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Bella Awards to hold performer auditions in Penn Hills

| Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

When Darice Wilson and her cousin Shenita Jones were trying to plan a unique event for Pittsburgh, they drew inspiration from the “hair shows” Jones used to put together, celebrations of the region's barbers, stylists and their creations.

“They'd do one every year and it would attract thousands of people,” Wilson said.

Wilson, 24, of Penn Hills is the owner of D'Allure Trends, an online boutique, and joined with Jones, a Hill District resident, to organize the first-ever Bella Awards, an evening honoring hairdressers, makeup artists, fashion designers and more.

It will take place May 11 at Soldiers & Sailors Hall in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood.

Before the show starts, however, Wilson and Jones have to line up some entertainment, and will be holding entertainer auditions Feb. 22 at The Spot on Frankstown Road in Penn Hills.

“We had an audition in January to find a co-host for the show,” Wilson said.

“And now we're looking for artists to fill 10 performing spots during the show.”

Structured similar to the Grammy Awards, the Bellas will present trophies in a variety of categories — lifetime achievement, an award for a rising star, as well as people's-choice awards for best stylist, best barber, etc. — with musical entertainment between presentations.

Wilson said The Spot — which also served as the venue for their co-host search — is the perfect place for their auditions.

“It's a well-known place and they were very open to working with us and accommodating what we were trying to do,” Wilson said.

The auditions are open to the public and free to attend.

A panel of judges made up of event sponsors will choose the performers, who will be notified by social media the day after the auditions.

Between 25 and 30 acts are lined up to audition, and Wilson said Bella Awards officials are maintaining a waiting list for new registrants as well.

As the date of the awards show draws nearer, Wilson said she hopes to host one event per month — there will be a networking mixer in March, and a pre-award party in April — to keep buzz going about the awards show.

Performer auditions will begin Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. at The Spot, located at 11675 Frankstown Road.

For more on the awards show, visit BellaAwardsPGH.com.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

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