By Jennifer Britton | Editorial Assistant[[In-content Ad]]
Riverview Studios, Bordentown, filled up quickly March 14 with more than 40 excited teens from across the Trenton Diocese, including some from the Metuchen Diocese and Pennsylvania, to audition for the 14th season of the diocesan faith based teen talk show Realfaith TV that takes off May 24.
Realfaith TV is an award-winning, 26 episode teen talk show produced by the diocesan Department of Radio and TV, under the direction of executive producer Marianne Hartman, and producers Patrick Dolan and Rose Kimball. The show begins taping in Seaside Heights in May with the “teen on the street” interviews, then moves inside the studio for show tapings from July to August.
Click HERE to view gallery of photos.
With script in hand, the teens were filled with anticipation and a bit anxious as they waited for their turn in front of the teleprompter in hopes of grabbing a spot as one of the 2013-2014 season hosts. The atmosphere was filled with much activity and enthusiasm as the teens passed the time by mingling around the studio catching up with old friends from last season and meeting newcomers. Most said if they were not lucky enough to capture one of the host spots they would be just as happy as a studio guest or part of the behind the scenes production crew and many thought it would be really cool and interesting to do the “teen on the street” interviews.
“It was great to see so many new faces as well as returning cast members excited about sharing their faith and being a part of the RFTV ministry. As always, selection of the six member host team will be difficult to narrow down with so many talented and faith-filled young people auditioning, but there are opportunities for everyone,” Hartman said.
Newcomer Njeri Jenkins, a ninth grader from Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, was inspired to come out and audition by the presentation that the production team and one of the current cast members of RFTV held at her school. She hopes by being part of the show she will learn more about her faith and other people.
Ryan Krug, a ninth grader in Churchill Junior High School, East Brunswick, and a parishioner in St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Old Bridge, returning for his second season of RFTV, said that being part of the show has made him more religious and religion is now a part of his life. Krug commented that he is comfortable being a studio guest, but would step up to host if chosen. Besides the show being interesting, fun and a way of making lots of new friends, he said it is helpful because he hopes to someday become a sports broadcaster.
First timer Jakub Walsh, who attends the Performing Arts Academy at Lakehurst Naval Base and is a parishioner in Assumption Parish, New Egypt, said his faith in God is strong and he feels it is important to get the word out. A teen talk show that encourages that is a good idea, he said. Although he is proud of his faith and makes it known, it is not always easy as a teenager to do that everywhere and RFTV is a place that you can do that.
Walsh decided to come out and audition in hopes that he would be able to share his faith with others who want to share their faith. Being a performer, singer, stage and theater actor, Walsh said film and television have always interested him and being on RFTV would be awesome. He is hoping to land the role of host and would also like to be a “teen on the street” interviewer.
“I had to come back, I just can’t leave it, I love it so much,” is how Madison Kotnarowski, an 11th grader from Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, and a parishioner in Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony Parish, Hamilton, put it when asked why she was auditioning. She said she loved doing the show. “It’s a productive and exciting way to spend your summer, she said. Besides making lots of new friends and keeping in touch with them through social media, she spoke about how the show lets you express yourself freely and how it reaches out and helps others. She said that sometimes she needs help getting through things and hopes that being a spotlight guest for the show, “Don’t Worry Be Happy: Cast Your Cares Upon Him” touched or helped someone else. She is excited and looking forward to this season starting.
Each episode features a topic, “spot light guest,” Seaside interview and faith-based discussion between the hosts and studio guests. The variety of compelling show topics covered each season touch on issues that many teens face at some point in their everyday lives. This season’s topics range from “Guns and Violence,” “Radical Love,” “Rising from Rejection,” to “My Role in the Parish.”
The new 2013 – 2014 fall season begins Sept. 21 with a run of 13 shows ending in December and continues with the spring season beginning in February with 13 shows ending in May. RFTV airs throughout New Jersey on the Comcast Network Saturdays at 11 a.m. and on other television channels and networks across the U.S. and Canada. For local listings or to view the program online, check the website at www.realfaithtv.com.