TV role tryouts
Fourteen wannabe actors go scene-for-scene to make The Final Cut.
Cracking the acting industry is no easy job. But there may be a bit of a shortcut – 13- episode reality show The Final Cut (2017- current). “It started as a usual talent search pitch,” says Lurdes Maswanganye, Final Cut’s creative producer. “Later it was moulded into a talent actor search for a soap or drama role.”
There was no shortage of contestants lining up for the audition phase that was filmed in May. Over 3 000 aspiring actors put on a show for the judges – Karin van der Laag (Maggie on Isidingo, 1998- current until 2012), Mmabatho Montsho (Lumka Dhlomo on Generations, 1994- current from 2005 to 2007) and local film director Thabang Moleya (2016 drama Happiness Is A Four-letter Word). “Those judges had their work cut out to find just 14 contestants for the main show,” laughs Lurdes while explaining more about Final Cut…
What are the judges looking for? Versatility is important. The judges also have to make sure that these actors are able to adapt to any situation thrown their way. They don’t need to be professionals, but they must show raw talent that can be moulded by. What did audition phase consist of? They had to prepare a monologue of their own choice, learn a script in 15 minutes and do an improv piece. How did the three judges agree on just
14 “successful” contestants? I don’t know [Laughs]. There are so many talents out there, it’s unbelievable! Even after the 14 contestants were chosen, the judges went back to some of the ones who didn’t get through to talk to them and give them advice for their futures.
Where is the series being shot? In a house in Johannesburg. We chose to film there to show viewers how the 14 actors interact and how they perform under pressure. They’ll be having workshops, getting acting classes and doing challenges there. And for the prize, do you know which
shows the two winners will be on? No [Laughs]. It depends on what kind of character they’ll best fit – it may be a soap or a drama on SABC3.
The judges (from left): Mmabatho, Karin and Thabang.