Watch the 1990 Audition Tape That Didn’t Get J.Lo Hired for ‘In Living Color’

Lead Photo: Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
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Before she was selling 70-piece makeup collections or catching perps on Shades of Blue, Jennifer Lopez was a struggling dancer trying to make it, and back in 1990 she got her chance when she auditioned for the Fox sketch comedy show, In Living Color. Now, footage of that audition is now available, showing the talent Lopez possessed at just 20 years old.

The video, part of a flashback on Inside Edition, shows Lopez in a mass dance audition to become a “Fly Girl,” the name for the dance troupe that performed in-between sketches on the show. Lopez is seen picking up the choreography easily, able to cartwheel and tumble with the best of them, but she has her misses too. As David Peisner lays out in his book on the series, there were hopes of turning the Fly Girls into a musical troupe, so the audition also includes a music portion and the audience gets to hear Lopez sing, sans autotune.

Despite making it to the final cut, overseen by fellow Nuyorican actress and In Living Color dance coordinator Rosie Perez, Lopez wasn’t initially chosen. Instead, Carla Garrido, now a choreographer in New York, secured the role. Lopez became a Fly Girl in season three, staying on the show for a year.

The video certainly proves Lopez was a performer early on, and it’s great seeing her showcase her talent. Lopez would eventually leave In Living Color to pursue film opportunities and become the massive star we all know her as, but it’s nice to see her way back when. It’s proof that before celebrities hit it big they sometimes fail just like the rest of us. She just needed a little more practice.