Sometimes, mom is right.
Melissa Howington had found the organization Actors, Models and Talent for Christ, several years ago.
But her daughter Anna, 20, didn’t want to do it. She didn’t want to be the next Miley Cyrus.
“I’ll just wind up on Disney or working at at theme park,” Anna Howington said, since the organization’s big showcase is in Orlando, smack in the middle of Dinsey’s tourist offerings.
After a year at the University of Georgia, however, Anna Howington decided to give the group a try and started meeting with actors in Atlanta for training weekends once or twice a month.
It all led up to the first six days of January in Orlando for AMTC’s annual “SHINE” showcase, where Howington and about 800 other talents of all ages from across the country auditioned in front of talent scouts, managers, agents and others in show business.
Howington participated in nine showcases over the course of the event: commercial modeling, singing, on-camera monologue, television presenter, scene read, runway modeling, cold read, photography and acting, then had “flash interviews” with the show business representatives.
Howington has been singing and performing since she was 14 and recently released an EP, “Roots.”
She started out in plays at Callway High School, where she graduated in 2011, and was a finalist two years ago in Hogansville’s annual West Georgia Idol competition. She has performed in various productions with the Lafayette Theater Company and will be in LSPA’s production of “Hot L Baltimore” next month. She also has perfomed at various coffee houses, Powers Crossroads Festival and the Hummingbird Festival.
At the end of the six days, all of Howington’s work paid off. She was named best overall commercial model and – best of all – she received a scholarship to attend the summer session at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
“I’d always talked about going there, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit to a whole year,” she said.
Now she can try the program out for the summer.
Howington also had interest from the Tate Music Group in Oklahoma, a songwriting promoter in Nashville and a talent agency in Jacksonville, Fla. She’ll be following up with everyone.
She admits to “being on hiatus” after the West Georgia Idol competition, but plans to do more work now that she’s back from SHINE.
“The one thing I learned is you have to get out there and promote yourself,” she said.
She will be doing more “open mic” nights and working with a vocal coach and exploring other opportunities. She hasn’t ruled out a career in acting or singing, and plans to go where the road takes her.
“I love them both,” she said. “I love when I’m on stage and when I have my guitar, I love it.”
Anna Howington’s EP, “Roots” may be found at the Junki Gypsi in Hogansville and on bandcamp.com and soundcloud.com. More information on her music and activities can be found on her Facebook page, Anna Leigh Howington Music.