Talented Low girl gets taste of Hollywood
But daughter of Donegal Town lady opts to finish studies first
Enya (11) is daughter of Ole and Donna Agerholm (nee McGinty) and granddaughter of the late Josephine and Cathal McGinty, New Row, Donegal Town.
Lots of girls would give an arm and a leg for the chance to work in acting and modelling.
Lake of the Woods resident Enya Agerholm had such a chance, but instead choose her life in this east Orange County community, attending Locust Grove Elementary School, and spending time with her friends.
Last March, when she was nine, going on ten, Agerholm, who sings and dances with the lake of the Woods Church ‘Higher Power’ group, auditioned with the M&S Studio of the Performing Arts in Fredericksburg. She was selected to attend the 47th Millie Lewis Actors, Models and Talent Competition, held in Orlando, Florida, last June.
The highlight of that week long competition, as far as Enya is concerned, was a chance to swim with sharks at an Orlando tourist attraction, accompanied by her dad, Ole, a chef.
She also managed to stand out from the hundreds of other competitors. Noticed by modelling and talent agencies from Miami and Atlanta, she received an invitation from the Warner Brothers’ affiliated Abrahms Artists Agency to visit Los angeles and try her hand at classes and auditions.
In July, Enya, her mum, Lake of the Woods realtor Donna Agerholm, and six year-old sister Sorcha packed up and took off for the west coast.
During the earlier competitions, Enya had become friends with six-year-old Cassidy McAdam. Cassidy, with her mum, Lisa, and grandmother, Sylvia, was also making the trip to the ‘City of Angels’. The two families stayed and drove together for three weeks. While trying a few open auditions, Enya attracted the interest of Daniel Hoff, of the Daniel Hoff agency. Saying that he was ‘absolutely amazed’ by her, he asked her to sign a contract for acting. It would mean spending more time in the area, trying to break in to the business there.
“They weren’t promising she would get any roles,” Donna recalls, “but he said she had a very good chance, and he would promise her lots of auditions.”
After discussing it with Ole, the Agerholms decided it was worth a try. Donna intended to take her daughters back to Los Angeles for a six-month stay. She checked out the schools, put down a deposit on a Malibu Canyon apartment, “just around the corner from a really good public school.”
First, however Enya would have to get a work permit.
“Everything was in place. The wheels were set in motion,”Donna says. “We came back to get organized. It was going to be a big move, but we were going to do it. We were getting everything ready for the work permit.”
Then, a few days before they were planning to leave, Enya had something to tell her parents.
“You know what?” she said, “It was a great experience, but I don’t feel ready yet. I’d miss my school, and my friends”
“We looked at each other,” Donna recalls, and thought, “That’s OK. Let us know when you are ready.”
Enya liked Los angeles. “All the tryouts, I wanted to be on TV. And I liked all the hotels, and the swimming pools. I liked going out there with one of my friends. I didn’t want to do it alone. And I loved the photo shoots, that was the best part.”
What she didn’t like as “All the smog and stuff. We all got upper respiratory infections. And I didn’t like all the bars on the houses, the windows. The security issues.”
Since returning to her life here, Enya hasn’t been goofing off.
She earned a perfect score on her math SOL test, for the second year in a row.
She was named Miss Spotsylvania Sweeheart, in the Spotsylvania Regency Pageant, in December, and will appear in parades on St Patrick’s Day and the Fouth of July. The contest allowed entries who lived within a 30 minute radius of Spotsylvania.
Her friend Cassidy, who returned to Los Angeles, got signed up with the Bobby Ball Agency, and is now in TV commercials. She has gotten several jobs in LA, modell ing and acting.
Looking back on her experience, Enya explains, “I wanted to be famous, but I would miss my friends and I wanted more practice.”
Nationwide visits the Salthill Gardens of Elizabeth Temple in Mountcharles
Nationwide producer Ronan Hand; Presenter Mary Kennedy; Elizabeth Temple and TV camera man, Brian McVeigh.
On Tuesday of last week, the RTE ‘Nationwide’ crew visited the home of Lynn and Elizabeth Temple at Salthill House, Mountcharles. With their garden in full bloom, the lawns looking greener than green - and the sun high in the sky, it was a spectacular setting in which to record the popular TV programme. Show producer Ronan Hand and camera-man Brian McVeigh were first on the scene and some time later presenter Mary Kennedy arrived, accompanied be her son Tom who had just finished his exams.
The TV star was welcomed by Lynn and led into the house where she had a quick change. Reappearing in the garden Mary was wearing a radiant burnt orange colour jacket, contrasting white pleated skirt, set off by a two tone straw bag, and a dashing pair of sandals.
Mary’s reaction, after greeting Elizabeth, was one of awe as she looked around the grounds “We will start the program with this setting”, she declared “the gardens are so joyful and vibrant”.
As the couple proceeded through the mass of colour, the popular TV presenter was full of admiration, which only increased when she found out that the pictures she had praised on the walls of the house had been painted by Elizabeth herself. “As something of a gardener and artist myself, I am lost for words” she told me.
Mary, mother of four children, spoke of her love for flowers and said she has a Sorbonne garden at the rear and front of her home in Dublin.
After covering Salthill Gardens the crew were heading for the Waterbus. Staying in the Sandhouse Hotel, where they were to be joined by co-presenter Michael Ryan. The next morning they were heading to the Breezy Centre in Cashelard.
The Nationwide programme featuring Donegal will be broadcast this Friday, 29th June, on RTE1 at the usual time - a show not to be missed.