DMH Talent Agency are taking 12 talented locals on a training programme in Johannesburg before hopefully seizing the chance to perform in front of some of the best talent scouts in the United States.
DMH director, Tanielle Ladwig, recently visited East London with a panel of judges as part of a local talent hunt for the 2018 International Presentation of Performers (IPOP) convention in Los Angeles.
Over two days, countless hopefuls showcased their talents, and some left disappointed, while others proceeded to the “call-backs” section, with only 12 making the grade.
These youngsters will be trained for a period of six months by DMH Talent Agency before attending the convention, where they will have a chance to impress judges and take their talents to an international level.
As the national talent scout for IPOP, Ladwig and her team visit the major South African cities including Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban every year in search of new talent. Ladwig is originally from East London and makes sure not to leave the city in the dark.
“I know how difficult it is to get into the industry here. There are no casting houses in East London, the industry barely exists here,” Ladwig said.
“I try to make the trip down every year in order to give people the same opportunity they would get if they lived in the bigger cities and every year we are blown away by the level of talent here in East London.”
The week-long convention takes place annually, allowing a myriad of talented individuals from all over the world to showcase their talents in the hopes of being noticed by some of the biggest and best managers and agents in Hollywood.
The likes of Warner Brothers, Shelter Entertainment, LA Models, ICE Models, Snow Entertainment and Stone Casting are among some of the many casting agencies who regularly attend the convention in search of new talent.
“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and I think people don’t understand the magnitude of it,” Ladwig said. From performing monologues to professionally choreographed dances, candidates could choose to audition for any of the four categories on offer, namely modelling, acting, dancing and singing, yet those who showed versatility were among the most favoured.
“We really saw some incredible talent in East London and considering many had not received formal training. We always encourage candidates to try out for two or more categories because it means they have more of a chance of being seen by the agents at the convention,” Ladwig said.
“We saw some amazing models and heard some incredible voices. East London certainly has hidden talent.”