Local youth going to Hollywood for talent event

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2024

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By Ayanna Eckblad

A local elementary student is preparing to go to California this summer in hopes of becoming the next acting sensation.

Aubrey Sanchez, 10, of Albert Lea, has been performing from a very young age.  Recently, she has been selected as one of 500 people from 30 countries to go to iPop, or the International Presentation of Performers. This is an event in which young entertainers go to Los Angeles to learn more about the acting craft and promote themselves to talent agents and managers in the business.

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“I’ve always loved acting ever since I was little,” explained Sanchez.

She was featured in a Scholarship America commercial filmed in Eagan, Minnesota when she was four. From that point on, she was hooked. She began taking acting classes at the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis at age five. She also participates in choir and theater events at Sibley Elementary, where she will be going into fifth grade.

Sanchez’s acting career was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she said that the break ended up being beneficial as she was able to take the time to refine her skills and think about what kind of acting work she would really like to do. She loves making people laugh and said that she wants to be a part of a comedy movie or TV show.

Last summer, Sanchez’s mom, Melanie Sanchez, signed Aubrey up for a Zoom interview for the iPop event. She hoped this would be good practice to start auditioning for roles again after the long break. However, Aubrey Sanchez did very well in the initial interview process, getting a callback interview and eventually being selected for the event.

“I just thought it was going to be… a practice audition, and then it turned into this whole big thing where, a year later, we’re off to California,” said Melanie Sanchez.

Aubrey Sanchez has been taking professional acting classes via Zoom from NYLA Talent Agency. She now has two monologues and one commercial prepared for auditions. The hope at the end of the iPop event is to become represented by a talent manager and be able to audition for shows at companies like Netflix and Disney Channel.

Sanchez said that one of the reasons she is so excited is because one of her favorite singers, Ariana Grande, also got her start at iPop. Sanchez added that, although she enjoys music, acting is her true passion.

“You get to express different characters in yourself,” she explained. “Instead of just me talking in my normal way, I get to express that character I’m playing.”

Although there will be quite a bit of work involved, the trip to California will also be fun. At the end of the iPop event there is a red carpet-style gala for the participants. Sanchez said that she is also staying in California for a few extra days as a tourist to visit local beaches and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Right now, Sanchez is looking for local businesses to sponsor her in her trip to iPop. Melanie Sanchez said that sponsorships are tax deductible.

“She’s a natural at acting, she loves it,” Melanie Sanchez said. “This is her opportunity to share that.”