First off, let me say THANK YOU UCB-LA for having us email in our Harold audition application!!!!! Holy cats. That’s way better than standing in line for 8 hours and maybe getting a slot.
Yes, the UCB-LA Harold auditions are almost underway. The audition process, as I’ve experienced from the past, goes as such:
– You enter the room with 7 other auditioners
– The judges give you a suggestion
– One by one you do A-C pattern game
– You initiate/receive one scene, the judges edit
– You receive/initiate one scene, the judges edit
– You go home and wait for a callback
Last year, they asked for a headshot, resume, and a list of teams you’re currently on and have been on in the past. This year they asked for that (except they omitted former teams list) AND where you’ve performed AND who you’d like to audition with. This is all great, but it still comes down to how you do in the room. You need to stand out from the crowd.
This is where my theory of Improv is a Sports-Rock album comes in.
(yes. that’s my fancy artwork below.)
We talk about Longform Improv as a sport. “Good Game” is a commonly term used. Describing an improv scene is almost like describing a play from a basketball/football game. You root for the whole team, but still have your favorite players and love it when they make a great move.
The art of longform improv is a rock album. I heard a teacher say this once, and it absolutely, totally makes sense. If you look at your favorite improv show, it plays very much like a really good rock album. Remember how old school rock albums had songs in a particular order? The really good albums played much like an entire play. Each song is it’s own scene but is totally related to the next song in the album, and then it all comes together in the end.
Harold members of the Improv “Sports-Rock” are difficult to find. You need all different kinds of members to form each team. You can’t have 3 lead singers, no drummer, and 5 trumpet players or 4 quarterbacks, 3 nose tackles, and no running back. You have to find members that can play all different kinds of positions to make the team “sing” in it’s own.
That’s why I think these 1-off auditions are not great. The theaters know they’re not great. I think the theaters should have scouts. These scouts (and no one would know who is or isn’t a scout…at least not at first) would be given a list of members’ names to look out for and catch their shows. This way they can see players at their best and can see if they’re growing, what their weak spots are, and if they can shine in an upper-tier group. I would love it if they would pick their favorites and do all-star shows, where they cast members of a team, and then do 1-off shows. Maybe they would get one rehearsal? I dunno, but it would be fun if they put random teams together ever couple of weeks and see how certain folks work with one another.
This is my lil’ improv audition dream. Until then, I’ll keep having fun with the teams I’m on and will be set to “kill it” in my 1-off audition.