By ASHLEY AMASON
“I’ve been singing my whole life,” Chance Byrd, a charismatic 16-year old with a knack for making people laugh, says. The 11-year veteran of the Chautauqua Theatre is now chasing his dream to perform on the big stage, auditioning for American Idol in New Orleans this month.
Byrd, who knew he wanted to be a performer after his first solo in third grade, has taken his talent to the community, singing in churches and senior centers, including The Stanley House. He has also taken first place in several talent shows.
“[I love] the anticipation and adrenaline rush of waiting to take the stage, then the satisfaction and feeling of knowing I did my best and had fun doing it,” he smiles.
His inspiration comes from all genres, but primarily Christian music. “I thoroughly enjoy Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin and Toby Mac, not just because they are good musicians, but because they are good people and on fire for the Lord.”
Byrd’s faith is the cornerstone of his life and performing career. “My goal and dream is to just get the opportunity to share the love of Christ and the talent that He has given me with the world,” he says. “American Idol is just another way I get to do that, only in front of millions!”
In addition to raw talent, Byrd relies on his family for the courage to pursue his dreams. “My family plays a huge role in my dream of becoming a performer. Without them I don’t think I could have made it this far; I know I couldn’t have made it this far. My biggest supporter would have to be my mother, by far.”
Byrd’s mother, a teacher, supported his dream by organizing several community fundraisers to cover fuel and lodging costs for the audition. “Funds would have to be my biggest obstacle,” Byrd says, “[and] we have run out of time to do any more fundraisers.” He is determined not to let that stop him, however. “In [a few years], I see myself as a college graduate with a career in performing.”
To support Chance Byrd’s dream through sponsorship or donations, contact Regina Byrd at (850) 892-5673/598-0636, or mail donations to 3627 County Highway 280 East, Defuniak Springs, FL. 32435.