- Text Size +

February 23rd, 1993

Alex tried hard to keep up with his mother, who was briskly walking through the mall, trying to balance bags and books in her arms with her cell phone attached to her ear. He was unsure of who she was talking to, but was pretty sure that she was talking to his agent. Alex glanced around aimlessly at everything they were passing by so quickly, until a blue piece of paper attached to a pole caught his attention.

From where he was he could clearly see “YOUNG BOYS FROM AGES 12-25 WANTED.” printed on the blue paper in bold, black ink. Immediately he stopped following his mother and had made his way over to the pole to better read what the paper was about. It simply stated that a man by the name of Lou Pearlman was looking for recruitment of young boys who could act, sing and dance to form a boy band.

Denise finally turned to realize that her son was no longer behind her. “Alex?” she called out, pulling the cell phone away from her. “Alex?!”

Alex heard his mother calling for him and had found her in the midst of the mall crowd, searching for him. “Mom!” he replied, raising his hand in the air for her to see.

Denise finally spotted her son, who was standing by a pillar. “What are you doing baby?” she asked as she approached him, “C’mon, we gotta go.”

“Wait mom, I want to show you what I found.” Alex turned to take an extra flyer that was attached to the pole.

“What is this?” Denise asked as she grabbed the paper her son was handing to her.

“Some guy named Lou Pearlman is looking for triple threat boys to create a boy band.” Alex explained. “They‘re holding auditions.”

“Baby, you’ve auditioned for so many things already. In fact, I’m on the phone with Mr. Jackson right now discussing the roles you were selected for.”

Alex was a natural born performer, he lived and thrived to be on stage. He’s been in numerous musicals and performances and auditioned for even more whenever he got the chance. Auditioning to be apart of a boy band was something out of his realm, but deep inside he wanted nothing more than to give this opportunity a shot. He would never tell his mother this, but he was curious as to how it would feel to be in a boy band, how it would feel to have friends… how it would feel to have brothers.

“Please mom, I want to do this more than anything, please.”

Denise stared down helplessly at her son, who was begging and pleading her to allow him to audition to be in a boy band. She took a deep breath in and sighed heavily, “Tony, can you set up an audition for Alex with a Mr. Lou Pearlman?”


March 5th, 1993

“Howard!! Hey Howard!!”

Howard turned around to find Alex running behind, trying to catch up with him. “What’s up little man?” he asked as he ruffled Alex’s hair once he caught up.

“Hey, have you heard about this?” Alex asked as he handed over a blue paper to him.

Howard grabbed the paper and read it over. A year ago Howard had met little Alex at a competition that their local Latin Carnival was holding. Not only did Howard have a love for aeronautics, but he also had a passion for music as well. Alex had one first place, but they both have been good friends ever since.

“A boy band huh?” Howard asked.

Alex nodded, “I auditioned and I’m glad to say that I’m the first official member of this upcoming boy band.”

Howard smiled genuinely, “Well, congrats Alex! Don’t you go forgetting me when you make it in the big time.”

“Do you not get what I’m trying to do?”

Howard fell silent, contemplating the question over. “Um… actually, no I don’t get what you’re trying to do.”

“I want you to join man!”

Howard’s eyes widened, “You want me to… no, I don’t think so Alex.”

“Well, why not?” Alex asked, confused as to why Howard was turning him down. “You can sing, dance and act, and that’s exactly what they’re looking for.”

“That’s exactly what the manager of Menudo was looking for, and lets just say that I didn’t make the cut.” Howard laughed as he continued walking, leaving Alex behind.

But Alex quickly caught up with him, “C’mon Howie, what’s one more audition gonna hurt? And I don’t know why, but I got a really good feeling about this… you’ve got the talent to make it all happen for you man.”

Howard stopped walking again and had looked down at Alex, who was begging and pleading him with his eyes. Howard knew deep down inside that he was all Alex really had in his life, besides his mother and his grandparents. Alex had shared with him the fact that everyone viewed him to be different and weird and that he had a hard time making and keeping friends, and his love for theatre didn’t help any of this. With the way Alex was looking at him, he felt that if he said no, he would be letting his new best friend down.

Howard smiled and sighed heavily, “Okay… but what if this doesn’t work out?”

“Are you kidding me man?! It WILL work out, you gotta trust me! How can they resist a little Latin lover like yourself?”

Howard rolled his eyes as he playfully pushed Alex away, “You’re a freak Alex.”

“A one of a kind freak, and don’t you forget it.”


April 10th, 1993

Nick stood there in line, shifting from one foot to the next, waiting patiently for his turn. Not too long ago, some kid by the name of Alex (who didn’t look to be much older than him) had taught him along with a few other kids a dance routine while some guy named Howard helped them to exercise and warm their voices up. Now he, along with a line of other young boys and their parents, stood in line waiting to perform in front of Lou Pearlman, the man who was making this all possible.

Nick was brought back to reality when he felt his mother begin to comb his hair with her fingers. He tried to shy away, but that only made her grab him to hold him still while she continued to fix him up.

“Mom, you’re embarrassing me.” Nick grumbled, feeling like a little baby with the way his mother was treating him. The truth was, all the boys that were there were getting pampered and “fixed up” by their mothers.

“Just want to make sure my baby looks good before he goes in front of Mr. Pearlman.” Jane cooed as she continued to mess with Nick’s hair.

After what seemed like forever, Nick finally heard his name being called. “Nickolas Gene Carter?” a woman called out.

Nick stepped forward, his mother not far behind. The woman who had called his name glanced up at Jane. “And you would be?”

“Jane Carter… Nick’s mother.” she replied as she held her hand out.

The woman grasped her hand and began to shake it. “Nice to meet you Mrs. Carter. My name is Donna Wright.” she bent down to be eye leveled with Nick. “How old are you sweetie?”

“I’m 12-years-old.” Nick replied.

Donna smiled and nodded, “Do you have the song you’re gonna sing picked out?”

Nick simply nodded. Donna straightened herself up and turned to walk away, “Okay Nick, follow me.”

Nick began to follow Donna, with his mother not trailing far behind. Donna led him over to a table, which had two older males seated at it. The guy who sat on the left was a large Caucasian man, who wore khakis, a buttoned down t-shirt, and a set of prescribed glasses. The man on the right was an average sized African American, who also wore khakis and a buttoned down t-shirt.

“This here is 12-year-old Nickolas Gene Carter from Tampa Bay, and his mother Jane Carter.” Donna introduced.

Nick glanced up at the two men who were seated at the table. The large Caucasian man rose in his seat and had leaned over the table towards them. “Nice to meet you Nick, my name is Lou Pearlman.” he said as he held his hand out.

Nick shook Lou’s hand and had looked over at the guy that was at his right, who had also rose out of his seat and was leaning over the table. “I’m Johnny Wright, former manager of New Kids on The Block.”

Nick shook his hand as well, not believing that he was shaking hands with the former manager of one of the biggest boy bands to hit America’s airwaves.

“So,” Lou started as he situated back down in his seat, “what song will you be singing for us today son?”

“Open Arms by Journey” Nick replied in a strong voice, trying his best to hide his nervousness.

After belting out his song, reciting a small monologue and dancing the routine Alex had taught him and the other boys earlier, he stood before the two men, waiting anxiously for their responses. Nothing had been said, Lou and Johnny simply continued to write whatever it was that they were writing down on their papers, and would occasionally stop to whisper something to each other.

After what seemed like forever, both Johnny and Lou had stopped writing and had focused their attention back on Nick. Lou was the first to speak. “Nick… I like you kid, a lot. You’ve got an excellent voice, very fervent and full of spunk, and most of all you’ve got the looks kid. You’ve got a great baby face, but a hunky look to back it up. When the girls look at you, they’ll squeal in delight with how cute and adorable you look, but once you start singing, you’ll blow them away with your pipes. There’s no doubt that you would be considered the eye candy for this group.”

“So, does that mean he’s…” Jane slurred off, not wanting to come right out and ask if he was in the band or not.

Lou rose from his seat and had outstretched his hand towards Nick, “Congratulations Nick, you’re the third member of our new boy band.”


May 2nd, 1993

“Aladdin, where’s Jasmine?” a little girl had asked.

Kevin looked down and smiled, “Jasmine will be out real soon! But I must go now, my magic carpet awaits me.”

“Bye!” all the kids shouted and began to wave goodbye.

Kevin waved back as he made his way backstage, towards his dressing room. Sighing heavily, he grabbed a towel and began to pat his face dry of the perspiration that was running down his face.

“Kevin, there’s someone important here to see you.” a stagehand informed him.

“Okay.” he replied as he took one last swipe at his face with the towel and had tossed the towel down on his chair.

He began making his way out of his dressing room to meet the supposed “important” person, only to be stopped by a large Caucasian guy, who was standing in his way.

“Kevin Richardson?” the bulky man questioned.

Kevin slightly nodded as he stared at the man before him, “Who wants to know?”

The man smiled as he held his hand out, “My name is Lou Pearlman, mind if I have a word with you?”

Kevin slowly shook his head no as he grasped Lou’s hand. “No, come on in.”

Kevin turned to walk back into his dressing room with Lou in tow. “I’m just gonna get right into it,” Lou started as he placed the suitcase he had with him down on a table. “I’m looking for a group of young males who can sing, dance and act and I was referred to you by a very good friend of mines who happens to be a very good friend of yours. I, along with another gentlemen by the name of Johnny Wright, which I’m sure you know him to be the NKOTB’s former manager, are looking to start a new boy band… are you interested in joining?”

Kevin stared at Lou in disbelief. “You are looking into starting a new boy band… and you came all the way here to ask me if I was interested in joining? Are you serious?”

“Dead serious son.” Lou replied as he opened the suitcase he had placed down on the table. “We originally had five members and were good to go until two of the members decided to drop out on us at the last minute. Since then I’ve been scrambling to search for two more boys to fill the vacant spot in this band, which was when I was referred to you. By what I’ve seen so far, you’ve got the looks, you’ve got the talent, and you definitely got the bass voice we need for the band. As far as I’m concerned, you’re already a member of this band. Now, all I need is your permission to be apart of this group.”

Kevin continued to stare at Lou, but finally broke his stare to glance down at the papers he was grabbing out of his suitcase. As Kevin began to scan through the documents Lou had handed him, he began to wonder what it’d be like to be apart of a boy band, to be apart of something as big as NKOTB or Menudo.

Kevin took a deep breath in and sighed heavily, “Well, what would happen if I was to say yes?”

A slow grin crept up on Lou’s face, “Then I’d welcome you as our fourth new member, which would leave us with one last empty spot to fill.”

“And I know exactly the person to fill it.” Kevin replied with a smile.


May 3rd, 1993

Brian watched as his teacher made her way through each isle, placing a piece of paper face down on their desk.

“Do not touch or flip this paper over until I say so.” the teacher instructed as she continued handing out papers. “You guys will have exactly fifteen minutes to complete this history exam, another five minutes will be given pending on how much exams remain incomplete. Once you are finish, place your pencil down and quietly wait for your fellow classmates to complete their exam.”

As soon as the teacher gave the okay to flip their papers, Brian quickly did so, flipping his exam upright. He grabbed his pencil and began to read the questions over, bubbling in what he thought the correct answers to be. Not even five minutes into the test, Brian glanced up to see his teacher approaching him.

“You’re being paged at the front office.” his teacher whispered to him as she grabbed the test away from him. “You can finish this when you come back.”

Brian simply nodded as he rose from his seat and began to make his way out of the classroom. He could feel the other students eyes on him, watching him as he fortunately got to leave the class and be excused from the exam. Brian began making his way to the front office and was greeted by the administration staff.

“May I help you?” one of the clerks addressed him.

“Um, Miss Laurel said I was paged to the office.”

“Name please?”

“Brian Littrell.”

The clerk began to scan through some papers. “Brian, you have a very important phone call.” she replied as she motioned for Brian to follow her.

Brian’s eyes widened upon hearing that, but nonetheless followed the clerk around the front desk to where she was taking him. He was led into a small office which had nothing but a large table, a few chairs and a telephone on the table.

“It’s your cousin, Kevin Richardson. He’s waiting on line 2, so just press the blinking button to connect the call.” and with that, the clerk left him in the small room.

Brian turned back to the phone that was situated on the table, seeing the orange blinking light, indicating that Kevin was still waiting for him to come on the line. Hesitantly, he made his way over to the phone, picked it up and had pressed the button. “Hello?”


Brian’s heart began to ease a little upon hearing his cousin’s happy voice, rather than dreadful voice. When he was first told that he had an important phone call waiting for him, he was expecting that something bad had happened, and a bunch of worst case scenarios began to fly in his head. The last time he received a phone call during school was to tell him the devastating news that his uncle, Kevin’s father, had passed away.

“Yeah Kevin.”

“Hey man, what are you doing?”

Brian couldn’t help but chuckle, “Well, I was doing my history exam before you decided to make an important phone call to me.”

“Well, this is kind of important. Do you think your mom would let you fly to Orlando?”


“Well, I was kinda hoping by tomorrow.”

Brian’s eyes widened as he released a gasp, “Tomorrow? Are you crazy Kevin? There is no way she would let me skip school just to fly to Orlando.”

“Well, seeing that there’s this opportunity I know you won’t refuse, I think your mom and dad will let you.”

“Have you talked to them yet?”


“Then how would you know?”

“Because it has something to do with what you’re good at.”

“And that would be…”

“Look man, here’s the story. I was at work yesterday when I was approached by this guy named Lou Pearlman. He and Johnny Wright, you know the New Kid’s former manager, are on the prowl for young males who can sing, dance and act to put together a boy band. They started off with five, but two of the original members had left, leaving the group with it’s three original members, looking for two other guys to fill those vacant places. Well, come to find out, my friend Jeff who happens to be good friends with one of Mr. Pearlman’s friends had referred me and he came out yesterday to Disney World to see what I was about. I was set up for an audition and nailed it without even knowing it man!”

Brian smiled, “That’s great Kev, congratulations. Now, what does that have to do with me?”

“Well… there’s one more spot left and they’re looking for one more guy to fill it. The first person that came to mind was you and I had told them all about you.”

“You… want me to audition for a boy band?”

“Yep. And the coolest thing is he wants you to audition right now, over the phone. You’re on speakerphone Brian.”

“Kevin, if you haven’t noticed, you called me at school… and you want me to sing right now?”

“Why not? C’mon Bri, you’ve got the voice... and we always talked about getting into music, this is our opportunity right here man. Aren’t you gonna take it?”

Brian glanced back at the closed door. No one was in the room with him, it was just him and the phone, and all he had to do was sing. Taking a deep breath in, Brian began to sing a song that came to his mind, not realizing that this very call would change his life and shake up the music world forever.