Desperately seeking SA’s leading man
Stand by for ‘Class Act’, writes CANDICE BAILEY
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.
TOUGH ACT: Moonyeenn Lee.
presenter Kenneth Nkosi with judge