Victoria Kay’s fraternal twin sister, Marissa, has cerebral palsy, uses a wheelchair because of limited motor skills and is limited verbally.
“She’s a strong person and she really inspires me,” said Kay, 20, of Sayville. “When she does open her mouth and try to talk, it’s usually when I’m around. Marissa loves it when I sing to her.”
Although Kay decided against auditioning for "Sayville’s Got Talent" last year, this time she pushed her nerves aside.
Belting out opera lyrics with her head held high, she sang to three judges on the first day of the auditions Tuesday at The Common Ground at Rotary Park in Sayville.
The auditions continue Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m.
At the auditions, Sayville Middle School student Sean Barry played the bagpipes. He had been playing for four years, performing locally with the Roisin Dubh Irish Pipe Band at various events.
“I thought it was a pretty interesting skill, so I thought it might be worth a shot to try out,” said Barry, 13, of Sayville. “Playing the bagpipes makes me motivated and proud because I’m 50 percent Irish.”
Alina Rossi, a member of The Common Ground organization that helps maintain the park and hold community events, was one of the three judges to witness the talents.
“It’s great for the kids because they get to showcase their talents,” said Rossi, 44, of Sayville. “For somebody who isn’t brave enough to perform at a school concert, this would be an outlet for them to participate and have fun.”
Performers ages 11 and up can perform, but parental consent is required for those younger than 18. The audition fee is $15 per individual, and each performance can last no longer than three minutes.
“Last year, we had six or seven auditions every day,” Rossi said. “About 300 people showed up to the final show.” Admission to the final show is a can of food, to be donated to the Greater Sayville Food Pantry.
On Friday, contestants will be contacted by phone if they move on to the final performance on June 27 at 7 p.m at The Common Ground, which will choose the top three winners. They will win cash prizes and the opportunity to perform at a special concert on June 20, 2013.
Last year, Kay missed her opportunity to try out, but this time she took a leap of faith.
“There’s always butterflies in your stomach and you get a little nervous, but ultimately when I open my mouth and sing a change comes over me,” Kay said. “You kind of push the nerves aside and let your talent shine through and that’s what I try to do on stage.”
For more information, visit www.thecommonground.com.