A handful of struggling New York actors will be getting some television exposure from Bravo.
The cable network is putting the everyday lives of 12 aspiring actors on display in its reality series The It Factor, premiering Sunday, Jan. 6 2002 at 9 PM ET with a one-hour special, and airing from 9 to 9:30 PM ET in succeeding weeks. (The series was to have begun Sept. 30 but was then delayed by the Sept. 11 Arab terrorist attacks and their aftermath on New York and the country.)
Taking part in the 13-episode series is Daisy Eagan, who won a Tony Award for The Secret Garden when she was 11 and is trying to make the transition to adult roles.
"It did a great job of making my life really strange and upside down for quite some time," Eagan says of her Secret Garden experience.
Getting onto the series wasn't any easier than landing any other coveted role. The actors were picked from more than 2,000 hopefuls who auditioned in New York City in February. Through the autumn, camera crews followed them as they dealt with agents, headshots and part-time jobs. Chelsea Lagos, Katheryn Winnick, Latarsha Rose, Michaela Conlin, Miranda Black, Queen Esther, Godfrey, Jimmy Smagula, Kevin Bulla, Nathan Wetherington and PJ Mehaffey round out the cast. According to spokespersons at the Keith Sherman press office, "The `It' Factor" is being produced by David Clair, Lauren Friedland and Nicole Torre for Zanzibar Productions and executive produced by Debbie DeMontreux for Bravo.
During shooting the actors experienced their share of ups and downs. One was cast on the TV series Third Watch, but the role was written out. Another landed a feature film but couldn't accept the part unless she could scrape together enough money to join the Screen Actors Guild. And one ended up a spokesperson for a major soft-drink company.