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Hilo Idol: Behind the Scenes

We all know what it takes to coordinate and execute any kind of event- from a birthday or graduation party, reunion, anniversary to a lunch date with friends. Organizing and bringing events to life requires a lot of energy and passion.

Now imagine a large-scale event that will feature talented, vocally inclined hopefuls, competing publicly, for cash prizes and the anticipation of earning the top spot as the first Hilo Idol winner.

Liam “Levi” Strauss, owner of Levitation Entertainment, gives us the details on how he and the entire Hilo Idol team were able to put it all in motion, and the real purpose behind bringing this event forth for our community!

POST-COVID REVIVAL FOR HILO

Covid sucked. Post-Covid, somewhat. If you recall that time period, you know that it was a struggle to get back to the hustle and bustle of the world we knew prior to the pandemic. For some, it was adjusting to the reintegration of life with precautionary measures. For Strauss, that time meant creating a way to help the community get back to normal, and that way was bringing people back together by means of creating Hilo Idol.

“A need was observed to breathe some life back into this ‘sleeping beauty’ town in a post covid world. So much love, so much talent, so much opportunity. We decided to create a literal stage to help members of the community grow, come together, support and reestablish connection. Get out of their comfort zones and into the spotlight. Not only for contestants, but for those watching and local businesses as well”, says Strauss.

GETTING IT TOGETHER

Strauss explains, “This has been a true labor of love. Building the right team, consisting of the managing partner of Hilo Town Market- Mana Thome, the director-Jonathan Humphries of Loihi studios. Judges- Radio Personalities – Scotty on the Weekend and Sasha K. AKA Sister Sauce, and CEO of We Stranded Records, ‘Hawaii’z Own’ Mainlan.”
 
Strauss continues, “The organization of infrastructure, the format, the right marketing angle and our focus: setting sights on how we can be of maximum service to our community with well-aligned intentions and as a result, everything has completely fallen into place.”

THE PURPOSE

For a big event, such as this, you can’t help but wonder what it is like putting it altogether and seeing the fruit of your labor coming to life- especially, when there is a meaningful purpose involved.

In terms of Hilo Idol’s creation, Strauss stated, “This has been one of the most thrilling endeavors of my life. To see the community come together and the contestants form lasting bonds of friendship. I have spent many moments reveling in tears of gratitude for being called upon to be the steward of an event that may change people’s lives forever. Watching the contestants overcome their fears, themselves, and their hurdles, has truly been an inspiration. To be able to witness so much courage and heart is honestly one of the highlights of my life.”

AUDITION TIME

Auditions were held online on Instagram. A count of nearly a hundred potential candidates showed out by posting a video and tagging @levi.tationentertainment and adding #hiloidol.

Levi mentioned that at first, auditions were slow, but once the word got out, the WORD GOT OUT. “The more word got out, the more contestants, and the thicker the competition became.”, said Strauss. 

FOR THE PRESENT AND FUTURE HILO IDOL HOPEFULS

Strauss highlights the importance of community and giving others hope to make their dreams come true, whether it be individually or as a whole. “Working so closely with experts in their field; such as the director Jonathan, and Judges- Scotty, Sasha and Mainlain- has allowed me an opportunity to be a part of an amazing, creative and professional team”.

This has changed my perspective on what a competitive event actually is, I no longer see it as a competition. This has become a collaborative effort. Everyone helping each other to grow regardless of the outcome. Watching the community come together to support not only new talent but, having half of the prize pot going to support the families in Lahaina, and Hawaii as a whole. This has a huge impact on the way I now see the world. Restoring faith that we can come together not only through tragedy, but most importantly with love.”

For the present and future Hilo Idol hopefuls, Strauss stressed the importance of being yourself. “Be real, be vulnerable, be transparent. Be authentic, be genuine. Bring all of your fears, so that we can love you with all of our hearts.”

FINALE HAPPENING THIS SATURDAY, 11/4

Hilo Idol 2023: The Finale

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for the finale THIS SATURDAY, 11/4!

LIVE STREAMING AND ON DEMAND SERVICES PROVIDED BY HAWAII WATCH LIVE CLICK HERE!

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