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‘Road Show’ auditions in Mount Airy; Defining Beauty in’  Winston-Salem

by Mark Burger

Once upon a time, as befits its name, AMC (American Movie Classics) was known only for showing old movies, uncut and un-colorized. For an unabashed, lifelong film fan as myself, I can attest that I spent many hours recording those vintage cinematic classics when I should have been doing something else — like studying. Hey, I was studying old movies, and in fact I still do!

In 1996, AMC premiered its first original series, “Remember WENN,” which lasted only a couple of seasons but was popular enough to encourage the network to try again, this time with more spectacular results. In the last few years, AMC has become the purveyor of some of the most popular and acclaimed shows on cable television, including “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead,” all of which have won multiple Emmy awards and devoted fan followings.

AMC has also broken into the reality-TV arena with such series’ as “Comic Book Men” (created by filmmaker and comic-book aficionado Kevin Smith), “The Pitch” (undoubtedly inspired by the success of “Mad Men”) and “Small Town Security” (produced in Georgia).

One of AMC’s next big projects is the upcoming “Road Show,” and it will be based right here — in Mount Airy. The series will highlight entertainers from the region, with acts of all kinds encouraged to audition for the series’ director and choreographer. Four finalists will be selected to participate in a talent show at a local venue in front of a live audience. One winner will ultimately be chosen — and will receive $10,000. “Road Show” is scheduled to premiere in the second quarter of 2013 as eight one-hour episodes.

The Surry Arts Council and the Chamber of Commerce have worked closely with the “Road Show” production team and will hold open auditions Monday, Oct. 29 at the Andy Griffith Playhouse (218 Rockford St., Mount Airy), named of course for the muchbeloved entertainer who hailed from Mount Airy and died earlier this year.

The auditions are scheduled to take place from 2-7 p.m. The theme of “Road Show” is “Every Town has a Story and Every Town has a Star,” and that’s precisely what the producers are looking for. Whether you sing, dance, tell jokes, play in a rock ‘n’ roll band (or any kind of band, for that matter), this could be your opportunity to find fame and fortune — the Hollywood dream come true. Is a star born? Just maybe….

For more information, call the Surry Arts Council (336.786.7998) or the Chamber of Commerce (336.786.6116). The official Surry Arts Council website is surryarts.org and you can e-mail them at arts@surryarts.org.

Elizabeth Lentz, Ms. Wheelchair NC 2011, is scheduled to attend a special screening of the award-winning documentary feature Defining Beauty Friday, Friday, Oct. 26, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Goodwill Industries of NWNC located at 2701 University Parkway.

The film, which is narrated by Golden Globe Award winner Katey Sagal (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Married… With Children”), marks the feature debut of producer/director/cinematographer Alexis Ostrander and follows five women with disabilities as they strive to compete in the 2010 Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant. Defining Beauty won the Audience Award as Best Documentary at the 2011 Newport Beach International Film Festival and has been screened to great acclaim at other festivals across the nation.

The pageant itself was inaugurated in 1972 by Ohio physician Dr. Philip K Wood as a way of promoting the achievements of those with mobility impairments and to recognize their efforts to overcome their disabilities to lead normal, productive and, yes, even glamorous lives. The most recent winner of the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant is Mariah Rose Kilbourne of Texas — and she’s a knockout.

This event is co-sponsored by the City of Winston-Salem Human Relations Department and the Winston-Salem Mayor’s Council for People with Disabilities.

Admission to the screening is free. For additional information, e-mail carrington@ triad.rr.com.

The official Ms. Wheelchair USA website is: http://www.mswheelchairamerica.org/.

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