Jamie Foxx and Marcus King Revive ‘Apollo Live,’ You Can Audition Now

The Apollo is back on television and promises to be better than ever. Inspired by the successful 21-year run of “Showtime at the Apollo,” “Apollo Live” brings the talent face-to-face with the studio audience at the historic theater. The series will include audience voting, and the infamous “Executioner” who sweeps unsuccessful performers off the stage.

Did we mention Tony Rock is the host?

“Apollo Live” is a BET production. Auditions are taking place in various cities now. Contestants should log on to www.BET.com/Apollo for a complete set of the rules and eligibility requirements.

Here, producer Marcus King gives rolling out the scoop on what to expect.

How will “Apollo Live ” differ from the original?
“Apollo Live” is different in that we have judges that will weigh in on the show performances. Ultimately the audience is still the deciding factor of who stays and goes. Also, this version is more of a singing contest with a special variety showcase segment.

How will it differ from the talent shows (“Idol,” “The Voice,” etc.) that are on air now?
You can boo on this show! If you don’t like a performer — you don’t have to sit through and endure a whole performance. Also the other talent shows can be housed in any venue … there is only one world famous Apollo Theater.

What inspired you to bring this show back?
My inspiration had a lot to do with continuing the tradition of the Apollo Theater. The Apollo is a special place where legends were made, and to be able to work with the originators of this brand who were the first to take this format to TV before “[American] Idol,” “The Voice,” etc. was a no-brainer.

What are your earliest memories of Apollo?
My earliest memories would include watching Bill Cosby host the show, and then actually having the opportunity to work in the theater as a part of the production when my client at the time, Mark Curry was the host.

What is the best career advice that you’ve ever received?
I would say that the best career advice that I ever received was from my mother who said to “Stay focused and always put God first in everything that you do.”

How has that advice changed your life?
I wouldn’t say this advice changed my life, it instead allowed me the opportunity to commit to and create the path for the life that I am living to this day, which is one of focus and non-yielding faith.

What advice do you have for those who wish to try out for “Apollo Live?”
To prepare yourself for every step of the journey from your audition to your final performance — being prepared is the key element to success.

Is it ever too late to follow your dreams?
Though in some cases it would depend on what those dreams are, but, I would say no, it is never too late to follow your dreams.

Deputy Editor, Rolling Out


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