MORE than 20 talented artists were scouted at the East London auditions for the International Arts Talent Showcase at Hoërskool Grens on August 14.
SA director of the Arts International Expo and exclusive agent for the New York Film Academy, Elsubie Verlinden said: “East London artists performed really well and featured strong in the acting and dancing categories. The artists really made East London proud.
“There is a lot of talent in East London and we hope to take them to the next level.”
Stand-out artists were Chané Taylor (acting), Swazi Sibam (singer), Benjamin Redceina (model and dancer) and Lundo Mbunge (dancer).
A total of 21 successful singers, actors, models and dancers will venture to Johannesburg for the next round of auditions on October 7 and 8.
They will compete against selected artists from across the country before international talent scout Kim Myers will select those who will proceed to the international expo in the US next year.
Verlinden’s passion is to help artists achieve their dreams: “My goal is to allow South African models and artists easy access to international education and networking opportunities.”
Having been involved in the modelling and acting scene for 18 years, acting in a number of commercials, films and soapies, Verlinden decided to give back and help bridge the gap between South African and international markets through her agency, Just You Model and Artist Management.
The former Grens High pupil has assisted countless South Africans with exposure and education at top outlets in the US.
This was her second year returning to East London, where she grew up – a city that she believes never fails to impress.
The day kicked off with a workshop where contestants learnt the value of research and establishing their brand in the industry.
Taylor, 17, who was awarded the prize for Overall Star Quality Top Actor, said she was impressed with her audition: “It went better than I thought it would and I managed to improvise even when I forgot my lines.
“Opportunities like this don’t come around often and I want to gain experience outside my school environment. East London has so much talent to offer and I think they made a great choice coming here.”
Aviwe Sibeko, 15, who auditioned as a model, said: “These auditions mean the people of East London can shine and show their talent, which is so often hidden here in a small place.
“These auditions will show that people in East London do have talent.”
Verlinden would like to extend her thanks to Hoërskool Grens for hosting the event and sound technician Daniel Gresse for ensuring the smooth running of auditions.