Scouted for world stage
Okuhle Mpepo, 16, has been scouted to represent South Africa and East London at the Applause Rising Talent Showcase Convention on July 21 in Florida in the United States.
The 11-day trip will cost about
R100 000, and will include workshops that will take place at the New York Film Academy.
The Clarendon High School pupil fell in love with the stage when she was given a main acting role in a play in Grade 2.
“I have been scouted by national model/actress and owner of Just You Model and Artist Management, Elsubie Verlinden, who has starred in many wellknow productions such as Mr Bones 2 and Binnelanders,” Okuhle said.
The young actress met Verlinden last year at Grens Hoërskool during auditions for the International Arts Talent Showcase.
“I was later scouted by international model and artist talent scout, Kim Meyers, alongside casting director for Tyler Perry Studios, Rhavynn Drummers, to attend the 2018 Applause Rising Talent Showcase Convention in Orlando.
“I was very excited and overwhelmed when I found out I had been selected to go to the USA.
“I was called at midnight on October 8 last year, as the auditions were held the day before. I worked very hard for this, it was the best birthday gift I ever got.”
The event is a fantastic opportunity with talent agents from companies such as Tyler Perry Studios and Sony Entertainment eyeing out talent.
“Living in an small city like East London sometimes doesn’t give you enough platforms where you can achieve your goals and aspirations because the exposure is limited. When I decided this was what I wanted to, I had to sit down with my parents regarding my academics.
“We came up with an agreement that I must put in the same amount of effort in my acting as in my academics.
“I am in Grade 11 and when I had to organise my visa to the US, I was studying for my maths exam,” said the pupil, who is also involved in debating and public speaking.
In the next five years, she sees herself trying different things within the media industry and inspiring other young people to work towards their dreams.
“My dad is very worried about what I’m getting myself into because of the current situation in the acting industry, but my family are fully supportive, and I am very grateful for them,” she said.
ASPIRING ACTRESS: Okuhle Mpepo, 16, is going to Orlando Florida, in the US, to take part in the Applause Rising Talent Showcase Convention