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East County Wednesday, Sep. 16, 2009 8 years ago

Entertainment industries seek local talent

by: Pam McTeer

MANATEE COUNTY — Vance Photography owners Mark Vance and John Mulligan are on the hunt for talent.

The East County businessmen will be showcasing their services while snapping headshots and scouting for film talent from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 19, during the Gulf Coast Talent & Film Expo at the Manatee Civic and Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto. Representatives of the talent, film and publishing industries will be under one roof to showcase their services and to search for local talent.

“It’s pulling a lot of people together,” Mulligan said of the event. “There’s a lot to offer here (in Manatee). It could be a catalyst for people to start making films in the area. You never know what might come out of it.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Stage performances will include acting, comedic sketches, singing, dancing and modeling. Attendees also can participate in karaoke competitions, contests and auditions while picking up information from music recording and film studios in the area.

“If somebody thinks they’ve got what it takes, the businesses will be there,” event organizer and True Hollywood Screentest owner Mark Ibasfalean said.

Ibasfalean said the event is hinging around his business, which will have a booth called True Hollywood Talent on site. There, the company will be videotaping individuals who wish to make audition tapes or simply see if they have a knack for the camera. Visitors will have up to four minutes on film to showcase their talents, and each video will be posted online at for viewing.

Attendees then can take those video clips, modify them and post them on YouTube or send them to producers or other companies for consideration.

“People want to do something — even if they only do it once,” Ibasfalean said. “This way, they can go in there and experiment. There’s nobody watching them. They can do what they want. It gives them a relaxed type of feeling when they do something they are unsure of.”

Ibasfalean said the event and its offerings will give aspiring talents the tools they need to move forward in the entertainment and publishing industries without necessarily hiring an agent.

Contact Pam McTeer at [email protected].

Talent & Film Expo
: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 19
WHERE: Manatee Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto
COST: Free
PROCEEDS: Benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters and Boys & Girls Clubs
INFO: 920-4371 or

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