Arielle O’Keefe, an Allen singer, was surprised in April when she went to her regular gig at Opening Bell Coffee in Dallas and found that the E! Network was waiting for her.
The crew for Opening Act, a new show on the E! that premieres tonight at 9pm, told her to pack her bags for a chance to open for Rod Stewart in Las Vegas.
The Pegasus News is reporting that O’Keefe was blind sided by her big chance, “I freaked out,” she said. “They literally just found me on the Internet. I know: really crazy.”
O’Keefe will be the first musician featured on the show, which spotlights one musician per episode, each who is selected by the show’s artist development team solely through their YouTube videos. Each up and coming musician is given five days to train and open for a big-name artist. In addition to Stewart, other people on the show opened for Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, Brad Paisley, and more. Not a competition, the show simply tracks their surprise journey, stripping out the need for auditions, judges, or competitions.
Opening Act follows each artist’s journey from their hometown to center stage. “You have these incredibly talented people who are hooked up and matched with these superstars, but can they really rise to the challenge? It’s one thing when you’re playing local gigs and putting videos out on YouTube,” said Christel Wheeler, spokesperson for E!.
Before her show with Stewart, O’Keefe trained with Antonina Armato, and Nick Cooper in Los Angeles, who gave O’Keefe, “priceless advice.”
“I was waiting, preparing, practicing, making connections of my own, traveling to new York and LA, and just trying to get my break,” O’Keefe said. “I knew it would come. I didn’t know it would come in the way that it did.”
Opening Act premieres Tonight on E! at 9:00 pm. Arielle will be performing tonight at Opening Bell if you want to go see the see her live.