Laurent Castellucci had no intention of becoming a premier danseur when he auditioned for the National Dance Institute (NDI) in 1980, but he went all out. "Winning the tryout," explains Castellucci, now 12, "meant I could get out of the last 45 minutes of school for dance class." He has since been chosen four straight times for a leading role in one of the annual dance extravaganzas at New York's Felt Forum organized by former New York City Ballet star Jacques d'Amboise (right). The NDI showcases public school students with no professional experience. Though Castellucci considered himself a "klutz," d'Amboise recognized "an extraordinary mind, untrammeled by clutter. Laurent moves with total imagination in every step." A top sixth grader from Riverdale, N.Y., Castellucci is especially interested in science, taking after his father, Vincent, a neurobiologist, and his mother, Lise, a neurochemist. Having performed on the Academy Awards with Irene Cara and other NDI students, Laurent is now preparing for his starring role in an NDI performance of The Knack, an original musical. He also dreams of following in the footsteps of Albert Einstein. "Somebody has to make the engine that will move man faster than light," he says. "It might as well be me."
Country music singer Camille Harrison was making a demo tape in Nashville a few months back when RCA producer and legendary piano man Floyd Cramer stopped the session to proclaim, "She's good, really good." Cramer immediately agreed to produce Harrison's first single, Memphis in May, which was released last month. This may be a breakthrough for the petite (5'2") 19-year-old after three years on the country concert circuit, opening for folks like Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette and Glen Campbell. Born in Nashville, Harrison started performing at age 4, using a floor lamp as a spotlight and a hairbrush as a microphone. "I never dreamed of being anything else but a singer," she says. Encouraged by her mother, Brucene, who had classical piano training, Camille was appearing in country jamborees and fairs by age 14. She studied music at Memphis State University but dropped out to pursue her professional career. Recently she signed a lucrative contract to do radio jingles and TV commercials for an oil company and has already recorded several cuts for her first album, due later this year. Carl Perkins, a granddaddy of rockabilly, is convinced that Harrison has "every qualification it takes to be a star. Let that girl sing, and I predict she'll soon be 'Miss Camille,' just like Dolly Parton is Miss Dolly."
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: The Time of My Life!
- 45 Pages of Oscar!
- The Pistorius Trial: Why Did He Kill Her?
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine