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A Peek at Future Stars
by Obatunji McKnight
Photos by Jason Taylor


Every couple of months the world famous Apollo begins its search for new talent. Wešve received countless emails from people who want information on the requirements and dates at which they can get their shot at fame. On Saturday July 8, 2000, another round of hopeful stars were waiting on the hot streets of Harlem for their chance to fulfill their dreams and ambitions and to become future stars.

The whole process takes no longer than an hour or so and is open to all. Star hopefuls begin by finding out the date of the auditions. Then they go on the said date and get in line. When their turn comes up, they go inside and run through a few minutes of their act. The Apollošs management check for profanity and anything that is unprofessional, such as nudity, lewdness or violence. After that you are given a date on which to return for their performance.

People waiting for their shot at stardom were very friendly amd came from all over the country. One of the young men I spoke to was Martin, 19 from Queens an acapella Free-stylist. He told me he was "serious about making it in a field where anything is possible and everything goes". Herešs a sample of some of his lyrics which he gave me off the top of his head.

Later in the afternoon I spotted a family of talented women. Danielle Walker, 13, Dominique Walker, 13, their sister Mercedes Walker 16, and their mother Barbara Walker, who didnšt give an age. This family traveled all the way from Long Beach, California to try out for the world famous Apollo. I met many and spoke to most. Mercedes had travelled here with her family because she had been accepted into the Dance Theatre of Harlem. On their way through Harlem, Barbara noticed the line outside of the Apollo and after a few questions she convinced her two younger daughters to try-out. They had been singing since they were little and were excited about their auditions.

Stay tuned for follow up stories on the progress of some of the interviewed participants.



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