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January 1, 2002

Oneida Nations and NBC Launch Native American Talent Search

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AUTHOR: Jerry Reid
Oneida Nation

In a major effort to increase the presence of Native Americans on television, NBC and the Oneida Nation have established a talent search for Indian actors, comedians and writers. Information and updates about this uniqueopportunity are now available on a new web site.

Oneida Nation Homelands –

The Four Directions Talent Search, recently launched by NBC the Oneida Indian Nation, now has a home on the Internet. Information regarding the nationwide Native talent search can be found on the web at Four Directions Talent.

In a major effort to increase the presence of Native Americans on television, NBC and the Nation established a talent search for Indian actors, comedians and writers. Information and updates about this unique opportunity are available on the new web site.

The site includes links to venues in Seattle, Denver,Miami, Toronto and Connecticut where first round events will be held, beginning in August at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

The Oneida Nation’s Turning Stone Casino Resort, the site of the semi-finals, has a featured link. Visitors also can explore Performance Space NBC (PSNBC), the New York City site where the finals will be held on November 7.

Features such as celebrity quotes, showbiz tips and a talent directory of Native performers will be available soon.

The talent search is open to tribally affiliated Native Americans/First Nations members. There is no restriction on individuals who are currently under contract with a talent agent or studio. All performers and writers are encouraged to apply through the web site via an online application form.

“Breaking into films, television or live theater is difficult for Native Americans who may have talent but never have had access to the opportunities,” said Ray Halbritter, Nation Representative and Chief Operating Officer of the Nation. “Through Four Directions, NBC and the Oneida Nation will help open doors and cultivate this talent.

The talent search begins with regional showcases around the U.S. and Canada, with first round events in Seattle, Denver, Miami, Toronto and northeast Connecticut.

These events will be held at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut on August 24, The Comedy Works in Denver on September 11, Yuk Yuks Comedy Club in Toronto on September 24, The Comedy Underground in Seattle on October 9 and The Comedy Corner in West Palm Beach on October 22.

Entrants in each round will showcase their talent by performing prepared monologues or stand-up comedy sets and will be judged by a panel of entertainment professionals.

Performers selected in the regional will then advance to a semi-final round in the showroom at Oneida’s Turning Stone Casino Resort, with the finals to be held on November 7 at Performance Space NBC (PSNBC) in New York City’s Soho district.

In addition to those performers, writers may submit a screenplay, script, or short story for review by an entertainment industry oriented advisory panel. Those writers receiving accolades by the advisory panel will be presented at the PSNBC performance.

Entries may also be submitted to: Four Directions Talent Search, Oneida Nation Communications, 579A Main Street, Oneida, NY 13421.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Jerry Reed is Media Specialist for Oneida Nation Communications.

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