Laura Bretan is from Chicago, Illinois. Encouraged by her mother, Laura Bretan has been singing in church since she was a four-year-old girl. At age seven, while listening to Disney's "Sleeping Beauty," she realized she can sing in a different manner, however she continued to sing only Christian music.
She loves classical music and has been an aspiring opera singer ever since. She believes she can touch people's hearts with her voice and hopes she can inspire others, especially teenagers, to enjoy opera as much as she does after realizing that it is the most complex form of art.
Along with being American, Laura is also Romanian, born to Romanian parents. She won the 6th season of Romania's Got Talent. Laura Bretan's audition on America's Got Talent received a standing ovation from Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel. Moved by her performance, Mel B pressed her Golden Buzzer to send Laura straight to the Quarterfinals and was #6 on the Final episode.
Ricardo Hurtado sang, modeled and acted at SHINE. He booked School of Rock in the same week that he was sent out for his first auditions in LA.
Julian Silva’s talent is only exceeded by heart. Julian was cast in the role of Gavroche for the North American Tour of Les Misérables shortly after SHINE. When interviewed, he told a reporter that he prayed before every performance: “Jesus meet me at the mic.” Since then, Julian has done several national TV commercials and an upcoming film with the director of God’s Not Dead. Most recently, Julian was cast in the most coveted child theater role in the world: Young Simba in the Lion King on Broadway. The entire Silva family is very dear to the ministry of AMTC, and we must commend Dan and Maria Silva as model parents for a Christian child star.
He prays before every performance and asks, “Jesus meet me at the mic.”
Ryan Cargill came to SHINE and he was a standout in both acting and modeling. He’s now a principle in the Nickelodeon Show, WITs Academy. Prior to this breakout role, Ryan has been in numerous television shows and films. Most importantly, between 2012 and 2015, he held the course. (Note from Ryan’s mom: Ryan has been in LA for three years with an agent and a manager. He has been taking classes, attending workshops and auditioning. Ryan recently signed as Luke in Nickelodeon's new show: WITs Academy. He is now 20 and having a blast on set every day with a fun cast and crew. Thanks for everything. So much that we both learned at AMTC has made this possible.)
After SHINE, in the same year, Noah’s booked his first big job in Blake Shelton's video, 'Honey Bee.' He made movie debut in 'Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas,' where he acted and sang in the part of Bailey, opposite Tyler Perry, Alicia Witt, and Chad Michael Murray. Noah was Young Ryan in 'The Identical' with Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green, and Blake Rayne. For his portrayal of James in the short film Eleven, Noah won the 'Best Young Actor Award' at the Action on Film International Festival. Noah's current television projects include 'Mr. Robinson' (NBC), and 'The Kicks' (Amazon). He has also appeared on 'Sam and Cat', 'See Dad Run', 'Children's Hospital', and the Nickelodeon pilots 'Twang' and 'Like a Girl'. In 2012, Noah was chosen as one of Nickelodeon's 'Groundlings', where he developed a talent for improvisational comedy. In music, Noah is working with one of Justin Timberlake's producers, Rob Knox. He is currently on Amazon's Original Series 'The Kicks.'
Beginning with AMTC and the industry at the age of 4, Mary Charles Jones became the first of three sisters born to perform. Her outgoing personality and young wisdom won many hearts and roles. She plays one of the daughters of Kevin James' character on the CBS show Kevin Can Wait. She’s also been in films and TV shows such as Footloose, Identity Thief, Dear Dumb Diary and Grey’s Anatomy, including commercials and print ads.
Mitch Holleman was born in Auburn, Alabama in 1994. As an exceptionally mature and intelligent child, he came to AMTC at the ages of 3 and 4. Soon, he shot two national commercials for Nickelodeon and Burger King. A trip with his mother to New York resulted in more commercials and a guest-starring role on The Sopranos. His next break came at age five when he landed a series regular role on Daddio. When that series was canceled, his bigger break came. Basically, Mitch grew up on the Reba Show, starring as her son, Jake.
At the age of 5, Diana DeGarmo belted out Broadway Baby at AMTC. Surely, she was singing her future into existence. Although a lifelong performer, she rose to fame at the age of 16 as first runner-up on AI, Season 3. Her following success as a pop singer set her up for big Broadway and theater success, with lead roles ins shows like in Hairspray, Godspell, Brooklyn, The Musical, 9 to 5, and Joseph and and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Diana married fellow AI finalist, Ace Young. Diana has also toured for the USO and been a spokesperson for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Following in the footsteps of her big sister, Mary Charles Jones, Maggie Elizabeth entered the entertainment industry at the age of 4, the same year she came to SHINE. Both girls have been successful in film and television. The entire Jones family are both Christians and industry vets. Maggie Elizabeth’s credits are substantial, from We Bought a Zoo with Matt Damon, to Footloose, Mothers’s to the TV series Ben and Kate. Maggie Elizabeth has also been active in faith-based films, the first child ever to win the “Best Actress” award at the 168 Film Festival.
Maggie on IMDB
Aaron began his dance training at the age of 3. When he was 11, he landed his first professional job at a local theatre in his hometown of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Early in his career, Aaron appeared on America’s Got Talent (Season 1) and America’s Most Talented Kids. At the age of 12 (the year he came to SHINE with Millie Lewis of Charleston), he won “The Greatest Dancer in America Challenge,” a dance competition held on Good Morning America. One of the judges, nine-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune, later invited Aaron to join him on the National Tour of Doctor Dolittle. Aaron performed a tap duet with Mr. Tune in every show while touring. At 16, he appeared in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the show Tap Kids, which received five-star reviews from The Scotsman. Aaron taught his first tap master class at the age of 13, and loves to teach and choreograph tap for all ages and skill levels. He is also on faculty with Showstoppers, conventions which are held all across the U.S. Currently, Aaron is a part of the 20th Anniversary cast of Tap Dogs.
After SHINE, Carolyn Dodd signed with DBA in L.A. and has worked in television, theater, film, commercials, voiceover and music videos. Her largest (starring) role to date is Catty Wompus in The Adventures of Catty Wampus.
Aaron Conley, from West Point, MS, always knew his calling. He came to SHINE at the age of nine. His story of faith and fundraising were an inspiration to everyone he met during his AMTC experience. After convention, Aaron signed with Shirley Grant Management. A short time later, Aaron and his mother drove all the way to New York City to audition for the role of ‘Young Simba’ in The Lion King on Broadway. Against the odds of a newcomer winning one of the world’s most prestigious child roles, he got it! Aaron was able to complete over three hundred performances! The faith and courage of Aaron and his mother was a witness of Jesus before we in AMTC knew Him personally. We are thankful and praise God for the Conley’s.
Jordan Barker is a youth performer from Trinity, Texas. She originally joined AMTC to pursue her passions of modeling and acting, but through the training found and developed her gift for comedy. Winning the VIP Choice Award for Stand Up was just the beginning. She has booked a new gig nearly every week since being home, performing in comedy clubs and open mics across Texas. Her favorite opportunity to date was being asked to open for fellow comedian Chris Porter at the Improve Arlington. Her comedy has opened doors for newspaper and radio interviews - leading to featured artist spots at comedy showcases and a chance to make more people laugh and enjoy life. Jordan has also continued to follow her dreams of modeling and acting. She has done voiceover work, appearing in a project with fellow AMTC grads: Shimmy Shimmy Shamrock as the little girl. She is a part of a traveling theater group taking 'Christmas in the Future' to schools all around East Texas, and is a feature model for the coloring book made of the group. She has also begun to write. Her first book, an autobiography titled 'Chocolate, Cheese, and Sarcasm' is in production, and other projects and parody songs are coming soon. You can follow her progress and stay up to date with her gigs on social media. Comedian Jordan Barker on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, snap chat, Instagram, and vine.
Charles Greer IV worked hard before, at and after SHINE and later signed with Abrams Artist in Los Angeles. He’s worked with Walter Pridgen, the acting coach for Disney sitcoms. Charles is also studying dance at Debbie Allen Dance Academy, improve at Second City (L.A.), in addition to piano & voice. He’s already shot commercials for clients like Kmart, ESPN, GoGurt, Theranos and Nike, in addition to a large role on a new Nickelodeon show.
According to his dad (Charles III): "There was so much information that was given to us from the first day of Charles’ AMTC prep, as far as how we should conduct ourselves, what to look for, what to be cautious of. I believe the information really prepared Charles and myself to be able to deal with what we have encountered thus far along our journey. Whenever Charles and I are surrounded with true believers, it helps us, encourages us, and keeps us ever mindful of our walk with Christ. It keeps us always cognizant of the fact that we don’t have to sell out or compromise to be successful in this industry. You don’t have to take any kind of role that’s going to compromise your faith and your walk with Christ, and AMTC really helped enforce that."
At 12 years old, Sara Stevens came to SHINE, and shine she did bringing judges to a stand ovation . That same year, she entered and won first place in the American Protégé International Music Competition, receiving the chance to perform on stage at Carnegie Hall. Her voice combines natural sweetness with conviction and power. Sara is one of those undeniable talents who can make the most skeptical music professional sit up and take notice. “Most of the time, when people say, ‘I want you to hear this really talented 12 year-old, you go, ‘yeah, right,’” composer/producer Paul Schwartz, conductor of Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera, reminisces. “But I’ve never worked with anyone like Sara. Her voice would be surprising coming out of anybody.” Sara has recored numerous sings with Schwartz, performed on national stages and sung the national anthem for numerous major teams. As her career grows, Sara has focused much of her efforts to giving back, especially with her involvement in speaking out against bullying; becoming an ambassador for the Pacer’s Organization, National School Climate Center, the Diana Award in the UK and as a keynote speaker and performer for Mentoring Partnerships of Long Island Youth Day Conferences.
As a teen model/actor, singer/songwriter, Keta Jo attended the SHINE Conference. With a sweet, soulful voice and fresh, yet timeless songwriting style, this Indiana-bred artist landed a record deal with Capitol Records at the age of 16. It came from the first batch of songs she had ever written and recorded. Her first album is a dreamy brand of deeply melodic dance-pop that merges magnetic beats with organic instrumentation. Her debut tour was with UK sensation, Sam Smith. Another key factor in Keta setting herself apart as a singer and songwriter: the intensely inspiring mix of honesty and optimism that infuses all of her songs. “My music is driven from things I’ve personally gone through. My goal is always to recognize the negative to bring out the positive, because I believe that life is what you make it,” she says.
Alycia Pascual Pena was an instant “hit” after her SHINE Conference and immediately starting work as a national print model for stores like Neiman Marcus, JC Penny, Belk and Supergirl, also commercials for clients including American Airlines, Neutrogena and ChuckECheese. She was in the TV series, Chase, and made appeared in shows like Good Morning Texas and Kids Sports Network with deMarcus Ware. Alycia is rebooked by clients again and again, because of her noteworthy positivity, personality, intelligence and helpfulness on every set.
Logan Grove came to AMTC from Palmer, Alaska at the age of 6. He got busy in TV in shows like Suite Life, E.R., and Medium; movies including House Broken and Christmas Do-Over. He won a recurring role in Dairy of a Single Mom, but Logan found fame and Best Child Actor awards in voiceover. He starred as the voice of Garfield Logan/Beast Boy in Young Justice and Gumball Watterson in The Amazing World of Gumball. Logan was nominated for an Annie Award and 2 BTVA (Behind The Voice Actors) awards for both series and won. As Logan’s voice matured beyond those parts, he was replaced and is now moving into his life as a young adult actor.
Adrian Kali Turner is a young actor, singer, dancer, writer and entrepreneur. He was born in Takoma Park, MD and currently lives in Los Angeles. Adrian started acting at the age of 4, when he landed the lead role in a pre-school play. When Adrian attended SHINE, he received many callbacks. Credits include iCarly, Yo Gabba Gabba, Chuck, Lincoln Heights, Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards, Numb3rs, Flash Forward, and Disney's 3 Minute Game Show. In addition, Adrian had a pivotal role in the Hollywood/Bollywood blockbuster, My Name is Khan. Adrian is an avid comic book reader. He realized his dream acting-job of portraying a comic book character when he was cast as Duane in the hit AMC zombie drama, The Walking Dead. As a member of the Choir, Adrian Kali sang for President Obama's Inauguration: Neighborhood Ball and appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, and Larry King Live. Adrian Kali has performed alongside, Will.i.am, Jason Mraz, Donna Summer and Jamie Foxx. In addition to acting and singing, Adrian has been a member of the Elevate Studio’s Competitive Hip-Hop Dance Team.
Brandon’s parents, Jean and Francis, along with big brother Jeff, discovered Brandon’s love of entertaining at an early age when he started singing karaoke in front of his friends and family. By the age of 5 he was entering and winning school poetry contests and by 7 years old he’d landed a role in The Henry Players production of Charlotte’s Web. After attending SHINE, he signed with 3 agents and has since worked on television series such as The Solomon Bunch and BET’s The Game.
Being a part of a featured movie Sunday Morning Rapture was another appointed step toward this young actor’s journey into his God given destiny. He was one of the top 3 winners of the “Henry Has Talent” competition in Georgia and won the “Keep an Eye on This One” award and appeared for an interview and performance on a local television channel where he reunited with fellow AMTC graduates.
Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Allie wanted to be an actress for as long as she can remember. She attended SHINE and was the top child actor. Allie was placed with Coast to Coast, one of the top children’s management companies in the world following an interview with Christian Kaplan, VP of Casting for 20th Century Fox (whom she met at SHINE). Previously, Allie was a regular on 3 different TV series: Suite Life, Weeds and Suburgatory, which basically covered her entire childhood. She also has many films and guest-starring roles to her credit. Even with such a busy career, this high achiever graduated valedictorian of her high school and went on to Harvard. Currently she can be seen as Evelyn Silver on ABC's The Goldbergs.
Born in Rhode Island, and named after an Egyptian godmother, Suvari spent her early years in an old stone mansion that she insists was haunted. The family relocated to Charleston, SC, where her three older brothers lined up to attend the Citadel (a military college). Mena’s interested turned toward entertainment when a modeling agency (Millie Lewis) stopped by her all-girls. At age 12, after receiving a few pointers on her runway strut, Suvari attended a SHINE and was snapped up by the New York-based Wilhelmina agency. Her film career started with guest appearances on major TV shows, but fame came from the films American Pie and American Beauty. Since then, Mena has worked steadily in film and TV. She’s also been a Lancome model and international covergirl. Mena Suvari on IMDB
Jaden Martin came to SHINE with AGI in at the age of 8. He has worked continually as an actor and model. He kicked his career into high gear on a trip to LA and immediately began booking several modeling jobs for companies like Target and Kohl’s. Along with Jaden’s passion for modeling, he pursues his dream of acting and has been featured in television series such as All My Children, How to Rock, Minay TV and Jessie- also movies like Battle for Skylark, A History of Radness and After Earth will with Will Smith.
Victoria Staley is a SHINE grad who has been working professionally since she was 8 years old. As early as two years old, it was obvious that Victoria had a “bent” toward entertaining family, friends, and on occasion-total strangers! When she’s not performing, Victoria enjoys running, horseback riding and volunteering at a horse rescue in North Georgia—SavetheHorses.org. She enjoys singing, dancing, and writing poetry and hopes one day to include singing as another facet in her career. Currently, Victoria is represented by J. Pervis Talent Agency in Atlanta. She’s working steadily in print, commercials, television and film.
Uriah Shelton loves acting, singing and martial arts. He attended SHINE at the age of 8 and has spent the last ten years working steadily as an entertainer. He was a series regular on TV shows including The Glades, Blue, and Girl Meets World. He guest starred in The Suite Life, Nancy Express and Monk, and had principals roles in both films and TV movies, included Lifted, about a boy whose dad goes off to war. His latest film is Warrior’s Gate, where teenager is magically transported to China and learns to convert his video game skills into those of a Kung Fu warrior.
Alessandra Matkins began as a child model who signed with Product in New York and Kim Dawson in Dallas. She has enjoyed success in print and TV with clients such as JC Penny, Bergdorf Goodman, Marc Jacobs. Belk, Neiman Marcus, Osh Kosh, Dillards, Burlington, Stride Rite, nastier Lukin’s Supergirl Collection, and Kenneth Cole.Her parents sent this note following her SHINE experience: "We would like to take this opportunity to give praise to the Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing us abundantly and special thank you Carey Lewis and the AMTC Family for all the support. It has also been a blessing to be at auditions in Dallas, with Camie Rivera and the rest of the talent scouts and being able to share our journey with AMTC and to other aspiring talents was indeed a life changing experience!"
Nicole began acting at the age of 6 and came to SHINE when she was 8. Now in college, she’s been going strong all the way. This deep and kind beauty is now an industry veteran. Her first job was for the Sundance Channel. Since then, she’s been in shows like Criminal Minds, Out of Jimmy's Head, Brother's and Sisters, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. She worked with great actors, such as Sally Fields, Rachel Griffiths, and Kerris Dorsey. Nicolle toured the world in promotion of her most heart-wrenching, 8 Days, in which she plays the lead: a young woman who is kidnapped and trafficked. All proceeds from 8 Days go to various human trafficking charities. Says Nicole’s Mom, Jo Ann, “Nicole continues to audition, work, and train and grow as an actor, this has been such a wonderful experience. This has all been possible because of a post card sent to our mailbox one afternoon, and a little girl begging to go take acting classes, then performing at SHINE. We are so grateful to AMTC for such an amazing opportunity to be seen by top agents, managers, and casting directors and a special thanks to each and everyone that has made this journey so special we are truly grateful.”
Andrew Bambridge, an achondroplastic dwarf, is an internationally-recognized multi-talented performer from New Jersey. He came to SHINE at the age of 13 and wowed the judges. However, Andrew was sidelined for several years. He suffered and triumphed over through physical challenges and surgeries. Two of these surgeries were performer by presidential candidate, Ben Carson. After years of debilitating headaches, Andrew volunteered for a church production. He discovered that only when performing did he find relief. Therefore, he headed back to the stage. He landed a significant role in Pixels, and is one of two actors in the movie with consistently positive reviews. As a singer and percussionist, he has performed with Juilliard and Princeton University. He’s won too many honors and awards to mention. Most of all, Andrew is a young man of God and a role model to all who know him.
Jackson Nance, a Leiper's Fork, TN native, attended AMTC at the age of 9 with Advantage Models & Talent. The young prodigy and wowed the judges with his voice, good looks and stage presence. Now 16, he's the youngest artist ever to sign a publishing deal with Warner Chappell Records in Nashville. (He is also signed with BMI.) Jackson has released a song, It's a Swamp Thing, with country legends, the Swampers.