Greencastle teen tries out for reality talent show

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Brayden Burgener with his audition number for America's Got Talent.

Brayden Burgener has a talent, and he wants America to know about it. The Greencastle-Antrim High School junior auditioned for America's Got Talent early on Dec. 16. He had received a call three days earlier to appear at a Norfolk, Va. hotel for tryouts.

He drove through the night with his mother, sister Meghan, 11, and foreign exchange student Sophia, 17. The producers listened to his 90-second beatbox performance twice during the morning, which didn't happen for all the thousands of people in line.

Brayden’s skill may not be common knowledge to everyone.

"It's making unique sounds with my voice," he said.

Beatboxing, according to Wikipedia, is vocal percussion, replicating drum beats, rhythm and musical sounds. It is connected to the hip-hop culture.

Brayden, 16, goes by the nickname "Purple" in school, after his childhood hero Barney the Dinosaur. He wears purple clothes every day, as he did at the audition. It helped him stand out. He will learn in the new year whether he advances in the reality show competition. The 2012 televised program featured Sharon Osborne, Howard Stern and Howie Mandel as judges. The lineup is expected to be different for Season 8. After many elimination rounds, the winning act gets a $1 million grand prize.

Brayden has been beatboxing for over five years, and is well-known at school. He performed at two pep rallies, two talent shows, and at a concert by local band Skyhawk Drive.

Making the rhythmic sounds is now second-nature, and he chants walking the school halls, or even in classes. Occasionally the other students or teachers  interrupt.

"Sometimes they just tell me to stop."

The son of Shawn and Cindy Burgener does stop, at least for a while.