Since he was 5 years old, Phil Cisneros of Los Osos has visualized singing before a large audience — a nationally televised audience.
“I got the call to audition before the judges — Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan — for ‘America’s Got Talent,’ ” an excited Cisneros said. “I’m scheduled Feb. 19th or 20th in Seattle. I made the first cut. Now they’ll see me perform in person. They requested I be available the following week in case I make it.”
A regular entertainer at Jimmy Bumps, Sylvester’s and a variety of stages and community shows throughout San Luis Obispo County, Cisneros croons solo with his guitar or pulls in local musicians when the group Phil and the Possibilities is booked for larger venues.
“Growing up, I used to sing in front of the radio. It was the career I wanted, but my parents insisted I go to college first. I started a band while in high school, played in coffee houses in college, taught kindergarten through college for 21 years supporting my musical endeavors.”
He cut his first album of original songs in 1978.
Cisneros left teaching in 1995 to go on the road as an author more than a musician.
Learning to be resourceful in a tough publishing market, he self-published in an era when traditional publishing was the rule. For six years, he lived the life of an author and lecturer.
Partnered with his guitar, he played school assemblies and bookstores promoting his children’s books, particularly “Snowy, the Story of a Reluctant Snowflake.”
His goal was to inspire children to find joy and never give up on their dreams. He’s still getting checks when Barnes & Noble sells his books.
Corporations noticed his motivational message. He reinvented his presentation and trained businesses such as Nike and Microsoft to be successful by creating a positive, forward-looking environment with high expectations for all employees.
Music has been his focus since he moved back to California in 2000. As a small-business man, Cisneros learned to be his own best promoter, utilizing the most current marketing tools. He often posts his appearances on YouTube.
“A friend of an agent friend on Facebook asked me to send a video audition to ‘America’s Got Talent,’ ” Cisneros said. “I wanted to prove to my two daughters, Amalea and Olivia, it was never too late to go after your dream.
“At 52, I’ve got my best shot to be seen this summer all over America. I’m going to have fun auditioning. I have nothing to lose.”
Cisneros’ audition tape is posted on YouTube as “Phil Cisneros AGT Audition.” Hear his music at www.reverbnation.com/philcisneros.
Reach Judy Salamacha at 801-1422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.