Score your first gig with Mokoena

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - PEOPLE - CON­STANCE GAANAKGOMO

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

He has termed the pro­ject #BookYour1stGIG. It con­sists of a sem­i­nar where he will have by his side in­dus­try ex­perts who will tackle is­sues in the three spheres; agents, tele­vi­sion and the­atre.

The sem­i­nar – tak­ing place next month – will be the first of many that will soon be rolled out to the rest of the coun­try. He is do­ing the talks this year be­cause he says ex­pe­ri­ence has taught him well.

“Ex­pe­ri­ence is what de­ter­mines how far and bet­ter you be­come at do­ing some­thing. Be­cause be­ing some­body who pro­duces con­tent now to be able to be ag­gres­sively in­volved in the in­dus­try is just amaz­ing. Its now more than ever that I feel like we have a se­ri­ous chance to grow the in­dus­try and add value,” he said.

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

The 34 -year-old says peo­ple can ex­pect a very re­laxed day where they will be blown away by the ex­pe­ri­ences. “They can look for­ward to lead­ers in the in­dus­try who are gonna ad­dress them. It ranges from ac­tors and pre­sen­ters, and some agents. And mostly they can ex­pect a re­laxed ses­sion,” he added. Mokoena, also a film-maker, who has been in the in­dus­try for 16 years said: “It’s all about get­ting the tech­ni­cal nitty-gritty ironed out.”When asked how the sem­i­nar will ap­peal to peo­ple that are from dif­fer­ent back­grounds with dif­fer­ent mind­sets, he said the in­for­ma­tion was out al­ready, adding that artists must sim­ply own their spa­ces.

“What I’m see­ing a lot of is that we have po­ten­tial in these au­di­tion spa­ces but some peo­ple take 3-4 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.

“What I’ve no­ticed is that as South Africans we are such hum­ble peo­ple, when we walk into au­di­tions we walk in there like we are com­ing to beg for some­thing, mean­while an au­di­tion is a process that’s been put to­gether so that you can come have a show.”

Mokoena hopes the suc­cess of the sem­i­nar will make the #BookYour1stGIG grown into a quar­terly af­fair for Mzansi.

Ac­tor and film-maker Thapelo Mokoena.

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