Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Dreams come true

Chloe Dolandis, a 19-year-old FAU student, was sick in bed with strep throat and pink eye, and surviving without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Frances, at her home in Boca Raton when the call came. The producer for the Nickelodeon game show SPLAT! wanted her. After 10 months and two call backs Dolandis was finally being given a chance to appear on national television.

“It’s been a dream of mine to be on Nick since I was 7,” Dolandis says. Dolandis, aspiring actress and singer, has been performing since she was 5. She’s been in commercials and has auditioned for such shows as Star Search and American Idol. Even though Dolandis has an agent, as she says, “I find auditions myself and present them to my agent who then represents me.”

In fact, she found an audition call for In Search of the Partridge Family, went for it, and was selected. Just two weeks prior to the call from Nickelodeon, VH1 was airing Dolandis’ weekend long audition. One of 300 contestants, Dolandis was chosen by the show to continue. They offered her a contract but Dolandis says it was too binding professionally, and so she turned it down.

“It was an intensive audition, and it was fun, but it’s a good thing I didn’t accept it because then I got a call for Nickelodeon,” Dolandis says.

Mindy Dolandis, Chloe’s mom, is not surprised her daughter’s dream has come true. “Chloe works very hard and she has the whole package,” she says. “The camera loves her, she sings, and she acts.”

SPLAT! is live, which is why Jason Harper, producer for the show, wanted Dolandis. “It’s demanding to be on live national TV. You have to get it right the first time, and she did that in her audition,” Harper says. “Chloe is a lot like she is on camera-the same energy, the same smile, the same talent.”

The idea behind SPLAT! is for children to log on to nick.com and join a team based on their birthday. During commercials, over a 2-hour period, the different hosts go on, play games with the live audience, call others to play over the phone, and encourage online participation for their teams. Points are awarded to each team when viewers register, and each day and week a winner is selected. “It’s like being a temporary big sister and cheerleader for two hours,” Dolandis says.

The show is produced in Orlando, so Dolandis packed up her belongings, and for the first time is living on her own. “I’m having the best time I’ve ever had,” she says. She also quit FAU where she had started her second year.

While Dolandis does plan on returning to school in January, she is keeping her options open. If the right opportunity presents itself, Dolandis says she will take it. “I’m already doing what I love. I’m learning hands-on so I don’t feel going to school would help me. My mom understands. She is a professional ballet dancer and left home at 14 to go to an arts school,” she says. Her father was a bit concerned at first when she dropped out of school, but is now fully supportive of Dolandis’ decision.

Dolandis doesn’t simply want a career in show business; she wants to help kids as she did when she was vice president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at FAU. The society raises money for patients who need organ transplants. Dolandis came back to FAU two weeks ago to meet Eric Rojas, a boy who was able to receive a heart transplant because of the society’s fundraising. “I had to give up my position with the society, but if I go back in the spring I will take it up again,” she says. When the last show of the season airs on Oct. 1 Dolandis will be headed to New York, where she’s set her sights on a singing career, and in hopes of working with Nelson O’Reilly, a New York producer who has shown an interest in working with her.

While Mrs. Dolandis is hopeful that SPLAT! will lead to other things for her daughter, she understands the fickle nature of the business, she says. “But I know Chloe will keep at it, keep finding auditions to go to.”

Dolandis says her ultimate goal, in addition to helping kids, is to be famous. Harper says he thinks she has what it takes to go all the way.

“I think if I set another goal I know I’ll do it,” Dolandis says.

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