Stand Out Talent
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Photo by Dante Fontana
The master of the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney, once said: “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”
That’s what Jennifer and Jason Bortz of Stand Out Talent are working toward, one student at a time. The couple encourages potential performers to “invest in a dream and watch your miracles shine!” It’s all due to their extraordinary efforts to inspire people to believe in themselves.
The non-profit training facility and production company is housed in Roseville’s historic Tower Theater on Vernon Street – a perfect location to hold auditions, rehearsals, and put on great shows. Their mission is to train people of all ages to audition anywhere. Due to the efforts of the couple, students are so well prepared that when trying out for a role, they’ll “stand out” in a crowd of others. “That’s how we got our name,” Jennifer explains. “Our students truly ‘stand out’ from the rest.” Jennifer also knows what a tough business show business can be and is very hands-on with her students. “We help them make the best decisions for the participant and the parent,” Jennifer shares.
This summer’s production of Godspell was a great success for the group. More than 500 people attended the live performance and thoroughly enjoyed the 13-member cast, and excellent singing and dancing. Local entertainment enthusiast/blogger Dick Frantzreb raved about the show in his review. “There are so many clever touches in dialogue and staging that keep the audience’s attention and introduce humor and fun,” he wrote.
The Christmas show will be no exception. For several performances this December, the troupe will put on Disney’s classic, Beauty and the Beast. This family-friendly and affordable show will be colossal, featuring more than 40 performers. “It will be a huge production!” Jennifer says.
Along with producing shows, Stand Out Talent hosts educational opportunities that bring big entertainment names from Los Angeles and New York City to Roseville to give workshops on various themes. This month, casting consultant and well-known musician Todd Schroeder will bring a two-day master class called “Auditioning and Working in Today’s Musical Theatre.” The focus of the class will be training students how to audition and get the part.
The Mikuni Restaurant Group partners with Stand Out Talent and provides financial support. “I have worked with Jennifer and Jason on different projects,” Mikuni’s Marketing Director Jeanne Mabry says. “They are amazingly talented and creative.” Mikuni is more than happy to support another local group.
High school sophomore Delaney Seener has worked with the couple for five years. “I owe them both a lot of credit,” she explains. “They have helped me improve so much.” Delaney is currently getting leads and comedic supporting roles in productions, due to her work with Stand Out Talent. “I will work with them until I leave for college,” Delaney says.
For more information, visit standouttalent.org.