Performance and film graduate, Mothusi-maxwell Sengwatse says he believes that publicised auditions and nationwide searches alike are more beneficial to aspiring entertainers than private auditions.
Sengwatse, a trained radio and TV presenter, has been in pursuit of his big break for over a year and he told HuffPost SA that most of the roles he auditioned for in 2016 were subsequently given to renowned actors who had not even been to the auditions.
"Opportunities given through nationwide talent searches were both encouraging and inspiring because when you go for private auditions you seldom even get a called back; instead, you just see an already existing star on TV portraying the role for which you auditioned," Sengwatse said.
Despite challenges, Sengwatse landed a five-minute stint in Mzansi Magic's drama series, "Rockville", and a small role in an ANC advert.
He is grateful for 2017, which he said has been more kind.
"In hindsight, it  has been a good year because we had more nationwide auditions, which are focused on discovering new talent -- I made it to the top 25 of the MTV Base VJ search over thousands of entries from around the country. I was sadly kicked out, then I auditioned for 'Mzansi Insider', which was also a nationwide audition and I made the top 14 in Johannesburg," he said.
Sengwatse added: "#OpenUpTheIndustry has contributed largely to the industry opening up for new talent. From all my auditions that have been online, the people of South Africa have shown that they want new, fresh and talented people on TV as they have shown me great support on Twitter."
He said he believes that gradually, the casting powers that be are waking up to the level of talent that exists in the country.
"I think this is also accelerated by the fact that a lot of TV shows with very familiar faces on TV stars are not performing as well as they should, forcing the hand of channels to be desperate and seek out new talent. It is also up to us the new talent to show up when given these opportunities. Also, I think the success of Thuso Mbedu has amplified the message to open up the industry for fresh and great talent -- her success as a new face on TV recently reaped great rewards for Mzansi Magic and South Africa," said Sengwatse.
But what keeps him going back to audition?
"This is all I have ever wanted to do. I wake up every day and ask God to get me closer to my destiny and fulfil my role as an actor and presenter. It gets tough, but I have created a network of actors and musicians, who are upcoming and we encourage one another as we are let into the industry one by one -- recently, a close friend was scouted by DJ Ziinhle after seeing his online auditions. These stories keep us going as we know that one day is one day.
Sengwatse's online auditions have gained him fans even before he hit the big time.
"A lot of local actors, radio personalities and TV producers have shown their support for me on social media, with the likes of Jessica Nkosi, Lumko Johnson, Mantsoe from 947 and Ayanda Mvp, all encouraging me to keep on -- I guess the talent in the industry has finally acknowledged that there is strength in numbers and that for this industry to grow it has to be inclusive," he told HuffPost SA.Suggest a correction