In a stroke for diversity, NBC and the Oneida Indian Nation launched a nationwide talent search to find native American performers and writers with the potential to play roles in network productions.
"The Four Directions Talent Search," as it's dubbed, is open to tribally affiliated Native Americans who are not currently under contract with a talent agent or studio. The search is intended to provide an entrée for people who may not have had access to the industry in the past. "Breaking into films, television, or live theater is difficult for anyone" said Ray Halbritter, Nation Representative and CEO of the Oneida Nation in a prepared statement. "It is especially difficult for Native Americans who may have talent but never have had access to the opportunities. Through Four Directions, NBC and Oneida Nation will help open doors and cultivate this talent."
The talent search begins with regional first round events featuring judging panels of entertainment professionals in Seattle, Denver, Miami, Toronto and northeast Connecticut.
Performers selected in the regional 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.
- Richard Tedesco