transportation.

From there, it could be on to Los Angeles — fame and fortune.

It’s not where you start

One of the hopefuls standing in line to audition will be Shamus Hager.

Hager has been singing for most of his life — he started singing karaoke at the old Longhorn Saloon on 2nd Avenue when he was 8 years old.

Hager’s father, Kyle, has been involved with numerous productions at the Depot Theater Company, so it was a natural for Shamus to tag along.

He participated in a number of the company’s student division workshops and show then graduated to the big stage for a Christmas cabaret in 2004.

He later appeared in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and played Horton the Elephant in “Seussical.”

Hager also did a number of plays at Dodge City High School and appeared in “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

Graduating to DC3, Hager participated in the choral and vocal departments and music theater workshops.

Hager also sings at church and is currently a member of the First United Methodist Church praise band.

“I’m really just chalking this up as another experience,” Hager told the Daily Globe during an interview Monday.

Hager heard about the "American Idol" auditions about a month ago when his boss at J.C. Penney saw the news online.

Researching the process online, Hager has prepared the release form and two forms of ID needed to register to audition.

And he’s been working on two other important elements: the music and the “look.”

“From what I hear, they really want you to look the part,” Hager said.

“So I’m looking for the right wardrobe and I’ll have to get my hair right.”

As for the songs, Hager has chosen songs he knows well, ones that show his vocal range and some versatility.

For the Josh Groban groove he’s chosen “When You Say You Love Me,” and he’s also chosen a song he learned in high school, “Homeward Bound.”

He plans to open with “Johanna,” a Stephen Sondheim song from “Sweeney Todd.”

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