Nine months ago, Miranda Schultheis and Bryan Mitchell met for the first time.
Now, they are set to compete in a talent showcase together for the first time.
On Friday, they will be among 10 acts taking the stage in the Mitchell Opera House Live Talent Showcase in Mitchell.
Other preliminary showcases are set for June 1, Aug. 17 and Oct. 19. From each of the four showcases, two acts will be chosen to perform at the final showcase at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 for the opportunity to win the $1,000 grand prize.
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The public is invited to attend the showcases. Tickets are $10.
The contest is for residents of Crawford, Greene, Jackson, Martin, Monroe, Lawrence, Orange and Washington counties 12 and older who consider themselves amateurs and want an opportunity to showcase their talent. Talents may include music (singing, instrumental, etc.), dancing, comedy, magic or others.
The two Seymour residents will be competing under Schultheis’ name for this competition, but they have formed the duo name Riverbed Stag for the future.
They originally met because they both have the same mutual best friend, and she had heard about the talent showcase.
"She was like, ‘You guys should really do this’ because she knew that we were trying to start our own little group," Schultheis, 24, said. "We were introduced, and one night, he was playing guitar and I was singing karaoke, and we’re like, ‘Well, we should probably do this.’"
Schultheis said she has done vocal competitions, variety shows and talent shows over the years and recently was in the cast of Jackson County Community Theatre’s production of "9 to 5: The Musical." Plus, she made the honor choir in middle school and competed at the state level and then was in musicals all four years at Trinity Lutheran High School.
Mitchell, 26, said he has played guitar since he was 14.
Neither, though, has participated in a competition to the level of the showcase.
"We’ve been practicing for over a month, and we hadn’t had anything figured out to go to format. We were just like, ‘We’ll try this’ because we haven’t performed together yet out in public somewhere," Mitchell said.
"I think part of it is, No. 1, there is nothing like this in the area. We’ve been struggling to find open mics even close to our tri-county area. There’s just really nothing," Schultheis said. "Then I also know that Clayton Anderson (a singer-songwriter from Bedford) is big at the Opera House in Mitchell, so some form of publicity, I feel like that will get the ball rolling. I thought it would be a good idea to try it."
The duo filled out an application and submitted a two-minute video showcasing their talent. Schultheis sang "Second Thoughts" by Stephanie Quayle while Mitchell played guitar.
"It’s a song between a male and female, and the second half is exactly two minutes that she sings, so it just happened to work out that that was a good song for us to do," Schultheis said.
"It’s a song that she had been talking about us doing once we found an open mic or something, and she noticed that part because we couldn’t go over 2 minutes," Mitchell said. "It was dead-on literally two minutes, so it fit so perfect, and we were like, ‘We should probably do this.’"
It also helped that Schultheis is a fan of Quayle’s music.
"Her range and my range are pretty similar, and of course, that’s something you want to showcase in a competition," she said.
Not long after submitting their application and video, the director of the competition emailed the duo to let them know they were invited to one of the preliminary showcases.
On Friday, they will perform "Preacher’s Daughter" by Maggie Rose.
"I kind of compare it to ‘Fancy’ by Reba (McEntire)," Schultheis said. "It’s just a story, and there’s a lot of great guitar stuff in there."
Mitchell said he was impressed with the song the first time Schultheis played it for him.
"She nails it every time," he said of Schultheis. "The guitar in it and her vocals for it, it’s going to be good. It’s going to be an amazing song."
To be ready for Friday’s showcase, the duo recently performed at The Brooklyn Pizza Co. and The Seymour Brewing Co., which are operated by Shawn Malone.
"Hopefully, we can continue that relationship with Shawn. Brooklyn is a really good place, and I know in the summer, he’s got the outside stage," Schultheis said. "Hopefully, we can keep that ball rolling. We’re just going to practice and then hopefully make it past April 5."
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What: Mitchell Opera House Live Talent Showcase preliminary showcase
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Mitchell Opera House, 217 N. Seventh St., Mitchell
Who: Miranda Schultheis and Bryan Mitchell of Seymour will be among the performers; the public is invited to attend the event
Information: Call 812-849-4447 or visit mitchelloperahouse.com