Help­ing artist bag a first gig

The Sunday Independent - - FRONT PAGE - CON STANCE GA AN A KG OMO

SEA­SONED ac­tor and film-maker Thapelo Mokoena wants to help up-and-com­ing artists bag their first gig in the in­dus­try by equip­ping them with the A,B, C of how to seal that first au­di­tion.

He has termed the pro­ject #BookYour1stGIG which con­sists of a seminar with him and other in­dus­try ex­perts who will tackle the is­sue in three ar­eas: agents, TV and the­atre.

The seminar next month will be the first of many that will soon be rolled out across the coun­try.

Mokoena is do­ing the talks this year be­cause, as he says, ex­pe­ri­ence has taught him well.

“Ex­pe­ri­ence is what de­ter­mines how far and good you be­come… It’s now more than ever that I feel we have a se­ri­ous chance to grow the in­dus­try and add value,” he adds.

“With #BookYour1stGIG, I’m un­pack­ing the in­dus­try in the best way I can, guided by my ex­pe­ri­ences and in­sights in the in­dus­try, and to­gether with in­dus­try players and other in­flu­en­tial peo­ple in the in­dus­try.”

The 34-year-old says par­tic­i­pants can ex­pect to be blown away. “Lead­ers in the in­dus­try, ac­tors and pre­sen­ters, and some agents are go­ing to ad­dress them.”

He has been in the in­dus­try for 16 years and says that it’s all about get­ting the tech­ni­cal nitty-gritty ironed out.

“It’s un­der­stand­ing how you fit into the whole chain as some- body who pos­sesses the tal­ent and ob­vi­ously at some point we will get to the point where we dis­cuss what hap­pens when you score your next series.

“As an artist, how do you pack­age your money, and what grows you… and this is just the be­gin­ning.”

When asked how the seminar will ap­peal to peo­ple who are from dif­fer­ent back­grounds with dif­fer­ent mind­sets, he says the in­for­ma­tion is there. It all boils down to peo­ple be­ing them­selves, and own­ing their spa­ces.

“We have po­ten­tial in these au­di­tion spa­ces but some peo­ple take three to four years be­fore they book their first gig, be­cause they are just not ap­ply­ing the right mind to who they are in au­di­tion spa­ces.

“We are also go­ing to touch on where the power lies.

“As South Africans we are hum­ble peo­ple. When we walk into au­di­tions, we walk in like we are com­ing to beg for some­thing. Mean­while,an au­di­tion is a process that’s been put to­gether so that you can come and have a show.”

Mokoena hopes that the suc­cess of the seminar will make the #BookYour1stGIG grow into a quar­terly af­fair for the whole coun­try.

“There are a lot of things that I can’t put across now but I think once the first seminar kicks off, it will all be­come clearer. I might not have to phys­i­cally go to Cape Town to have a seminar.We are def­i­nitely plan­ning to keep it ac­ces­si­ble.”

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