Auditions from the Players Point of view
What happened when YOU auditioned for NCT?
The group of performers at National Comedy Theatre has always been a mixed bag of interesting folks. Some of our performers participated in auditions just a few years ago and spent time training with our Thursday Night Team. Others auditioned seven or more years ago and still get up on stage with us each week.
We asked the team to chime in with some of their audition memories.
4 years ago my high school buddy, Anthony, invited me to audition for National Comedy Theater at 1. Why on earth did I think that meant 1am? I’m not sure, perhaps I thought comedians were vampire-like. I missed it again the next time due to a pedicure running long. It’s not that I have a toe fungus or anything, the salon was just really busy that day.
But as it goes, the third time is a charm. I didn’t feel too nervous, more ready than anything else. It was at this audition that I knew improvisation was the right direction for me.
My very first improv scene on the NCT stage was during auditions with (another NCT alum) Ricky. The suggestion was “Birthday”. At the exact same moment, Ricky and I had the SAME EXACT idea and both jumped on stage shouting “Surprise!!”.
It was timing, it was comedy, it was “Yes, and!”, it made sense and I felt 100% apart of something magical- just like I have for the past 4 years.
OUR THOUGHTS ON ELLEN’S AUDITION STORY
We are glad that Ellen eventually made it to auditions on time, being punctual is very important. We are also happy that she was able to share the kind of magic we are looking for- the magic that comes from listening to your fellow audition attendees and supporting creative ideas!
In August 2009 I was a freshman at ASU and I had seen NCT perform in front of my dorm in downtown Phoenix. One of the RAs in my building (Yousef) was a player on the team and I asked him how I could get involved. Fast forward to February 2010, Yousef notified me of the upcoming auditions but- I had a conflict- that day I was scheduled to cover an ASU Baseball game for my internship. “Oh well”, I thought, “maybe it wasn’t meant to be”.
As luck would have it, the night before the auditions it rained so much that they couldn’t get the field ready for play and the game was cancelled.
I had never done improv before and I was pretty nervous. I had taken one short improv workshop at Thespian Conference my senior year and all I remembered was “just say yes to everything”. So that’s what I did. Every scene I was in I followed the first rule of improv and said “yes” to everything.
I’m not sure what made the NCT folks select me, but I do remember getting lots of laughs during a game of Parallel Universe (one of my favorite games to play to this day) where I played some sassy Frenchman in Paris.
The next day I got a call from Dorian inviting me to join NCT, I was so very happy. Had I known what NCT would come to mean in my life I would have probably ran down the hallways of my dorm with joy and knocked on every door to give them the good news.
OUR THOUGHTS ON NATHAN’S AUDITION STORY
So glad that Nathan mentioned the most important rule of improv, which is of course…. SAY YES! At auditions we are always watching for folks who like to say “Yes!” And support ideas. We also think it’s great that Nate shared that he had no improv experience before trying out for the team.
I auditioned for NCT twice. I was super nervous going into both auditions, but each time the players watching in the back and the other audition goers were very willing to laugh. Everyone on the cast is hoping you succeed when you get on stage. They want to laugh. They want to see who you are and not just how funny you think you can be. The first time around I was young and the nerves had me trying to show off, but when the second time came around (6 months later) I was older, wiser, more mature. I slowed down and just had fun with the people I was sharing the stage with. Trust me, it works.
OUR THOUGHTS ON ANTHONY’S STORY
Anthony is 100% correct, the players who come to help with auditions, the Directors who are watching and evaluating, and even the other folks there to audition are all hoping that you will succeed. We want to laugh, be encouraging and let everyone experience an environment where they can feel comfortable and show us their best selves. Showing off is almost always a red flag of someone who is not yet comfortable being themselves. There is no need to show off at NCT auditions! Simply show us the most positive and energetic version of who you are!
Jacob… aka “chico”s audition
I remember when I was auditioning. I knew that I wanted to try out for the team, so I went to a couple of shows at NCT in the weeks before auditions. I got a better feel for the style of improv that NCT was doing and built some confidence in myself heading into the auditions. We played some of the games at auditions that I had seen performed at the shows in, so I felt better when I jumped on stage.
OUR THOUGHTS ON CHICO’S STORY
What a terrific suggestion, thanks Chico! Coming to improv comedy shows on Friday & Saturday nights leading up to auditions is a great way to get to know what we are looking for and even get a sneak peek of some of the games we may ask you to play. In fact, it would be a wonderful idea to chat with the staff and players at the show to get some advice and encouragement before you audition to join the team.
I haven’t been to and audition recently but from what I remember it’s a lot like granola… A few pieces of delicious fruit and the occasional nut.
OUR THOUGHTS ON BOB’S STORY
That’s our Bob, always looking for an opportunity to pun!
We hope that the different stories and points of view from these players will encourage you to try out for the team or even just come on out to the show for fun!
If you have any questions or want to sign up- give us a call! 602-374-5638