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Youth turn out in numbers to queue for movie jobs

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Long queues of acting hopefuls and young people looking for job opportunities filled in application forms at the auditions in Grassy Park.
Long queues of acting hopefuls and young people looking for job opportunities filled in application forms at the auditions in Grassy Park.

When members of the Bridgetown Theatre Company in Athlone offered to help with organising the auditions and job opportunities for young people for the filming of The Lagoon in December they never expected a turnout of the magnitude as on Saturday 14 January at the Grassy Park Civic Centre.

Young people from Athlone, Lansdowne and surrounding areas queued from 06:00 in the morning although proceedings were only expected to start at 10:30.

In December, a notice about the film, the job opportunities and the auditions was published on social media and in newspapers.

“Since the first word went out about the film, we were inundated with enquiries and invited all to the auditions in Grassy Park. Although proceedings were expected to start at 10:30 we arrived at 07:30 to set up the venue and we were greeted with the queue. What was so comforting was that these people were not impatient or angry for having waited from 06:00 and neither were they upset when told that they had to move the queue to outside the venue,” says Heather Krieger, co-writer and producer.

Everyone in the queue expressed understanding and knowledge that they were expected to sign up much later but they were so eager to benefit from the opportunity that they wanted to be there as early as possible.

“As soon as the rest of the crew arrived, the stations were speedily set up and in no time, the long queue was missing. The locals excitedly filled in their job applications and quite a number hung around to watch the rest of the proceedings.

“Some arrived not knowing what they wanted to apply for. They just wanted a job, any job. It was quite heartbreaking to see such desperation to just earn something for a short while. Our people need opportunities,” says Krieger.

The hopeful actors and actresses, who arrived from as far as De Doorns and the Eastern Cape, many for a first-time audition, nervously waited their turn to audition for the lead and supporting roles.

“At no stage was there a long queue with people waiting to be ushered into the Civic Centre where the auditions were conducted by a very professional and experienced team.

“Many of these hopefuls reported a very pleasant experience. They said they were made to feel comfortable and at ease and the auditioning team explained what exactly was expected of them. This was very helpful, especially for those who had never experienced an audition before,” Krieger says.

A few reported that even though they did not expect to get a role in the film, the auditioning process taught them so much and wished the team well with the rest of the project.

The vibe outside was friendly and vibrant. Many new friendships were struck up and many came just to socialise and network.

“The Lagoon team would like to thank every member of society who pitched up. This includes those who just peered through the fence out of curiosity. We would also like to thank the local businesses and residents who helped people and the team with photocopies, food, drinks and parking.

“We would also like to thank Spar Grassy Park and Nedbank and the Grassy Park CPF who worked the entire day to ensure that proceedings happened without incident. We truly appreciate the efforts of Grassy Park police for visibly policing the area on a regular basis and for helping the locals with affidavits. None of this would have been possible without the members of the Bridgetown Theatre Company members, the locals who were employed for the day as well as each and every volunteer who helped to make the day a success,” Krieger says.

The results of those that were selected for the main and supporting cast will be made known on Saturday 28 January. Filming will commence in March in the Grassy Park/Zeekoeivlei area.

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