Elvis Thao, local Chicago filmmaker, and owner of Hand Sewn Productions, is expanding his Chicago-based project, IN SEARCH OF... THE GREAT AMERICAN STREET MUSICIAN, nationwide. Thao plans to take what AMERICAN IDOL has started and create a grassroots version of the reality phenomenon. Makes sense to me. Everyone knows that there is tons of undiscovered talent out there, and street musicians can be some of the most passionate performers out there.

The show, hosted by Keithen Banks & Shannon L. Novak, is expecting to run 30 minute episodes with 12 shows running every two weeks for three months. It will showcase performers like “a keyboard player originally from Chicago, but now attending the University of Berkley in California,” who returned to Chicago just to be a street performer, raising funds so his sister can attend Berkley with him. Another “group of drumline band members that come out and play the streets every weekend just to put a smile on people’s faces,” trying to bring positivity to others around them. Then there’s the “extremely cute couple who considers themselves Travelers (a culture of people who run away from regular civilian life to tackle life on the road)” whom Thao originally met in New York, but whom he found again in Chicago this last spring.

Think you have what it takes or know someone who should be on the show? This ongoing project is officially expanding nationwide, currently casting street performers and musicians from New York, California, and Las Vegas. To submit to Thao and Hand Sewn to be considered for the show or if you know someone who is deserving of recognition on a showcase similar to AMERICA’S GOT TALENT or SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, click here to contact the production team.

In the meantime, check out the trailer below and click here to follow the show on facebook.

Katharin "K" Mraz is a Chicago-based Producer, Screenwriter, Production Designer, Actress, Model, and the owner of three media companies based out of Chicago, Ladie K Productions, Inc., Creative Works Media, Inc., and Smart Pretty Designs, Inc. Learn more about K here at or email her at