Cedar Rapids native on “America’s Got Talent”

Christine Hilario, A&E Writer

Growing up in Cedar Rapids enabled one Iowa native to show her art all around the world to spread a positive message.

The Silhouettes, founded by Cedar Rapidian Lynne Waggoner-Patton, is a performance group that uses shadow shapes created through dance, acting, photographs and video to tell stories.

After placing second on“America’s Got Talent” in 2011, The Silhouettes wereinvited back to compete in the second season of “America’sGot Talent: The Champions.”

“It was thrilling and brutal at thesame time,” Waggoner-Patton said.“I thought that after perfecting my craft in the past nine years it wouldnot be nearly as difficult the secondtime around, but the producers pushed my cast and me to a whole new level of storytelling. I think I grew more gray hairs during thecourse of filming than ever before.It was an honor to share the ‘AGT’ stage with so many incredible acts from around the world andseeing the production/technicalteam again made me cry! They are a huge part of our past and they have been so kind to us that it feltlike being reunited with family.”

The Silhouettes received the Golden Buzzer during the preliminary round and willadvance straight to the finals.

Waggoner-Patton attributes a major part of the group’s success to her growing up in Cedar Rapids.

“The experience of living ina safe city filled with talented,artistic, positive people taught me to work hard to realize my dreams but also to trust in my love of thearts,” Waggoner-Patton said. “If Ihad not grown up in Cedar Rapids, I am not sure I would be on this path today. That being said, there were people in my life’s journey that told me I had no musical talent whatsoever and that I should try adifferentendeavorlikesports.Mymessage to every child, teen and young adult in Cedar Rapids is that you must listen to the positive voices. Go live your dreams! That is what Cedar Rapids gave tome and I am forever grateful.”

With all the acclaim The Silhouettes have earned, Waggoner-Patton wants to ensure the group also has a positive impact on children and families in need.

“Our lives are very blessed, and as we hear about the lives of children who have much less or are struggling with a life-threatening disease, we know it is our chanceto help,” Waggoner-Patton said.“We plan to give a shout-out to specific children or organizations with each episode that will bring awareness to their mission, so stay tuned for the shout-outs to Tanager Place and to the Wave to the children in the University of Iowa Cancer center. We plan to inspire children of all ages through our giving and plan to plant the seed of hope in their hearts!”

The Silhouettes have raised money for various causes such as homeless children, children’s health concerns and disaster relief.

The work The Silhouettes put into each performance is evident to many, especially to one Xavier student in the Cedar Rapids Area.

“The Silhouettes are really entertaining to watch,” juniorNicole Cannon said. “It seems likeit takes a lot of hard work and effort to pull off their performances. Theperformance where they formeda hot air balloon is my favorite.”

“America’s Got Talent:The Champions” airs 7 p.m.on NBC-TV on Mondays.