When we last spoke with Delia Louis and singer/songwriter Cleopatra back in June, they were all excited to have been part of a team selected to represent Saint Lucia at talent auditions in the Bahamas. The pair participated in local auditions here in February with Louis as a regional director of the event. The auditions were hosted by Music Model and Talent Showcase – MMTS which selected from Saint Lucia the largest contingent out of 23 countries. Alas, try as they may, sponsorship was difficult to come by even through the doors of the Ministry of Creative Industries. Still, the group persevered, securing donations from small businesses, friends and family. And even though the original number of sixty-four from the auditions was reduced to twelve, then at the last moment to four, the quad of talented Saint Lucians and their regional director left the island on July 11 poised for success. They were Delia Louis (regional director), Cleopatra, Andrea Antoine, Anarcisse Alexander and Kazia Aurilien who won a scholarship to the event. Their aim: to represent Saint Lucia and make a bid for themselves on the world stage of the arts and entertainment. The result: a successful showing in the Bahamas with Saint Lucia being awarded best auditions, among other awards.
A beaming Delia Louis and Cleopatra walked into the offices of the STAR on Monday with the good news. “The actual auditions were definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Cleopatra gushed. “Not only did I get the opportunity to audition before some noteworthy persons in the industry, but just being in the presence of well- known figures from different agencies and participating in workshops was a real eye-opener,” she went on.
Cleopatra auditioned in the categories of songwriting, singing and television commercials. She performed her original song ‘Consequences’ as well as Etta James’ ‘At Last’. She was selected as one of the top ten performers for her songwriting and received an award for her singing, placing third overall. She has also been in contact with agencies interested in utilizing her songwriting skills.
“In all there were more than one hundred delegates participating and we were able to interact with industry officials, model scouts and persons from the music industry, television and film,” Louis said, adding that she was extremely proud of the group. “Their performances and presentations were on point and I think we were all able to engage in some effective networking, enabling us to share our experiences with others who were not able to attend upon our return,” Louis said. She stated that she was also overwhelmed when Saint Lucia was awarded best island during the parade of nations. “Oh my, I was so overjoyed. We went there and we represented for Saint Lucia, the flag, Wob Dwiyet, Pitons, our music, in front of Government officials, celebrities and industry personnel,” she proudly said.
Another delegate, Anarcise Alexander placed third in the acting category for his TV commercial monologue while Louis’ Blue Ice company accepted the best island audition award overall.
Kazia Aurelien is also in talks with an agency for a remake of one of her songs.
Despite this year’s challenges Louis says she is getting prepared for next year’s auditions while ensuring that the talks with agents following the auditions in the Bahamas continue. “I am also making sure that all agreements are in order and followed through and that our Saint Lucians press on and make it out there,” she said.
“I must say it was tough pulling this off and we are indeed disappointed that we got no support from any government agency, even though up to the last day we were calling on the Ministry of Creative Industries for support. What was disheartening was that we were never told yes or no, even though we had been in touch with them since February. The last word we got from them up to the day before we left was that they were still considering funding us but up to now nothing,” Louis said. “What was even more surprising was that when the prime minister of the Bahamas spoke at the opening ceremony he made mention of islands like Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad and the Bahamas as countries who have the capacity to increase their GDP through the creative industries,” Louis explained. “However this will not be realized if young persons like ourselves are not given the opportunities or supported in much the same way we support things like the Jazz Festival and Carnival,” she stressed.
The group wishes to express thanks to Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre, Modelle Magnifique, Train School, Sean Leon photography, Stacey McVane, WVENT Radio, Lisa Joahill, Trevlan Dwarikasingh, Internet Café and Fire Grill as well as to family and friends who assisted them on this journey.