1. AWS Talent Showcase 8.26.23-462WM
[ August 29, 2023 by admin 0 Comments ]

Season 1 of the Artist Workshop Ends with a Successful Showcase

Washington State has always been a breeding ground for creative brilliance, with talented individuals emerging from the nooks and crannies of small towns and quiet suburbs. From painters to athletes to musicians whose songs become timeless, the Evergreen State boasts a rich tapestry of talent. Thanks to organizations like The Shyan Selah Foundation and Brave New World who created programs such as The Artist Workshop – in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Commerce –  the landscape for artists is evolving. The remarkable success of the first annual Artist Workshop Summer Showcase is proof of that.

Shyan Selah backstage at the Showcase

The inaugural season of The Artist Workshop in 2022-2023 was nothing short of spectacular. It is abundantly clear that this initiative has left an indelible mark on Washington’s cultural scene. Speaking with the founder and creator, Shyan Selah, one can sense the palpable passion and dedication that went into crafting this event. Selah’s vision for this endeavor was nothing short of ambitious, and it was inspiring to hear him describe the inception of the project and its growth over the years. 

When asked how an event like this came to be, Selah thoughtfully responded “This event is the offspring of a lot of hard work and soulful intention to progress the industrial and commercial entertainment artistic talent in our community. To try and garner the same energy and respect around the arts community as there is, say sports. I wanted there to be an opportunity for young talent to show off the hard work and dedication it takes to be in this industry. Show up with some Federal Way spirit, and leave it all on the stage. I’m so proud of these artists for the progress they’ve shown over the past few months.”

Establishing the Artist Workshop program and the talent showcase required meticulous planning, securing adequate funding, and demonstrating the viability of such an event. Through Selah’s unwavering perseverance and belief in the community’s burgeoning stars, along with the joint production efforts of Brave New World and the Shyan Selah Foundation, we witnessed firsthand the resounding success of the talent showcase.

While most of the performers of the showcase had some kind of experience with being on stage already, when asked how it felt to perform in this showcase, their responses all shined light to the fact of how special an occasion this was. 

“It was amazing!” musician and vocalist Gavi beamed. “I had tons of support at the show from my family, who’s never been to any of my shows before and it was surreal. And getting to know so many new people and carrying their words of encouragement around has been an uplifting experience and I can’t wait till someone out of this group makes it big!” 

Shaflo couldn’t contain the smile on her face while she replied, “It was breathtaking to feel the energy in the room and be amongst the few who worked hard and made it through the process! I did a lot of performances but this one was one that set my heart on fire and gave me a feeling that I’ve never felt before.” 

One of the most heartwarming aspects of this event was the genuine camaraderie and support that permeated every corner of the venue. Despite the stakes being high, with the prize being a professionally recorded song produced by an accredited producer, every participant displayed a remarkable spirit of encouragement for their fellow artists. 

Backstage and in the hallways, the air was thick with mutual support and enthusiasm. Tazz Enrico spoke to this fact when asked what the best part of participating in the Showcase was and his reply came without hesitation: “Definitely the artists. You could tell that everybody was there for the same reason and had the same purpose and it was so beautiful to watch.” 

Midnite Blu

Midnite Blu held a similar sentiment for the best part of being in the showcase. “The best part for me was the Artist Workshop Rehearsal. Getting to know each other and being comfortable showcasing our talents in front of each other!”

This sense of unity was a testament to the exceptional character of the young artists and their commitment to fostering a thriving artistic community.

A huge round of applause goes out to everyone who helped make the Showcase the success that it was. To the performers, Ayana, CAZZI, Gavi, Jade, Midnite Blu, O.Z., Pure Art, Sahanie Shell, Shaflo, Shayla Jasmin, Tazz Enrico and Yung Shaedy; your performances were impactful and memorable to a wide array of guests.  Congratulations on being a part of something so pivotal to your local arts community!

The 2022-2023 Summer Showcase demonstrated the profound impact that dedication, community support, and a belief in local talent can have. This showcase not only celebrated the diverse and extraordinary talents of Washington, but also served as a point of inspiration for aspiring artists everywhere – a point that looks to be underscored with Season two of The Artist Workshop program for Washington State’s artistic community.

Panelists Shyan Selah, A'Noelle Jackson and Kirkland Morris share a laugh together at The Artist Workshop: The Actor
[ February 16, 2023 by admin 0 Comments ]

Laughter and Inspiration Dominates The Actor Workshop

Everyone had a great time at last Saturday’s The Actor Workshop (All About Film and TV). The room was filled with a range of aspiring actors, filmmakers, and theater enthusiasts eager to learn from some of the industry’s top professionals. The Artist Workshop was happy to welcome back actor and producer A’Noelle Jackson (the voice of Stylez from Netflix’s LOL Surprise Winter Fashion Show) and screenwriter, Kirkland Morris (50 Cent’s Powerbook IV: The Force and BMF on STARZ). Both special guest panelists joined our host panelist and founder of the Artist Workshop, Shyan Selah, for a four hour dive into all aspects of film production from screenplays to music placements. The event was held once again at the Courtyard Marriott in Federal Way.

Kirkland Morris talks about his journey as a screenwriter at The Artist Workshop: The Actor

“Kirkland Morris kept the audience laughing with a comical retelling of the day he got the call from 50 Cent to write for his television productions. When the famous rapper gave him his name, Morris’ response was “Yeah, and I’m Snoop (Dogg).” From that point on it was a mix of the funny, to the inspirational. Morris, who’s preparing to produce his own episode of BMF, now in its third season, told the young artists that no matter what, he writes every day. “Writing is my sport and just like LeBron or Kobe, I practice it every day,” Morris affirmed.

A'Noelle Jackson speaks at The Artist Workshop: The Actor

A’Noelle Jackson, fresh from producing a Black History Month filmmaker spotlight for Hulu, reiterated her starting journey from a production assistant in Tacoma, WA to her ability to balance both production and acting work in Hollywood, CA. “Don’t be afraid to give yourself the title of a PA when you’re just getting started,” Jackson said. “And then do whatever they need you to do whether it’s getting coffee or picking up dry cleaning. And while you’re there, don’t be afraid to talk to people and ask questions about how they got to where they are.”

Half the attendees in the room were interested in the overall production of filmmaking in addition to the role of acting and were inspired by Shyan Selah’s experiences from his start in entertainment as an extra on The Wayan’s Bros. show on the WB network, to his music being featured in films such as Camp X-Ray starring Kristen Stewart and the upcoming season of Cruel Summer on Freeform.

Shyan Selah speaks at The Artist Workshop: The Actor

“Study the success. If there’s someone you want to be like or you’re watching a movie and you’re an artist and you want to place music in a film, study the story and why that song was placed at that point in the production and the dynamics around that,” stated Selah.

The audience was captivated by everyone’s stories and observations, and the Q&A session that followed was lively and informative.

The participants were able to ask questions and get real-world advice from those who are all active in the industry.

After a brief lunch break, provided by Chick-Fil-A as a result of the a vote by ArtistWorkshop members, the day continued with the panelists sharing more of their personal stories, their perspectives on what makes a successful audition or first impression, and how to build a lasting career in the industry. The bottom line that they all agreed upon: Confidence is Key and belief in one’s self is the most fundamental quality to have when pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.

“You have to start by believing in yourself first,” said Morris. “Because you’re going to be your biggest hero if you’re going to make it.”

Panelists, Artist Workshop Staff and Attendees pose for a group photo at The Artist Workshop: The Actor

Artist Workshop Staff takes a photo with Auditioning Talent
[ January 19, 2023 by admin 0 Comments ]

The Artist Workshop Holds First Round of Talent Auditions

The Artist Workshop held talent auditions for a select number of workshop members last Saturday in preparation for a major talent showcase this summer. Singers, songwriters, rappers, musicians, actors, models, and aspiring entertainers presented their talent in front of Artist Workshop producers and team, including program founder, Shyan Selah. Shyan, a multi-talent himself, has 20 years experience in the entertainment industry as a singer/songwriter, rapper, recording artist, actor and model.

The four hours of auditions last weekend were the first round of an ongoing series of audition events to be held in conjunction with Artist Workshop monthly events.  These productions, co-presented by Brave New World and Washington’s Department of Commerce, give young aspiring professional entertainment artists, entrepreneurs, and athletes in South King County the access to established professionals in their chosen field of interest. Each month participants come to learn about various aspects of the entertainment industry including production, marketing, deal-making, and the creative process. This month’s audition was the first event that gave participating artists the stage to show their talent.

Artist Workshop Founder, Shyan Selah addresses Auditioning Talent

“This process will be a little different than your typical audition experience in LA or New York,” stated Shyan in his opening remarks to the Artist Workshop talent participants. Audition attendees stayed in the room and took turns standing on stage to not only showcase their talent, but also give a quick interview that included stating why they were there and what they hoped to accomplish with their artistry. 

The auditions began with a variety of mostly musical acts, including solo singers and rappers who performed a mix of original songs and covers. A couple of aspiring fashion models also presented their runway walk for the judges before the attendees broke for lunch provided by Panera. Each aspiring talent was walked through a professional level audition experience including questions from the Artist Workshop staff and the audience. These questions ranged from  why they picked the song they did, to what made them decide to wear what they did that day. All contestants were judged on 5 factors: Talent, Skill, Vibe, Confidence, and Passion.

“In over 20 years of outreach that includes imparting professional expertise to students from middle school to college, it’s been most beneficial to the participants when the education is combined with real professional experience from their field of interest,” says Shyan. “This has always been our style and through the Artist Workshop program we get to do that at an even greater level of impact. I’m proud of what the Artist Workshop is doing and excited for the talent in our region to have this access.”

At the end of the audition day all the talent contestants were given the opportunity to share with the Artist Workshop crew about what they thought and how they felt abut the process while receiving feedback as to what a typical audition judge or casting director would be looking for.

Overall, the first round of auditions for the Artist Workshop was a very promising start to what is expected to be an all encompassing showcase of talent to be presented to industry experts in music, theater, film, and television. These experts will come from key entertainment industry locations including Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta this summer. Regular audition dates will be announced via theartistworkshop.org and audition contestants will have the opportunity to repeat their audition in future sessions should they choose. Event producer Candice Richardson says the main focus will be on both finding and cultivating talent with the goal that the program will be able to place aspiring talent in real-life career opportunities. 

“We’ve always known how talented our young people are in the Northwest,” says Candice. “The Artist Workshop is poised to discover and nurture some truly exceptional talent in the coming months.”