RisingStar31Productions announces a new ‘star search’ for talented actors and musicians. The company launched two online contests to begin auditions for the film, A Detour to Mexico. It’s a musical which was co-authored with the late Mrs. Sammy Davis, Jr.
Offering a new twist in ‘audience participation,’ the public will be invited to help judge the contestants, who’ll win cash prizes as well as the opportunity to perform in the film.
Pamela Sherrod, the co-writer of the screenplay, says, “There’s so much talent out there, artists who’re just waiting to be discovered. And there are unforgettable characters in the story . . . just waiting to come to life.”
A Detour to Mexico is a musical adventure that follows the escapades of a family of performers who encounter unexpected challenges while traveling to a talent competition. The story’s characters, however, weren’t the only ones who’d experience unexpected trials during their journey. After completing the first draft, the writers actually stumbled down their own difficult road.
A mystery still surrounds the striking similarities between part of the plot and the film, The Cheetah Girls 2: When in Spain, which was produced by Whitney Houston and featured the star, Raven-Symone. Sherrod, who’d given the story to an old friend (and mentor) who was a writer/producer for the show, That’s So Raven, inquired about the similarities, but her calls were never returned.
Three years later, Altovise Davis died shortly after they formed a company to produce the film. When Sherrod’s fiancé died thirty-five days, she was devastated. She dropped the project to begin ministry work, seeking to offer hope and encouragement to people struggling with addiction. Eventually, however, it led her back to producing inspirational books and videos. She chronicled the stormy events surrounding her partner’s last years in The Last Chapter in the Life of Mrs. Sammy Davis, Jr., and published their screenplay in the book, A Detour to Mexico.
Sherrod officially opened the contests last week, and is excited about producing the film.
“It offers a powerful message about the miracle of love. . .” she says, “and I believe it’s time to share it.”
There’s also another message, and it was the primary reason why the women initially joined forces. Altovise was married for twenty years to the famous Rat Pack star, Sammy Davis, Jr. He’d started performing when he was only four, and had never attended school. Sammy couldn’t read or write until he was an adult, and always regretted it. He urged his wife to reach out to kids and emphasize the importance of getting an education. Together, the women set out to accomplish this through their stories and future films. A Detour to Mexico was their first project.
The film’s progress is significant for another reason. Altovise endured a long battle with alcoholism, and struggled to overcome the stigma associated with addiction. “In fact . . .” says Sherrod, “she was told she’d never be anything but a famous man’s wife, or rise above her battle with alcohol to accomplish anything.”
“I beg to differ with that,” Sherrod continues. “Altovise helped create a magnificent story, and I wish that she was here to finally see it produced.”
Sherrod looks forward to discovering and showcasing the talent of emerging new artists, and hopes that the contests, as well as the film, will be the beginning of exciting new careers for the contest winners.
‘A Detour to Mexico’ Video Contest showcases the acting and production skills used to produce a three-minute scene from the story. One prize of $500 is awarded to the winner (s) of this competition, as well as the opportunity to star in the film.
‘A Detour to Mexico’ Musicians’ Contest is based on a music-related scene from the screenplay and showcases the vocalist, band and/or singing/dancing group that wins the best videotaped performance of an original arrangement. One prize of $500 is awarded to the winner (s) and the opportunity to perform in the film.
There is a $10.00 Entry Fee for each contest, and the deadline for both competitions is November 30, 2012.
For more information about RisingStar31 Productions and ‘A Detour to Mexico’ Contests, please visit: www.risingstar31.com.