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Are You the Next James Brown?

Are You the Next James Brown?

James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, and Lauryn Hill are just a few of the artists who launched their careers at Amateur Night at the Apollo—and you have a chance to follow in their footsteps.

The Apollo Theater is holding live open call auditions this month for its 2013 Amateur Night season, offering up-and-coming artists the opportunity to be discovered on the famous stage “where stars are born and legends are made.” Singers, rappers, dancers, musicians, actors, spoken word poets, and comedians are all encouraged to audition.

As defined by the Apollo, an amateur is anyone who has not had a recording, film, or TV contract with a major studio. Performers age 16 or older compete in the adult category, while the children’s category is only for ages 5 to 15. Contestants chosen from these auditions will secure a spot in the Amateur Night 2013 season lineup.

Open call auditions for the Apollo’s 2013 Amateur Night season will be held Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Apollo Theater in New York. Judges will only see the first 300 acts at the live auditions, so performers are encouraged to arrive early. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information and audition details, view the full casting notice online at

Each contestant will have up to 90 seconds to audition. Singers may bring a track or sing a cappella, and dancers should bring CDs; a band will not be provided. Musicians must bring their own instruments. Auditions should be family friendly, with no profanity.

If unable to attend the live auditions in New York, performers from around the world can email their contact information and a YouTube or Vimeo link to a performance video to to be considered.

“The Apollo is truly the world’s stage and, as such, we always want to make sure we are getting the best possible talent to compete by reaching out to talent in different areas,” Amateur Night producer and audition judge Marion J. Caffey said in a statement. “However, there is definitely something special about auditioning at the Apollo. It seems to give people that extra boost of confidence and energy they need to be able to get in front of us and show us what they’re made of, for better or worse. We hope for the better.”

Amateur Night has been a weekly fixture at the Apollo since the theater opened in 1934. Performances are held every Wednesday evening, and cash prizes are awarded at the end of each week’s competition. Adult contestants will also have a chance to compete for a $10,000 season finale grand prize, while child contestants compete for a $2,000 grand prize.

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