Baron Ambrosia and Charlie Daniels went to high school together, which is how the Bronx-based entertainer, filmmaker, and explorer got involved with the upcoming, third annual Hebron's Got Talent show.
Daniels is one of the local organizers of the show, which was introduced by members of the Gilead Congregational Church as a means to both showcase local talent and raise money for needs-based scholarships in the arts through Hebron Parks and Recreation and AHM Youth and Family Services.
Ambrosia (a.k.a. Justin Fornal) and Daniels both attended Haddam-Killingworth High School.
"We both, oddly enough, performed in a talent show many years ago together," said Ambrosia.
The pair performed a song by Onyx, a hip-hop group from Queens, New York, according to Ambrosia. It had been a while since he'd heard from Daniels when Ambrosia received an email.
"I thought the show sounded like a lot of fun, and it's for a great cause," said Ambrosia.
These days, Ambrosia is involved with a number of different projects. Google his name and one of the first things that pops up is The Culinary Adventures of Baron Ambrosia, a show that aired on The Cooking Channel. Ambrosia said that Adventures arose from Bronx Flavor, a show originating on BronxNet and later picked up for wider distribution, for which he won a NY Emmy Award. The shows feature Ambrosia travelling around New York City, documenting various ethnic cultures and their indigenous cuisines.
"Usually, what I do is help people to discover other cultures," said Ambrosia. "Often, I do that through food."
Ambrosia said he has also done work for The Travel Channel, and most recently worked on the production end of a show for the National Geographic Channel. Ambrosia said the show, called The Great Human Race, should be airing soon. The National Geographic website describes the show as a series "about two people, an anthropologist and a survival expert, who are attempting to live like our most primitive ancestors did. They must survive in the harshest locations ever occupied by ancient humans, and utilize only the tools and technology available to people in a predetermined time period."
"It's going to be a really great show," said Ambrosia. "It should be very interesting."
Soon, Ambrosia will be leaving for Mexico, where he will be documenting historic fabric dying methods. He'll be returning just in time to host the Hebron show.
"I'm really looking forward to it," he said.
In years past, Hebron's Got Talent has hosted a wide range of ages performing in a wide variety of genres, including dance, instrumental music, singing, and comedy. This year's show is expected to offer the same variety. Acts are judged by audience members utilizing an "Applause-O-Meter," and the winning act receives a $250 prize. There are door prizes for the audience, and refreshments are available.
Hebron's Got Talent takes place Saturday, Feb. 26, at 6:30 p.m., in the RHAM High School auditorium. Snow date is April 8. Tickets are $8 for an individual, or $25 for a family of four, and are available at Teds IGA, AHM Youth and Family Services, Hebron Parks and Recreation, Gilead Congregational Church, or at the door. For more information contact Gilead Congregational Church at 860-228-3077.