This weekend, on Saturday (July 28th), from 10AM til 1PM, is your chance to be a star when the world-famous Apollo Theater
of Harlem, NY will make its once a year visit to California in search of "amateur" talent for upcoming Showtime At The Apollo
shows back in New York City at the historic 125th Street venue. This year the producers of the show will only visit five American cities outside of New York in search of talent, so this is a great opportunity to try out if you are an aspiring entertainer, whether you are a singer, rapper, spoken-word artist, comedian, dancer, musician, etc. And on Saturday their only West Coast tryouts will be held at the Oakland Convention Center
located at 1001 Broadway in downtown Oakland.
If you plan on attending the tryouts (for which there is no charge and which are based on a first come, first served basis) I suggest you get in line earlier than the scheduled 10AM door opening time. The first 300 in line will be admitted to audition. But even though the cut off time is 1PM, the actual tryouts inside the auditorium will last long past that -- until 6PM or possibly even later, so pack a sandwich and bring lots of water and sunscreen (you might be in line outside for hours). And another tip is to get lots of rest the night before so you are at your best.
A couple of months ago I attended one of the twice-a-year tryout sessions held in New York and wrote about it for the New York Press
. What amazed me most was the level of quality talent that showed up to audition. I enjoyed the tryouts even more than the actual Amateur Night at the Apollo (held every Wednesday for the past 73 years) and am looking forward to attending the Oakland session -- I am scheduled to write a report about it for the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
If you go on Saturday be prepared, and know that you will have only up to ninety seconds to display your skills -- so, if for example you are a singer with a backing track burnt on CDR or cassette, have it ready in your hand to pass over to the sound tech person. The contest is open to all ages but children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Below are the exact rules of the audition. For even further information visit the Apollo Theater website