When I was a little girl growing up in North Carolina, the highlight of my Saturday night was, watching ” It’s Showtime at the Apollo”. I used to dream while watching the hopeful talent give the World Famous Apollo Theater a shot. That spotlight had my name on it. I just knew that I would bless on the stage one day…
“It’s Showtime at the Apollo” aired on television on September 12, 1987. This show aired live for 20 years. Granted, the Apollo theater had been doing it’s thing in Harlem for nearly 60 years before the show made its way to our living rooms. The theater was born during the time of the Harlem Renaissance in Harlem, New York. This was a time where artistic “Black America” began to really thrive and blossom. .
The show aired it’s last episode on May 24, 2008. Reality shows and other talent competitions have tried to fill the void that the absence of, “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” left. A lot of these shows may score high ratings but there is absolutely nothing on television that is like what this show was….PERIOD.
In 2011 BET decided to get involved and bring it back but with a few changes. When I first heard of this I thought, “Oh Lord…” We all saw what happened when BET got a hold of “The Game”… I’m just being real. When the Network started backing the sitcom, a lot of people began to dislike the show, even with all the original cast members back…
I’ve finally gotten to watch the show after it made its return in 2011. They made a few changes but I must say…. I LIKE IT. It is normally hard to remake a classic of any sort and do it justice. BET pleasantly surprised me with this one. The show is hosted by Tony Rock. He is an excellent host. He swiftly eases everyone’s nerves. Performing can be nerve-wrecking for both the performers and the audience. One change that BET made was adding judges. When I first heard of this, I thought ” aw man, that sounds wack? What happened to the audience having the final word on the talent that’s performing before them”? After I watched the show and seen how the judges are used, I actually think it’s genius. The audience still gets the final say so in who wins. The judges are: Doug E. Fresh, Michael Bivens, and Glady’s Night. I like these judges because they are all deeply seasoned in the music industry in different areas. They all also have their own personal history with the Apollo Theater. The judges talk to each act in the end. They advise the act and let them know where there is room for improvement. Feedback like that is holy for any artist that is serious about their craft. The judges encourage all of the acts whether they do good or bad. They never bash, even when they criticize.
There is no more kids competition. Nope, BET 86’d that one. When I was younger, I used to look forward to this part of the show. In the new show, there is only Amateur Night. The ages is from 5 years old and up. I guess that kind of compensates somewhat for the kids night being exed out of the show. I can’t forget, the Sandman. He is back with a vengeance, giving us all a good laugh from time to time.
Think you have what it takes to give the Apollo A shot??
You can always audition year-round online by sending your contact info and youtube video to: : ApolloAmateurNightCasting@apollotheater.org
The Apollo Theater is is holding auditions in a few cities in 2013 as well.
- Apollo Amateur Night Broadway Auditions (NY, NEW YORK) 1/30/13
- Apollo Amateur Night Student Auditions (Atlanta, Georgia) 2/1/13
- Apollo Amateur Night Open Auditions (Atlanta, Georgia) 2/2/2013
- Apollo Amateur Night Open Auditions (NY, New York) 3/9/2013
For more information about Audition locations, times, and requirements, Click————-> HERE