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Man behind ‘Eye of the Tiger’ shoots video with Valley teens

Aurora Teen Talent Show

The fourth annual Teen Talent Show and Competition, sponsored by the Aurora Public Library’s teen librarians, is set for 2 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Copley Theatre in North Island Center. The event is free.

To view a YouTube video of snippets of the performers’ auditions, go to

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Updated: September 13, 2012 6:18AM

AURORA — It was lights, camera, action on Friday at the Aurora Public Library’s Eola branch, as former Survivor member Jim Peterik shot a video for his new song, “Delusional,” featuring local teens.

Peter Claussen of Montgomery and Maggie Perez of Aurora were chosen by Peterik — co-writer of the rock classic “Eye of the Tiger” — to be featured in the video about young people climbing the ranks and beating the odds on their way to super stardom. The song is the work of Peterik and his new band, “Pride of Lions.”

“We’re not a well known entity in America,” Peterik said, sporting purple hair and a rhinestone studded black blazer. “But as the saying goes, ‘We’re big in Europe.’”

The rock star has been working with local videographer Greg Bizzaro for years. The two have collaborated on many videos, with “Delusional” the latest.

Peterik picked Perez, a West Aurora High School student, for the video after seeing her audition tape for the Aurora Public Library’s annual Teen Talent Show and Competition. He said Perez was perfect for the role.

“It’s hard to put my finger on what captured me about Maggie,” he said. “She was just up there giving it up. There was a certain innocence about her, and a passion.”

So, with the go-ahead from her parents, Perez, who said she has been acting for years, gave up the stage for the small screen.

“I didn’t expect this at all,” Perez said on Friday as camera crews invaded the library. “I thought I was auditioning for a talent show, and now I’m in a music video. It’s crazy how it all happened.”

For Claussen, Friday was his first stint in front of the cameras. He shot scenes over and over again, mouthing the lyrics to Peterik’s song as he demurely smiled at onlookers.

“Delusional,” Peterik said, will resonate with many.

“In America especially, children and teens have a tendency for parents and doctors to overmedicate them,” he said. “They want to make them like everyone else and choke off the inherent genius of that person.”

The song’s lyrics play on that note — let children be delusional, let them dream big, Peterik said.

“My love of music keeps me going. I always try to write songs that outlive me,” he said.

“Eye of the Tiger” is one of those songs.

“I thought it would be dead and gone (in the ‘80s),” he said.

But as 15-year-old Perez can attest, that is far from the case.

“Everyone I told would start singing the song to me,” Perez said with a smile as she prepared to film her scenes. “There’s no way I would turn (this opportunity) down.”

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