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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hollywood, here she comes

Gliding across the room in her best runway walk, 14-year-old Katrina Cook of Athol is poised and confident in her five-foot, seven-inch frame.

Katrina is one of 76 candidates who attended the Barbizon Modeling and Acting School in Spokane last October through April. More than 1,000 interviewees tried out for the Barbizon school. Out of that class, 22 candidates from the Pacific Northwest have been selected to attend the International Model and Talent Association convention in Los Angeles in January.

The association has helped launch the careers of stars such as Ashton Kutcher, Elijah Wood and Katie Holmes. IMTA works with independent and franchised centers such as Barbizon and John Robert Powers to give aspiring models, actors, singers and dancers the opportunity to showcase their talent to casting directors and top fashion agents, such as the Ford Modeling Agency, at two yearly conventions.

Katrina, along with her mom, Lavonne, will head off to “Hooray for Hollywood” in January at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. The Timberlake High School freshman is most interested in film or television acting, or modeling. The Cook family relocated to Athol three years ago from Pilot Rock, Ore., where in the third grade Katrina landed her first big stage role as the wicked witch in a production of “Snow White.” Last summer she played Martha in “Charlotte’s Webb,” produced by Footprints in Coeur d’Alene, and she was in several church plays at the Assembly of God the family attended in Pilot Rock.

“Here she’s shy and quiet,” Lavonne said. “Put her up there, and she’s loud and clear!”

Lavonne said that Barbizon stressed that the candidates had to be able to do runway and acting. The talent scout who was in Spokane, Renee Eppers, gave Katrina a score of 10 out of 10 in acting. Eppers recommended Katrina to the IMTA convention.

“From the very beginning they told her, ‘Don’t mess with your hair.’ ” Lavonne said. Katrina has beautiful natural strawberry blonde hair that looks like it has highlights but is the real thing.

Katrina will audition for top modeling and talent agents from New York, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Europe, Japan and Australia at the Los Angeles event.

She will get a minimum of five auditions in acting or modeling. Katrina has decided to try out in fashion print and runway. Other competitions include team fashion, swimwear, sitcoms, monologues, people commercials, soaps and cold reads.

Katrina said she has wanted to be in show business since she was a little girl.

“I’ve pretty much always wanted to be an actress,” Katrina said. “It’s really been my main goal since I was 10 or 11.”

On the modeling side of things, she is interested in high fashion as opposed to more casual wear. She likes clothes, like most girls her age. She also has been involved in journalism, writing “Katrina’s Advice Column,” for the Timberlake Jr. High paper. She will be replacing journalism with drama classes in the fall.

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