From: Matt Elwell, President & CEO

8/31/10 - What I'm Looking For In Future Players

Our upcoming auditions are for Rec League, Battle-prov, and our Professional Ensemble - they run from Sep 11-14 and to get involved, click the link below: http://tinyurl.com/cszauditions

Okay, that was the easiest part of this blog entry. The rest I've rewritten five times. I never realized how hard it was to express this simply. Look, auditions suck. They're like seeing who will be the best surgeon by giving all the med students machetes and telling them the last one standing gets a residency.

At the end of the night on Tuesday, September 14th - when callbacks are over and my team and I are beating our heads against the various hard surfaces in the theater - I will be thinking of you and everything you showed us, and I'll ask some questions to myself about you. In roughly this order, here they are:

1. Did you make me laugh? (Not my teacher-laugh, my "I didn't expect that. This person's got game"-laugh. Does your improvisation bristle with intelligence, passion, and joy? Or is it that characteristic improviser blend of well-mannered defense and stake-less meandering that's come to be excused as "art?" So, buddy, are you here to make me laugh, or are you just hoping I'll count the number of times you said "yes?")

2. Are you "big room funny?" (When you walk out on stage, will my audience sit up a little? Are you loud enough? Do you work down stage? Do you play to the whole room, or do you shrink behind the bigger players? Would 149 people think you're hilarious, or just pleasant?)

3. Can you do our show? (Can you improvise... well and fast at the same time? Can you play games? Can you move around on stage? Can you sing? Dance? Can you play the stakes of competition without being lost in competition?)

4. Are you here to be a part of something, or just to check off another box on your improviser scorecard? (Did you take the time to get to know ComedySportz before auditioning for us? Have you ever seen a ComedySportz show before? Do you seem like the kind of person who will dive in and immerse yourself? Do you play like you would love our audience, or just tolerate them? Do you bring a "generosity of spirit?" Would you take notes? Would you learn the games - I mean really learn them? Will you not stop until you master those games, and then will you still not stop? Will you work hard on singing? On rapping? On dancing? Will you work hard on the show, or just the improv parts -- just the parts you're already good at? Will you leave the field at the end of the first half panting and sweating? When you put on their uniform for the first time, will it matter to you?)

5. Do I trust you? (Did you dress like you knew you were attending a professional audition? Did you treat it as such? Can I expect you to represent us well to a client while on a touring show? Do you exude competence, clarity, civility, gravitas, and integrity? Would I want to have a beer with you?)

This isn't just a show. This isn't just a team. This isn't just a job. At the end of the callback night, in our exhaustion, these 20 questions will quickly be whittled down to 2:

1. Do you get it?
2. Will you do it better than it's ever been done?

That's what you need to prove in your audition. So, play like Hell and good luck.

Matt
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