Des­per­ately seek­ing SA’s lead­ing man

Stand by for ‘Class Act’, writes CANDICE BAI­LEY

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

SO WE’VE dis­cov­ered the coun­try’s favourite pop idol, the best dancer , the most gifted ball­room dance cou­ple, the last sur­vivor and the cho­sen ap­pren­tice in Tokyo Sexwale’s board­room.

And in the lat­est re­al­ity show to grace our TV sets, we’ll get to meet South Africa’s best ac­tor. En­ter stage left: Class Act. It’s an SABC1 re­al­ity TV show that will see thou­sands of as­pir­ing ac­tors be­ing put through their paces in the hope of emerg­ing as the num­ber one male ac­tor in the coun­try (the show is open to men only).

The fun starts this week with au­di­tions in Dur­ban. Then it moves to Cape Town on Fe­bru­ary 6, Pre­to­ria on Fe­bru­ary 13 and ends in Jo­han­nes­burg on Fe­bru­ary 20.

To en­ter, con­tes­tants have to be male, over 18 and South African. They should also not have had a lead­ing role in a film or TV pro­duc­tion be­fore.

In the au­di­tions, par­tic­i­pants will have to per­form a one-minute pre­pared mono­logue of their own to demon­strate their abil­ity.

For four days lead­ing up to au­di­tions in the host cities, pro­fes­sional ac­tors will be on hand to help hope­fuls prac­tise read­ing their scripts.

The mono­logues will cover ev­ery­thing from drama to com­edy, street cool to in­spi­ra­tional.

Of the thou­sands of as­pi­rant ac­tors who au­di­tion, 10 fi­nal­ists will be se­lected be­fore a 10-week process of elim­i­na­tion.

Audiences will view three au­di­tion episodes and the 10 shows fea­tur­ing the weekly elim­i­na­tion of fi­nal­ists.

And that ob­vi­ously comes with the help of a group of heav­ies on the judg­ing panel.

The act­ing equiv­a­lent of Idols’Ran­dall Abra­hams, Gareth Cliff and Mara Louw will be: Moony­eenn Lee, one of SA’s lead­ing agents; Ra­pu­lana Seiphemo, best known for his roles in Jerusalema, Gen­er­a­tions, Isidingo and Mu­vhango; and Ten­deka Matatu, com­mer­cial and fea­ture film pro­ducer.

Week af­ter week they will be on the couch, cast­ing their eyes and spit­ting their opin­ions. And they will be joined by a guest judge who will ad­vise con­tes­tants dur­ing work­shops each week.

Fi­nal­ists will per­form in a pro­fes­sion­ally filmed mini-movie ev­ery week.

Tim Greene, who is one of South Africa’s top drama direc­tors and a win­ner of the SAFTA Golden Horn for Best Di­rec­tor for Hard Copy in 2006, will film each of the con­tes­tants’ mini-movies, ad­vis­ing them and then con­sult­ing with the judges on his ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing with each of the con­tes­tants.

In case you’re won­der­ing where you fit into all of this, it will be up to South Africa’s audiences to choose their favourite con­tes­tant.

Audiences will vote by SMS and the con­tes­tant with the least votes will be elim­i­nated.

The win­ner gets Lee as his agent; spends eight weeks in New York at the New York Film Academy School of Film and Act­ing, learn­ing and per­fect­ing his craft with some of the world’s top ac­tors, direc­tors, pro­duc­ers and screen­writ­ers; and lands him­self a lead­ing role in an Am­s­tel Lager TV com­mer­cial.

The show will be pre­sented by fun­ny­man and ac­tor Kenneth Nkosi, best known for his roles in the tele­vi­sion drama Gaz’lam and in the Os­car-winning film Tsotsi. He also ap­peared in the 2007 minis­eries So­ci­ety.

The show starts on SABC1 on March 13 at 6:30pm.

PIC­TURE: MATTHEWS BALOYI

TOUGH ACT: Moony­eenn Lee.

pre­sen­ter Kenneth Nkosi with judge

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