NEW CASTLE —
(You can watch Sabrina Golba’s “Angelica” video below the story.) There likely are multiple ways to land a spot on a Christian TV program for kids.
However, making YouTube videos in your room when you’re supposed to be doing chores probably isn’t going to be one of them.
Still, it worked for Sabrina Golba. The 16-year-old Lawrence County native is scheduled to appear in January on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s “iShine KNECT’ show, thanks to a 5-year-old alter-ego she created for online viewing while her parents were waiting for her to help re-arrange the basement.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I don’t feel like it,’ ” Sabrina said of task, “so what I did was create something to make them laugh so that it would also get me out of doing what they wanted me to do.
“And that’s when I came up with Angelica.”
Angelica is a 5-year old whose precocious observations may harken up memories of Lily Tomlin’s Edith Ann for one generation and The Amanda Show for another. The pigtailed preschooler first appeared in YouTube videos that Sabrina made solely for the amusement of her family and friends.
Then came an online contest sponsored by iShine, a Christian media group dedicated to ministering to pre-teens and their families. Its iShine KNECT — described as a faith-based version of pre-teen programming airing on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel — offered the chance for an appearance on the show to the contest winner.
Sabrina — who has lived in Bonita Springs, Fla., since November — was encouraged by one of her viewers to enter Angelica in the competition. After a two-week voting process, Sabrina’s video earned her the opportunity to appear on one season four episode of iShine KNECT, as well as the opportunity to audition live in Nashville for a recurring role.
The episode on which she will appear is scheduled to air sometime in January.
“She talks about things day to day that she struggles with, but they’re not things that you would think she would struggle with,” Sabrina said of her winning character. “She calls 911 to get her friends to come over, because 911 is her friends; she doesn’t understand that whenever they come over its because she’s in trouble.
“She’ll talk about things she did wrong, but she thinks are right. She has tons of confidence; she thinks she’s like the best person there ever was and that she can’t be wrong.”
It’s that kind of confidence that Sabrina hopes Angelica will inspire in others.
“ I portray her in a way that allows people not to be like cocky, like stuck up, but just to love themselves because they should,” Sabrina said. “God gave them great bodies and made them beautiful people but they’re struggling with confidence issues.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I have to do something about that.’ So I just started developing a confidence thing with Angelica to show they can be confident as well.”
Sabrina is a bit of a role model herself, according to people who have worked with her.
Before moving to Florida, she attended Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, where she learned acting, dance and vocal skills from performing arts teachers such as Gwyneth Welling.
“I am not surprised by her ability to stay in character,” Welling said. “But, I am very impressed by how creatively she put it all together.”
Steve and Sara Mikulski helped provide spiritual leadership for Sabrina when she attended New Life Baptist Church in New Wilmington. Sabrina will accompany a group from the church on a missions trip to Jamaica later this month.
“Sabrina is like a breath of fresh air,” Steve Mikulski said. “She is eager to learn and grow and is conscious of wanting to do the right thing, I believe she will go very far.”
(iShine KNECT airs at 10 a.m. Saturdays on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Locally, TBN is available on Comcast channel 112, Direct TV channel 372 and Dish Network channel 260.)