By Joel Hall
The Clayton County Board of Health's Adolescent Health and Youth Development Center will soon give students a chance to produce their own music videos with local recording artists, as part of the center's Teen Production Camp.
Eighty students from Clayton, Henry, Fayette, and Douglas counties will have a chance Saturday to audition to participate in the program. The auditions will be held from 10 a.m., to 2 p.m., at the youth development center, located at 685 Forest Parkway in Forest Park.
The center's four-week Teen Production Camp will begin July 6.
During the camp, students will produce music videos for, and interact with, several local rappers and rhythm-and-blues singers, including PoohDalini, Akera Love Lee, Talien, and Stanza, the June 3 winner of BET's "106 and Park" Wild n' Out Wednesday freestyle hip-hop competition.
According to Kesha Crockett, director of the camp, students will break into teams and work with hair, makeup, camera, lighting and audio experts, who will help them produce their own unique music videos. Through the program, students will get a backstage look at the "ins and outs" of the music industry, she said.
"A hairdresser is not just in a salon," Crockett said. "You can be on the set [of a music video]. There are different ways to use your talent if that is your passion."
Crockett said those with titles such writer, producer, or stylist are often lesser-known than those in front of the camera, and that the camp will introduce students to "behind-the-scene things about the career that they might not know about."
Rapper Alex "Stanza" Wiggins, 24, a native of College Park and a 2007 graduate of Clayton State University, said the camp will help students interested in the music business learn "that there is another way to do things," other than becoming a rapper, he said.
"I think any form of trade is a positive thing to have," Wiggins said. "I fix computers, myself. Maybe from doing this video, they can go on further to do something else in the same field. It's an outlet."
Brenda Tillman, public health educator for the Clayton County Board of Health, said the youth development center's mission is to prevent teens from making bad life choices. By learning more about the music business, Tillman said she believes students will be able to avoid negative choices by focusing on their talents.
"This is will broaden their horizons," Tillman said. "It still links to prevention. When children are introduced to new careers, it helps them stay focused. I think a lot of young people are attracted to music and creative writing, so this is tapping into what they like to do. I think it gives teens a chance to explore this as a career option."
The camp costs $200 per student, with a $10 audition-registration fee. Students will work in teams and have one week to work with one artist on their video. The Board of Health is looking for businesses to sponsor students interested in the program. For more information, call (404) 366-6230 or visit www.enoughentertainment.com.