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Local man takes a shot at TV stardom


'I've gotta get the whole community to help'



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Dennis James hopes for a shot at the big time. (click for larger version)
June 30, 2010 - By Leah Yanuszeski

Review Intern

At 55-years-young, Dennis James of Lake Orion is hoping to make it to the big time in show-business. The business of television talk shows, that is.

Television star Oprah Winfrey, after announcing the end of her own talk show, announced the creation of her own television network. To fill the programming voids, she introduced the 'Your Own Show' competition—giving everyday people a chance to showcase their passion, and get hired as the star of their own show.

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Even though the competition started May 14, James started on ideas for his own show at the beginning of June when he first heard about it. From then until the June 26 deadline, James has worked on his show.

"All of a sudden I started writing. The ideas just flowed," James said.

James' proposed show will feature fun exercise moves and routines, outlets for creativity, and the idea of staying positive. At the beginning of the show, an expert will give audience members a quick lesson on the surprise topic of the day—whether it be kickboxing, ballroom dancing, or even something as creative as writing love songs.

Then, participants will compete and the audience will choose a winner.

James currently works as an independent insurance agent, but always keeps a healthy lifestyle. He bikes 55 miles to Romeo to work with his clients.

James explained that everyone can learn from his show. "[The show] has a lot of fun and action," he said.

Along with paperwork, James was required to submit a video to Oprah's website, www.oprah.com. His video, just over two minutes long, explains the show's concept. James incorporates skills from his former positions of black belt karate and ballroom dance instructor. Currently, over 8,000 videos are posted on Oprah's website. The pool will be condensed to ten videos, and from there winners will be chosen and flown to L.A. Winners will be chosen based on votes at Oprah's discretion.

"I have received support from the community," said James, noting he is honored by how many people are backing him up on his endeavor.

However, James still needs votes online.

"I've gotta get the whole community to help," he said, "They should vote because if I win, Lake Orion will be recognized. It's a great community, and the show is a great way to tell Lake Orion's story."

As for his chances of winning, James takes the attitude of, 'You can't ever not believe in yourself,' and stating that if he gets picked, he will make his show work.

"There are a lot of videos, but I trust and believe I'm gonna get there. I have faith," he said.

James is asking everyone in the community to help him spread his vision.

Voting ends July 3, so get time is of the essence. To view or vote:

1. Go to www.oprah.com

2. Select 'Your Own Show'

3. Select 'Browse and Vote'

4. Search for 'Dennis James'

Make sure to check back with the 'Review' in mid-July to see if James' video was picked.

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