Meet Dorothy Chapman Josey, writer of this post: painter, HubCulture board member, Regional Hospice board member, and host of The Next Big Thing 2011! Dorothy was born and raised in Spartanburg. She is the former Deputy Art Director of Time Magazine cover art, and her oil paintings are in the Johnson Collection, the Spartanburg Public Library Collection, the Wofford College Collection, the Episcopal Church of the Advent and the Gibbs Cancer Center. We love having her on our board because she is so enthusiastic about everything…and certainly The Next Big Thing!
I got a taste of what it’s like to be a judge on a reality talent show last week as we watched auditions for The Next Big Thing and selected our 8 finalists out of about 30 contestants. Our job was easy when it came to choosing the first couple of spots, but then it got really difficult…still singing the blues about one of my peeps. So the REAL judges are going to have a really tough time.
But they are pros. I don’t think Paul Riddle will have any trouble knowing if the drummer is keeping time. When something was wrong in the auditions I might know something wasn’t right but I couldn’t tell you why. Luckily we had some gifted musicians judging who could articulate why something was good or not so good. I’m so excited Paul said YES. He loves HUB-BUB and we love him! He was the drummer for the Marshall Tucker Band in its heyday. MTB’s blend of rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, country and gospel helped establish the Southern rock genre in the 70s. I remember Paul pre-rock-and-roll at Spartan High when he wore starched white oxford cloth shirts and “high-water” khaki pants and drove this really cool (1956?) Impala. He had that extra “je ne c’est quoi” even back in 1969!
Valerie Barnet is Spartanburg’s first lady of theater; think a female Richard Gere. Many of you may not know that she met her husband Bill after she had played a drunk in a slip on stage. He came back stage to meet her and has been on an exciting journey ever since. Everything Valerie involves herself in she does with immense and intense passion, whether it’s serving on the board of the School for the Deaf and Blind’s Walker Foundation, singing at Westminster Presbyterian, acting in a play at the Little Theater or teaching drama at Spartanburg Day School. This woman gets around and gets it DONE! We are thrilled that she is bringing her myriad of talents to helping us find The Next Big Thing.
OMG. What can I say about Gordy Owens? That he’s the best thing that happened to me in 2011? That whenever I meet someone who knows him and I mention his name their face lights up like a Christmas tree? He is THE BOMB DOT COM. Last year he patiently taught me and my two left feet to dance for the Cancer Association’s Dancing with the Stars (don’t ask me who decided I was a star but that’s another story…). He patiently donated so much of his time for that great cause. And now here he is bringing his considerable talents and experience to being a judge for NBT. Just a little about him: Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre. The role of “Richie” in the National Touring Company of the Broadway Musical “A Chorus Line.” Eight years on Broadway in “Dreamgirls,” “A Chorus Line,” “Starlight Express,” and “Miss Saigon.” Then he moved to LA and had roles in lots of TV shows and movies. When we worked together, we realized that we were both in NYC at the same time in the 80s and I probably saw him on Broadway! And if you go look at his bios, you’ve probably seen him on TV or in a movie or on Broadway, too.
Lindsay Bennett is the only celebrity judge that I don’t know personally, but having read her bio she definitely has her rock ‘n roll creds. She is the daughter of Joe Bennett of the famous 50’s band “Joe Bennett and the Sparkle Tones” whose hit “Black Slacks” is so much fun to sing and a work out for your lips! She is gorgeous and crazy talented. Lindsay studied at Converse College’s Petrie School of Music. She has been on TV, in movies, produced other artists, worked in musical theater, recorded her own music, been in music videos…get the picture?? She ROCKS.