Emi Sunshine at the 2023 Young Entertainer Awards in Los Angeles – photo © RachelSolarioPhotography
When EmiSunshine showed up at the 2023 Young Entertainer Awards in Los Angeles earlier this month, she only expected to perform the two songs she had been booked to sing on the ceremony. And so she did, spending the rest of the awards show in the audience, watching as the YEA honored dozens of teen actors, producers, and writers from film, stage and television.
Amparo and Michael Wiener founded the organization eight years ago, specifically to focus attention on young performers before they tend to be recognized by the larger entertainment media. Often somewhat overlooked are child and teen actors, but the quality of their artistic efforts are as important as any other in making for effective and believable films and shows.
The Wieners shared their vision for the Young Entertainers Awards with this statement:
“We know first hand the value of peer recognition, family encouragement and support, and preparation in the lives of young entertainers. That’s what the Young Entertainer Awards is all about — all actors and actress, working and struggling, make a tremendous effort in their endeavor to land a role. It’s that very endeavor we wish to recognize, encourage, support, and celebrate so that they have nice memories of this time in their lives.”
So, while sitting in the audience at the show, the 19 year old EmiSunshine – whose latest album, Sideshow is an all-bluegrass project – was stunned as she realized that she was being named at the 2023 Independent Entertainer of the Year.
Emi says that she had no idea it was coming.
“It’s such an honor, and came as a total surprise. I was sitting in the audience as the show was starting to wind down when the producer started talking about the award. As she described the winner, she started saying things that sort of sounded like they applied to me. When it dawned on me what was happening, even before she mentioned my name, I almost cried.”
Longtime fans know that she has been working as a singer and songwriter since she was 11 years old, fronting her own stage show, and appearing on television and radio all over the US.
YEA president and show producer Alitzah Wiener described EmiSunshine as, “someone who does it all, someone who wears many hats as an artist, someone who has a legit fan base, someone who headlines their own tours, and someone at the age of 19 who has just released their tenth album.”
Congratulations to EmiSunshine for this award!