From the Director's Chair


June 28, 2001|By ALLISON MARTIN, Executive Director, Imperial County Film Commission

Well, it's been a busy month for the Imperial County Film Commission. The film industry has been hurrying to get its filming done locally because it gets too hot. Magazines such as Russian Vogue and GO (Italian GQ) and car companies like Nissan and Hyundai blew in and out before the heat got too bad for them.

The big event for the Film Commission, however, was the "Spring Into Stardom" talent show. More than 50 performers entered the contest and took their chances in the preliminary rounds June 11 and 12. The field was narrowed to 26 acts that would continue onto the finals Friday at the Old Post Office Pavilion in El Centro. Dinner and the show were open to the public. For those who attended, sorry about the mishaps during dinner.

The show, however, was a hit. The evening was led by our two celebrity emcees, Don Lee, a former Holtville resident, and Aaron Moody of Oregon, both of whom are actors in Hollywood and have been seen in numerous commercials for Volkswagen and Reebok.


As far as the talent show contestants, audience members commented on how talented all the performers were. They did not expect that caliber of talent.

You may be asking who won?

In the 10-15 years old category, first place went to Naomi Klockmann, who sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"; second place: the Brawley Elementary School District's folkloric dancers, made up of Clue Wagner, Courtney Miller, Amanda Buckner, Daniella Nuñez, Mikaela Judson and Rebecca Ruiz; and third place: Gina Brister, who did an outstanding job singing "My Heart Will Go On."

In the 16 and up category, first place went to George Perez, who received a standing ovation for his amazing drum solo; second place: Rickey Johnson, who sang "Unchained Melody (Rickey would have received a standing ovation except the women in the audience were too busy fainting); and third place: Lester Williams, who sang a cappella.

Other acts too good to go unmentioned were Mike Ram, who performed a Neil Young song better than Neil Young; Erin Gray, whose vocal and dramatic interpretation of Madonna's "Frozen" would have brought tears to anyone's eyes; and Joseph Gurbino's patriotic medley would have made Uncle Sam take notice.

Everyone that performed did an outstanding job and proved that talent isn't only found in the big cities.

True talent that didn't receive the recognition it deserved came from Gloria and Gene Brister, who did the sound, and Kendall and Hallie Henle, who were the stage managers. Because of these four individuals' hard work and dedication, the audience got their money's worth. We will be back next year with another talent show that will be bigger and better.

The summer might be quiet for now but keep your eyes open for the fun fall season the Film Commission has planned for you.

For more information on the ICFC call the office at 337-4155 or email us at

That's a wrap …

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles