Monday March 18th, 2019 8:11PM

Oprah Network seeks local dreams, dreamers

By Marc Eggers Anchor / Reporter
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GAINESVILLE - The Oprah Winfrey Network paid a visit to Gainesville Monday afternoon looking for adults who have kept a longtime goal "on hold", foregoing their hidden ambition as they fulfilled the everyday demands of parenthood and career.

OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, launches on January 1, 2011, and plans, according to the website, to be a "24/7 cable network devoted to self-discovery, to connecting you to your best self and to the world.".

One of the programs that will be a part of OWN is "My Time", a reality show that will provide an opportunity for adults over the age of thirty to finally pursue their hidden and delayed dreams.

One Louder Productions had announced an open casting for "My Time", to be held at the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK) on Chestnut Street. This was to be just one of numerous casting calls across the state.

Tracy Whitmire, with the Gainesville communications and tourism office, and Sheri Hooper, founder and director of INK, welcomed the sixty-plus hopefuls as they entered the main lobby shortly after 5PM, helping to sign them in and explaining some of the stipulations that were a part of the process.

"The biggest thing about this is that you can achieve your dream in six to eight weeks; they will send someone here to work with you; so as long as it isn't trying to start a business or finish school or something like that," Whitmire would patiently explain to those entering the lobby.

Hooper said, "We had a person from the show call and ask if they could use a couple of rooms (for their casting), and hopefully we'll have someone from the area represent us on the new show."

Art Thomas, 53, came all the way from Milledgeville. Arriving early in the morning he spent most of his day sitting through the much-needed rain. "I've got a dream, and I've got a plan," he said, undeterred.

When asked about his plan he deferred and said he would save it for the producers.

Thomas was first to interview and he was first to exit. He was now ready to share his dream publicly. "Dancing has always been a love of mine. I can get healthier; I can overcome a fear; and I am ready!"

Tony Norton of Lula said prior to entering the building that his dream was to use his love of carpentry to help fix-up the homes of the elderly. Carpentry and woodworking are now his hobbies, but Norton would love to use those skills as a business and as an outreach ministry.

"I've always had a heart to help old people. I do odd-and-end jobs
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