The next Hollywood star is African

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The search for the next Hollywood star is on, and it starts in Motherland-Africa. The new television reality show, ‘Search for Africa’s Next Hollywood Star’, according to its organisers, is to recruit acting talent in West Africa for Hollywood.

Performers will be selected from Ghana and Nigeria. The TV show is organised by The Latin Dance Company, Nigeria, and their Ghanaian collaborators, Davis Media and Paradise Entertainment. Acting coach, Tracey Moore, and film producer and director, Samad Davis, both from the USA, will work closely with the contestants.

The competition will see five Nigerians and five Ghanaians vie for the star prize, which includes a one year contract with a Hollywood agent and an opportunity to star alongside African American actor, Morris Chestnut, in a movie project by Davis.

The duo was in the country and they were part of an interactive session held recently in Lagos. Moore, who was visiting Nigeria for the first time, talked about her excitement at coming to Africa to help mould a screen star.

She has worked with musicians including 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and Cee Lo, and African American actor, Laz Alonzo, who starred alongside Paula Patton in the 2011 movie ‘Jumping the Broom’.

Moore said she felt it is important for the TV series to start in Africa, because there are so many untapped talents on the continent who do not have the opportunity to showcase their potentials. Moore, who teaches a monologue and scene class called ‘The Spirited Actor’, said the 10 contestants will be flown to New York where the selection process will take place.

“I am happy to be here to share my experiences and bring to the motherland my expertise; to make someone here shine in Hollywood. I am proud to be part of this project. I feel blessed to be doing this,” she said.

Davis emphasised the point that the show’s participants will benefit from the learning process, because even though there will be one winner, they will be trained by some of the best hands in Hollywood who will judge their performances on the 13 week show.

Davis, who has worked on some music and movie projects in Ghana, also gave reasons why they chose to stage the Reality TV Show in Africa.

“Africa is filled with so much talent. There are existing institutions that take care of such talent, but we are using this time to connect Africa with Hollywood,” he said.

“The show is open to everybody and offers talented individuals an opportunity to display their talents,” he added. According to him, Moore will be there to motivate, inspire, teach character development, technique, approach, research and how to process, tap into and utilise the best and the worst of one’s personal qualities or experiences and bring it to their character to create depth.

The show’s auditioning process is moulded after the pattern of American Idol where before audition, contestants will pay some money into the project’s bank account. The judges have the responsibility of choosing the final ten participants.

To enter for the competition, interested persons are to buy a form worth four thousand naira. The bank teller received after purchasing the form should be presented at the audition venue.

According to the organisers, auditions will hold from June 29 with the first stop at Planet One, Maryland, Lagos. The audition train will then move to NICON Luxury Hotel, Garki, Abuja, on July 4; and berth at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, on July 8.

From the auditions, only five Nigerians will be chosen and flown to New York for the show proper. According to Charles Agbemashior of TLDC, the final two contestants will then be taken to Hollywood for the finale of the show, where the winner will be selected.

Moore is a professional casting director who has worked on feature films, TV, sitcoms and commercials. She is also a music coach for popular artists in the United States; while Davis co-runs a production company with a branch in Ghana. He directed the film ‘Two Can Play That Game’ starring Vivica A. Fox and Morris Chestnut.