Teenage drama

Published 10:43 pm Monday, September 23, 2013

The television show “Lakeland,” a television show in the works by an LHS alumnus, will hold an open casting call in Suffolk Saturday.

The television show “Lakeland,” a television show in the works by an LHS alumnus, will hold an open casting call in Suffolk Saturday. (Courtesy of Randy Field Photography)

‘Lakeland’ looks for local youth talent

Ever wanted to be on television? Here’s your chance.

A Lakeland High School alumnus wants to hear from Suffolk high school students with an interest in film and television to appear in a teen drama-thriller he’s developing.

Le’Auntray Burch, a budding television producer who has been studying the industry at Full Sail University, says an open casting call for “Lakeland” will be held at the downtown Hilton Garden Inn on Saturday.

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The talent search will take place from noon to 4:30 p.m., Burch said. He’s looking for students to “act, write scripts and help produce,” and specifically for those with an interest in film and television, he added.

“Those interested in acting would be able to have speaking parts or be extras,” he said.

Burch said Lakeland High School would be the primary setting for his teen drama-thriller, an episode of which Burch says a representative from CW-27 has agreed to run free of charge, possibly in January.

Students selected to take part will volunteer at the school from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays, beginning next Thursday, according to Burch.

Part of the time, they will work on anti-smoking commercials to air during Burch’s show, which will count toward Suffolk Public Schools’ new community service graduation requirement, Burch says.

Students would ultimately earn 20 hours toward the district’s 50-hour requirement for graduation, he said.

“They are being educated about the dangers of smoking, but at the same time they have an interest and film and television, and they get to utilize that,” Burch said, adding that students would devise and produce their own commercials.

District spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw advised students wishing to fulfill part of their community service requirements by volunteering with Burch to contact their guidance counselors.

Burch’s show was originally called “The Feelers,” but the name was changed to reflect its embracement of teen issues after initially being proposed with a supernatural theme, he said.

The 2009 Lakeland graduate has been working on the television project since starting the entertainment business degree he’s working toward.

He previously said it was personally important to feature his old high school, where he started the film club in his senior year.

The scriptwriter and producer said he has lost track of how much of his own money has gone into the project.