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Young hopefuls 'Shine' at talk show auditions

Jasmin K. Williams | 4/12/2011, 4:46 p.m.
Young folks, looking for a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity came from as far away as Chicago...
Young hopefuls 'Shine' at talk show auditions

Young folks, looking for a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity came from as far away as Chicago for a chance to host a new talk show series called "Born to Shine" from Time Warner Cable and Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network. The show, which will premiere on-demand this fall, will showcase African-American movers and shakers in pop culture, music, film, sports and the community.

Auditions were held on Saturday. Hopefuls demonstrated their interviewing skills with Grammy Award-winning producer Q-Tip. A-list judges included Stephen Hill, EVP of Entertainment and Music Programming of BET; Angie Martinez, national radio personality; Mashonda, singer, songwriter and VH1 "Love and Hip Hop" reality star; and Rocsi, host of BET's "106 and Park."

The auditions presented a unique opportunity for these aspiring young people to meet and showcase their talent and personality before industry professionals and get valuable feedback.

Marisol Martinez, senior director at Time Warner Cable, summed up the mission of "Born to Shine."

"'Born to Shine' is a new multi-platform that Time Warner Cable put together for the African-American community. The goal of the program is to empower and inspire aspiring teen personalities in the community by giving them a platform where they can be the next host of the 'Born to Shine' TV show, which will air On Demand in the fall," she told the Amsterdam News. "The opportunity we are giving them is to connect with African-Americans who have made it in front of and behind the camera to bring their examples to life, their career and track record and how they became successful. These kids can glean from their experience and achieve their dreams of being on TV or across the entertainment field, music or pop culture."

Akisha Walker was part of a group of 15 who flew in from Chicago to audition. "Q-Tip was really nice. To have this experience was worth coming here last night and coming back at 5:30 this morning. It was worth every second," she said.

Ariana Proehl of Brooklyn was excited for a chance to audition for hosting duties. Her game plan for winning the gig was simple. "I'm going to just be myself and present myself as someone who wants to educate, entertain and empower the audience," she said.

" I plan to be myself and show that I am born to shine and get the job done," said Frantz Lecoeur, 26, of Connecticut.

"Born to Shine" debuts this fall as part of Time Warner Cable's On Demand programming.