College of Charleston Theatre Professor Joy Vandervort-Cobb is going up against contestants from across the nation for an opportunity to host her own talk show on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Contestants are judged based on the number of online votes, the overall idea for a talk show and ability/personality to host a show.

Watch Vandervort-Cobb’s video and vote.

Vandervort-Cobb’s show falls into the “Traditional Talk Show” category and would be entitled “Authentic Joy.” She plans to invite guests to share experiences of life hardships and how they were overcome.

“I love to talk to people who have come through something difficult and are willing to pay it forward…that is the kind of person I want on my show – real people with real lives and what they did to get it right,” says Vandervort-Cobb.  “My show is about talking with authentic people, having fun, sharing love and finding wisdom together.”

Online voting ends at 11:59 p.m. on July 3, 2010. At least one of the top five vote getters will be invited to participate in a reality show where 10 contestants vie for their own show. Other finalists will be chosen from auditions and online submissions. The finalists will film the reality show from August-October 2010.

Joy Vandervort-Cobb, currently an associate professor of African American Theatre and Performance at the College of Charleston, began her career in theatre almost 30 years ago as an actress with the Freedom Theatre in upstate New York. She has performed in hundreds of performances since then, including this year’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Vandervort-Cobb has been teaching at the college for nearly two decades, earning a DIVA Award for Professor of the Year and a Lifetime Achievement Award.

A former student says, “I remember sitting in Joy’s class like it was just yesterday. She was enchanting and she made learning exciting. Each class she took us on a journey, without ever leaving the classroom. At the end of that semester, I truly believe all of her students had been elevated to another level of learning and life.”

Contact Joy Vandervort-Cobb at 843.953.5802 or