Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Time and Place: Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night auditons

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 2:01 AM

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This photo was shot Oct. 10 at the Rialto Center  for the Arts during ?auditions for the Apollo Theater’s 75th anniversary season of Amateur? Night, that starts in January of next year. Anybody who wanted to try out had the ?opportunity as long as they were one of the first 300 in line at the ?Rialto that morning. Each contestant got up to 90 seconds to? try out for the Amateur Night producers in an "American Idol" style? audition, after which they were either informed that they were "going?to New York" or offered a polite thank you.

Dwayne Terry, 26,  of Lawrenceville, GA was the eleventh person in? line at the audition. He arrived outside the Rialto at 7:45 p.m.? the night before the auditions and slept on the sidewalk in front of the theater. "When ?you really want something you have to go get it," he said. "The biggest? thing was I was so excited about the opportunity, that sleeping on the? sidewalk really did not matter."

When this photo was taken Saturday at 10:26 a.m. in the audition room, Terry was minutes from his ?life-long dream of trying out to perform at the Apollo. "When that ?photo was taken I was meditating, I was thinking about ministering to? the people in the room through my art." Dwayne, who goes by the ?performance name Inspirit, describes his talent as "Inspirational ?Mime." During his performance he combines lip synching to Christian? music sung by Yolanda Adams with miming. "What I try to do is lip sing ?every part of the song, every word, every beat and then I try to ?portray it in mime. I don't think anyone else in the world has done ?this so completely."

Terry was not one of the? 47 contestants invited to go to New York and perform ?at the Apollo, "I was really disappointed, of course, but I think God? had a bigger vision for me, he has a bigger plan. It was probably just ?to touch the people in that room. Next time the Apollo has another try?out I will be there again, because the inspirational mime is not just? for the church but for the world, the world has got to see it."

(Photo and text by Joeff Davis)

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