Life May Be a Living Hell Along Second Avenue Subway, but at Least the MTA Wants to Make One Lucky Local a Star

Can you top Gary Russo, the famous Second Avenue Sinatra?

The MTA has gotten an earful over the construction of the Second Avenue Subway, but now it wants more.

The agency is looking for locals to audition for a new audio segment of a multimedia exhibit on the history of the on-again, off-again East Side subway line. It will be the first piece of a new Community Information Center to be created in the neighborhood—an effort to sooth the jangled nerves of those who have had to deal with torn-up streets, closed-down shops and blown-out windows from underground explosions. We can expect some emotional performances, no doubt.

Those hoping to audition must submit a recording of the following lines to the agency at

It’s 1922, subway cars and stations are overcrowded and 2 privately owned subway systems are struggling to fulfill the demand for rapid transit. The City of New York’s Mayor John Hylan proposes an ambitious plan to establish a city-owned and operated public transit system, the IND, the Independent City Owned Rapid Transit Railroad.

It does not say whether including your own piece of Second Avenue Subway history, laced with invective, is acceptable. The MTA is clear that contestants must be from the area where the line is being constructed, to considerable consternation, even requiring a utility bill or I.D. as proof of residency. Local workers from the affected area, which runs from 63rd Street to 105th Street between First and Third avenues, may also apply.

For those wanting some direction on their performance, look no further than the MTA chief himself, Joe Lhota, who has a real set of pipes.