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Joan's Closet Dresses Aspiring Performers For Success

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- They say if you want to be a star, you should first try to look like one. That's what one organization is doing for some struggling music students in Manhattan who aspire to be the next generation of world-class performers.

As CBS 2's Emily Smith reported, Joan's Closet is giving more than 200 Manhattan School of Music students in need access to high-end, gently used dresses to wear at auditions.

"This will help me probably look good for some of that," said Caroline Braga, a senior opera singer as she eyed one dress.

Joan Taub Ades, a prominent member of New York's premier music circles, said she started the organization five years ago because she saw a need.

"I heard judges say they could look better." she said. " Coming from this school, they have to be the best. They have the best talent."

In addition to leaving with an entire outfit -- shoes, scarf and handbag included -- students can enter a lottery for a chance to win one of six dresses, some that cost more than $3,000 apiece.

"I love the lottery," said Julia Lamon, who hopes to take the stage at the Metropolitan Opera someday. "They have the most beautiful dresses."

Lamon took home an eye-catching, jewel-tone dress, something she can wear more than once for major auditions.

When asked how she might pay for an audition dress without the help of Joan's Closet, Lamond said: "Just save every month. You put money into an account to save."

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