Bright Young Things!

Bright Young Things!

Start them young! That seems to be the policy that entertainment industry seems to adopt in their relentless thirst for talents. As the saying goes, the early years are the most formative ones that shape kids into the person or in this case the talent that they might potentially become.

But, that’s not all. An early start in the entertainment industry is useful as it exposes the child to the harsh industry environment while also enabling parents to gauge their abilities. It is no wonder parents are sending their kids for enrichment lessons from a tender age.

Furthermore, there are numerous platforms available for kids to showcase their talent. You only need to switch on your television to find kids’ variety programmes such as the defunct Mickey Mouse Club or even the highly successful local children programme, Aksi Mat Yoyo

While not every actor potentially makes the cut to stardom, there have been quite a few success stories. Here is our pick of the lots!

1. Natalie Portman 

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Starting off her showbiz career at ten years of age, Academy Award winner Natalie Portman started off as an understudy in the Off-Broadway musical Ruthless!. However, she really came into her own three years later as the orphan Mathilda in the hit Luc Besson film Leon: The Professional.

Portman then went on to star as Padme Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy which gained her international recognition. In 2010, she won the Best Actress prize at the Oscars for her role as a disturbed ballerina in Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller, Black Swan. The talented actress made her directorial debut with the short film, Eve and can speak six different languages!

2. Christina Aguilera
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Ranked fifty-eight on Rolling Stone magazine list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, Christina Aguilera is a multi-platinum album singer and actress with four Grammy Awards under her belt. She started off her career by winning her first talent show at the age of eight. In 1993, Aguilera joined the cast of Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club programme and honed her singing and performing skills.

The rest they say is history. She struck gold on her debut with the fun and engaging self-titled debut album which displayed her vocal prowess. It established her in the industry and she enjoyed three number one US Billboard Hit Singles with Genie in a Bottle, What a Girl Wants and Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You).

Her later critically acclaimed albums, Stripped and Back to Basics sealed her reputation as a vocal powerhouse. Boosting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she made her feature film debut in the 2010 musical Burlesque

3. Justin Timberlake

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Holder of six Grammy Awards and four Emmy Awards, singer and actor Justin Timberlake had his humble beginnings singing country music on the television show Star Search when he was just 11. He later moved on to the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club where he met future fellow band member, JC Chasez. ‘N Sync was formed in 1995 with the two of them serving as the two lead singers. Their 1998 debut album sold 11 million copies and featured the hit single, Tearin’ Up My Heart.

Subsequently, Timberlake made his acting debut in the Disney movie Model Behavior. His first solo album Justified sold more than 10 million copies and featured hits such as Cry Me a River and Rock Your Body. He stirred up controversy during his 2004 Superbowl performance with Janet Jackson. Timberlake tore off a part of Jackson’s costume which inadvertently revealed her breast on national television. 

He went on a musical hiatus after his second solo album and refocused his attention on his acting career. Timberlake can be seen in films such as The Social Network, In Time and Friends with Benefits. He also recently resumed his musical career with the album The 20/20 Experience

4. Ryan Gosling

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Nominated once for the Academy Awards, Ryan Gosling is a multi-talented actor and musician. He started off as a mouseketeer on Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club when he was just 12 years old. Subsequently, Gosling made his first serious role as a Jewish neo-Nazi in The Believer.

However, it was his role in the romantic drama film The Notebook that brought him to the world limelight. He managed to clinch four Teen Choice Awards and an MTV Movie Award as local country boy Noah Calhoun.

Since then, Gosling has shown a preference for starring in independent films and shunning Hollywood blockbusters. He has starred in films such as Half Nelson, Lars and the Real Girl and Drive. Gosling also has his own band, Dead Man’s Bones and toured with them in 2009.

5. Sofia Coppola

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Academy Award and Golden Lion winner Sofia Coppola is an Italian American screenwriter, film director and actress. Daughter of famed film director Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia got her first acting break as an infant in her father’s film The Godfather. She acted in seven of her father’s films before being panned for her performance in The Godfather Part III

Subsequently, Sofia decided to delve into directing and made her debut with The Virgin Suicides. But, it was her film Lost in Translation which caught her most acclaim by being the third women to be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards. 

Her upcoming film The Bling Ring is based on an actual group of Californian teenagers who went round and burgled several celebrities’ homes between 2008 and 2009. The film also marks the first real adult acting role for child actress Emma Watson outside of the highly popular Harry Potter series. 

Do you know of any talented children? 

Then be sure to ask them to check out the first ever kids talent time contest, SAFRA Lil’ Stars 2013!

SAFRA Lil’ Stars 2013 
Venue: SAFRA Toa Payoh, Atrium Level 1
Date: Saturday, 8 June (Solo Category)
Saturday, 22 June (Solo and Group Category)
Time: 2pm to 6pm
Click here for more information now! 

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