Lights, camera, action!


Class Act is South Africa’s newest reality television series coming to a television screen near you. In an age where reality shows such as The Amazing Race, Make me a Supermodel and Survivor overcrowd our television channels, one might wonder what sets this latest slice of ‘reality’ apart from other reality shows?

Part of the excitement around the show is that it is the first of its kind in South Africa. The nation has tirelessly followed wannabe singers on Idols year in and year out and now, for the first time, it can follow aspiring actors on Class Act as they try to crack it in one of the toughest industries out there.

The concept of the show is simple. Auditions are held in Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg where hopeful actors will perform a dramatic monologue showcasing their acting skills. Out of thousands of hopefuls, the judges will then choose only 10 amateur actors to join the Class Act workshop in Johannesburg. At the workshop, top acting coaches, directors, actors and stunt co-ordinators will train the remaining 10 contestants.

The series kicks off with the ‘casting couch’ (judges Tendeka Matatu, Moonyeenn Lee, Rapulana Seiphemo and director Tim Greene) selecting the 10 contestants. A talent show is only as entertaining as its judges, as Simon Cowell has shown, and Class Act looks set to entertain. Tendeku Matatu is a well-known producer with films such as Jerusalema, Straight Outta Benoni and Footskating 101 under his belt. Moonyeenn Lee, meanwhile, owns the talent agency company MLA and has cast actors for big films such as Blood Diamond, Hotel Rwanda and Tsotsi. Rapulana Seiphemo is a familiar face, having acted in shows such as Generations, Muvhango, and Isidingo, while Tim Greene is an award-winning director whose first film, Boy called Twist, screened at the Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim.

Each week the actors will have to perform what the Class Act website describes as “beautifully filmed and produced mini-movies”, directed by Greene. Afterwards

the ‘casting couch’, joined by a different celebrity each week, will get a chance to compliment and criticize each actor’s performance before the final vote is handed over to viewers who will have to vote via SMS for their favourite actor. The actor with the least votes will not receive a ‘call-back’ and will have to leave the show. When only two aspiring actors remain,they will have to battle it out for the grand prize in the final. The overall winner will get to spend eight weeks in the USA at the New York Film Academy, and will also be awarded a MLA talent agency representation contract and the lead role in the new Amstel television commercial. Catch Class Acton SABC 1 at 18:30 every Saturday.

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