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TV show seeks talented, or entertainingly bad


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POSTED: Thursday, November 19, 2009

“;Entertain Me,”; a new production reminiscent of “;The Ed Sullivan Show”; and “;The Gong Show,”; is looking for local talent. What's different about this one? It contains no judges or phone voting, unlike other reality series of this kind. Instead, viewers can expect to see musicians, comics, magicians, jugglers, owners of pets who do idiotic tricks, impersonators, dancers, acrobats and “;some of the most indescribable bizarre performances ever seen on Hawaii TV!”;

If you fit into any of these categories—or can offer something not previously conceived—producers want you. You don't even have to be skilled. “;If someone is really bad, that's sometimes just as entertaining,”; said executive producer Jim Bryan, who added that Aloha Kia just signed a one-year commitment to be the show's title sponsor. “;This concept, I think, is long overdue ... the classic variety show. But it's going to be a little edgy.”;

The first one-hour episode was taped this week at a new soundstage built in Hawaiian Brian's Billiards.

“;It's a wonderful mix of local talent; a lot of people are what we would consider up-and-comers,”; said Bryan. One example in the debut is ukulele player Bruce Shimabukuro, brother of the famous Jake. “;He gets no publicity, but he is amazing. He's going to blow people away.”;

Even better news is that Bryan plans to syndicate the show, and already has a lot of interest from mainland markets, making the series a good place for local entertainers to break into markets beyond Hawaii.

“;Aloha Kia Presents Entertain Me”; is slated to premiere at 9 p.m. Jan. 23 on KHON. To audition call 528-1073.

A Canadian television series called “;Mantracker”; is scheduled to shoot on the Big Island during the first two weeks of December, and producers are looking for locals to become the “;prey”; for two episodes. Sounds odd, but then again, the adventure-reality series is a bit off the beaten path.

The competition involves two average people who battle an expert tracker—armed only with the proficiency of a local guide—on horseback through a 36-hour, 25-mile wilderness chase. Bonterra Productions will film in high-definition, so it's bound to highlight the Big Island's varied terrain. An advertising supplement will be the map animations that identify the region six times in the hour-long show that airs on Discovery Science.

So who is the Mantracker? In promotional materials he's described as “;a cool, confident, cowboy and veteran search and rescue tracker with the ability to chase down those who don't want to be found.”; In the photo, he resembles Sean Connery. The prey are “;two brave spirits who love the outdoors, crave adventure and must overcome intense physical and mental obstacles to survive this challenge.”;

The hunted volunteers get a map, a compass, a 15-mile head start and a pre-determined destination. The Mantracker gets none of these things.

Even more intriguing (or perhaps predictable) is that producers are casting the prey in teams of two, and are looking for people in a relationship: A married couple, exes (!), co-workers or friends. In other words, they're looking for drama. If you can provide it, apply at http://www.mantracker.ca.

A Kailua videographer recently received recognition for work on a very international scale. Gene Kois was awarded an Emmy as part of the NBC Sports crew that covered the summer Olympics in Beijing, specifically, the track and field competition at the Beijing National Stadium, otherwise known as the Bird's Nest. He's owned and operated Specific Video since 1979, a company that provides video production and media projects management to clients on a local and international level. But he's no stranger to the Emmy. It's his third since 1988.

Contact Katherine Nichols at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).