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“Launching Triple-Threat Kids”

June 11th, 2012 · No Comments

By: Valerie Milano – Hollywood, CA (Hollywood Today) 6-14-12

Kindal Tate, Ammaya Calhoun, Jasiri Booker, Jonathan George, Wayne Brady, Veda Burton, Chy-Anne Alsobrooks, Zak Dronek, Emmanuelle ‘DeBarge, Kimetrious Davis, Hailey Dibiasi, Keonna Evans, Matthew C. Thomas, O/B/A

This past weekend, Wayne Brady and Hollywood Launch teamed up to host an open-call audition to award up to $20,000 scholarships for the top 11 performers given to the child(ren) with the most singing, dancing, and acting potential. 3 of those scholarships were paid for by Mr. Brady himself. When I first walked into the entrance, I saw a room full of talented kids, some decked out for a performance, and some clearly in everyday clothes. As with any audition, the energy (and anxiety) was very high. Some of the kids knew each other and chatted rapidly, as kids do when they are nervous. Before the auditions started, Veda Burton, CEO of Hollywood Launch came out to talk to the kids, explaining how the auditions were going to work, and taking care to relax the kids and assure them that even if they did not receive the scholarship, there were other possibilities. She went on to talk about the program, and how it’s a serious time commitment that they should be aware of before auditioning. The program runs for 5 hours every Saturday for 12 weeks. That did not appear to deter anyone. I spoke with Veda and Jonathan George, Creative Director for Hollywood Launch before the auditions started. Their alumni list is impressive and successful, but more importantly, they both truly want to nurture the talent and temperament of creative kids. They both know how important expressing creativity is to artistic kids. “Each of us have been very ambitious and passionate, from a place that’s unusually heartfelt, not from such a business place,” explained Veda to HT. “We would be living and breathing this as a hobby if it wasn’t our profession. This is what we do.”  Their program requires an audition to be accepted, but for those who do not pass the audition, they genuinely appear to want to help foster that creativity and often refer kids to other programs that are more appropriate to their specialties and talents. The Hollywood Launch program works at The Rage entertainment complex in Granada Hills. It boasts 13,000 square feet of dance studios, recording studios, stages, and even a dorm area for students from out of the area. They focus on “Triple Threat Kids”, meaning young performers who can sing, dance, and act. Wayne Brady got involved because his own daughter is in the program. He thought so much of the program that he wanted the opportunity to help other kids who may not be able to afford to go through this program on their own. Where were programs like this when I was a kid?!

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