We love watching Kenton Duty play the sly Gunther Hessenheffer on ‘Shake It Up.’ But in real life, he’s always looking to help out others. As part of the Hollywood Launch program, Kenton acts as a mentor to kids who are looking to make it in the music world.
Kenton dished to us the details on the Hollywood Launch initiative as well as his latest scholarship that he’ll be giving away to one lucky winner! So what is it all about?
Fanlala: Can you tell us what the Hollywood Launch DFW (Dallas Fort Worth) Program is all about, where it’s located, and what kids will take away from it?
Kenton Duty: The Hollywood Launch is a training program for kids who want to take their music to the next level. They learn vocal techniques, perfect their styles for a better vocal performance. They also learn dancing and choreography, staging, songwriting... there are live artist showcases, and it just gives them the opportunity to network. Hollywood Launch develops a person’s abilities and talents. They develop confidence - there are a lot of shy kids, but music is what they want to do. It develops them personally, and it helps them meet new friends. It’s a really good program.
F: Tell us about your experiences as a mentor for Hollywood Launch DFW.
KD: John George and I are both from Dallas, he’s the face of the program and keeps everything pulled together. We met at the Youth Walk Awards, and I’m really excited to do this in Dallas since there’s a lot of talent in Dallas. What we’ve done so far is show and direct these kids on performing and helping them with their vocal techniques. I went all Randy Jackson on them, and I got a lot out of it, and I know the kids really got a lot out of it too.
F: Are there any students that you helped out that really stood out for you - someone that you’re looking forward to seeing hit it big?
KD: There are a lot where it’s like “Why don’t they have a record deal already?” They all have their own unique styles. It was really humbling and exciting when Jonathan names a scholarship after me, and I’m really excited to see these kids with their dreams working for the scholarship.
F: Why is it important that kids pursue the Hollywood Launch DFW program?
KD: It’s important to help them develop as an artist, and make sure they know how to network themselves. We teach them to personify themselves on stage which really gives them the opportunity to show the world who they are and what they can do.
F: You’ll be hosting special auditions where kids will be able to show off their skills for a scholarship - what will the process be like for the participants?
KD: I’m not sure how the day is exactly going to go down yet, but it all happens on September 15. That’s the day of the open call, then the next day is going to be the callbacks. We’re going to narrow it down the night of the 15th and make sure we know that everybody who is getting called back is getting called back. It’s going to be fun, and a great experience for the kids, a great experience for me. My goal is to give one note per kid on something that they can improve upon, even if they don’t get called back
Kenton wants us to remind all aspiring musicians to head over to HollywoodLaunch.net to learn all the details on the Hollywood Launch program as well as gathering details on how to enter to win his scholarship.
It’s always a pleasure interviewing Kenton Duty, and we want to give him a big thanks for talking with us. And good luck to all the musicians looking to make it big. We’re rooting for you!
Photo: Getty Images