Addison Agen hopes ‘The Voice’ launches her on a music career

The show's battle rounds begin Monday.

Addison Agen of Fort Wayne stopped for an interview Tuesday with The News-Sentinel regarding her selection as a contestant this season on the hit NBC vocal talent show "The Voice." (News-Sentinel photo by Dan Vance)
Addison Agen of Fort Wayne sang the song "Jolene," by Ray LaMontagne, during her blind audition on the show. She was selected by Coach Miley Cyrus. (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)
Addison Agen of Fort Wayne hopes her appearance on "The Voice" helps her launch a career in music. (Courtesy of Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

For Addison Agen, a “last-minute thing” turned into a slot on Team Miley in the current season of “The Voice,” the hit NBC vocal talent show.

Addison, 16, who attends Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne, happened to be around before the start of a home match for the school’s girls volleyball team, she said during an interview Tuesday. The show allowed her to do interviews this week with local media, as long as there was no discussion of the outcome or future episodes of the show.

A school official asked the junior, who has performed in some of the school’s musical and drama productions, if she would sing the national anthem before the volleyball match, said Addison, who agreed.

Her Spanish teacher, Lizette Pierce, heard her and was so struck by her performance that she told Addison she should try out for “The Voice” and looked up possible audition dates, Addison said. Pierce even rented a car and drove Addison and her mother to Chicago last January to audition for the show.

Addison said she had to make it through a few other off-camera auditions before being selected to take part in the televised blind audition phase of the show, which started in late September and ended Tuesday.

For the blind auditions, the celebrity coaches — Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton — sit with their backs to contestants performing a brief segment of a song. The coach turns the chair around if he or she wants the contestant for his or her team of performers.

Levine and Cyrus both turned around in hopes of having Addison join their teams, and Addison chose Cyrus.

“I would act it out in my room and imagine the chairs turning around,” but never went as far as looking up how to audition for the show, said Addison, who was age 15 when she went through the initial audition in Chicago.

During the show’s battle rounds, which have been pre-recorded and will begin airing next week, each coach now must pit members of his or her team against each other, with the coach selecting a winner to advance to future rounds of the competition.

Addison said the sense of connection and support among the show’s contestants has been amazing. The friendships span age groups and music genres.

“It doesn’t even feel like a competition when we are all there,” she said.

Younger performers have to do one thing the adults don’t, however — attend school, she said.

While they were there for the blind auditions and battle rounds, which are pre-recorded, Addison and other younger teens have to spend a certain number of hours per week in class with tutors, she said.

Sometimes it’s difficult to focus when they are switching back and forth between school and preparing for performances, but “sometimes it’s a way back into your own space and being a kid again,” she said.

Concordia has been very supportive, she said, allowing her to take half of her classes online and half in school.

“I think to be in the show, you have to have a good work ethic,” she added.

Addison has enjoyed the chance to focus on music, which has always been a part of her life.

Her mother, Kristine, is a music therapist who teaches at IPFW and works with patients at the Parkview Hospital-Randallia campus. Her father, Morrison, operates the Neat Neat Neat Records & Music store at 1836 S. Calhoun St.

Addison said she started writing her own songs and music about age 9 or 10, and recorded the best songs as an album at age 13. Most songs on the album were inspired by her parents’ divorce a few years ago, though she said the music takes a positive approach.

“I’m a very positive person,” she said. “But I think there is a lot that happens in the world, and it needs to be talked about.”

Faith also has been a foundation in her life, she said.

She, her mother and brother, Korrigan, perform regularly in a praise band at Come2go Ministries, 323 W. Baker St. When she was younger, Addison led about 470 worship services in five years, her mother said.

“I hope to sing some on the show,” Addison said of performing Christian songs on “The Voice.”

She also plans to study for a career in visual arts in case her music career doesn’t take off. But Addison definitely hopes art remains a backup plan.

“It is a huge platform,” she said of “The Voice.” “I am hoping to create a bigger fan base so I can make this my Plan A and forever career.

“And I have so much to say,” she added.

The main point she hopes to make on “The Voice,” she said, is, “You can accomplish anything at any age.”

WHEN TO WATCH: “The Voice” will be broadcast 8-10 p.m. Mondays and 8-9 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC. It is unclear what night Addison Agen of Fort Wayne will appear during the upcoming “battle rounds” of the vocal talent show.

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