Scouted for world stage

Go! & Express - - NEWS - SIVENATHI GOSA

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

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