Improv Theater Auditions (more thoughts)
First off, a sincere congratulations to all of the people who made a harold/house/sketch team recently (as of May 2013). If you have not made a team, please feel free to look through my previous posts:
You did not get on a UCB Harold team
Improv is a Sports-Rock album (a take on how I think the auditions should be run)
If you’ve made a team:
- Don’t complain about your team like a dick: I don’t care if there’s someone you don’t like, the structure of the shows, your coach, don’t do it. If you must, say “There are things you need to work on as a group.” and that’s it. This was a team put together by the Theater you auditioned for, NOT by you.
- Don’t walk around like an arrogant ass: Reminder, you’re paying to play. Just because a small group of people think you’re good at improv doesn’t make you God’s gift. Bad attitudes breed more bad attitudes and you’ll be chucked off the team in a second (at least I would HOPE so).
There are some of you out there that have auditioned for the “lesser” theaters that are not UCB/Groundlings. Let me be clear, I DO NOT Think these are “lesser” theaters in any way, shape, or form, but I’ve heard you people talk about them as such and it’s not f*cking cool. You decided “I guess I’ll audition for the teams.” and you got on. Please do us all a favor and turn down your placement on a team. You do not deserve to be on a team. Your spirit is not in it and your attitude is gross. Please go away and go do whatever you need to do to get on whatever theater is best in your mind.
Those who didn’t make it or were REMOVED from a team:
- You don’t suck. You don’t suck. You don’t suck.
- Go email or approach the judges and see what you can do for the next round (FYI: they may not remember your exact audition).
- Do a gut check and see if you want to continue with improv. It’s ok to take a break. Reminder, you’ll save money if you take some time off (and I know most of us aren’t rich folk).
- Improv is an artform and you can only continue to grow and change with it, if you are willing. It’s hard not to take this stuff personally (I’m a broken record), but you have not died or lost someone you’ve loved. You’ve been punched in the gut emotionally and now it’s time to step back and see what you want to do from here. These audition rounds are a good time to do a check in to WHY you’re doing improv and what it gives to YOU.
Folks who were removed from a team, I’ve been there. It’s the worst. I think it’s much worse being removed from a team than not making one at all. It’s like “Eh, we tried you out, but no thanks.” Really listen to your gut right now. I know it’s hard, but your gut will really help you figure out what to do next. Do some free writing or go ramble in a forest to figure out what you need. You need to think about YOU and not what (fill in the blank) theater wants from you.
It’s women’s day. Sure. Ok. I’ve never heard of “Women’s Day” but apparently we have one. Maybe it’s because of FB now and all the posts that are going up, but I never noticed.
Do I sound irritated? I kind of am. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to express this properly, but I will try my damndest.
Sexism still exists today.
I am still effected by it.
Normally, I choose to not harp, or claim victim of it.
Since it’s Woman’s Day…I’m going to harp, but I will not claim victim of my own gender.
I am a caucasian (I do not know of my decent entirely), white woman. I have been effected by sexism in:
I’d like to couple the sexism that I’ve experience along with ageism. I don’t look my age, since my 20’s I’ve looked (roughly) 10 years YOUNGER than my actual age. Sure, this can be great for acting, but it’s not great in the white collar world. People do not take you seriously if you look like you’re under 21. I don’t know how many times I had to echo the fact that I have a MASTERS DEGREE, have interned and worked at Fortune 500 companies, and have over 5 (now 10) years experience in the industry, just so I wasn’t patted on the head like a little girl. That’s another thing, girl. I was seen as a pretty, dumb, girl. My niceness often lead me to becoming steam rolled. I assure you, this no longer happens in any business setting with me. As a female, men have a tendency to stereotype you in terms of “feelings”. “Oh, you’re a woman. Of course you feel that way.” Which can be difficult when dealing with clients or this type of tone coming from a Creative Director.
Improv It is over populated with white, funny guys who are under 30. I’m not attacking anyone here, just go look at the teams, schools, and theaters. I’m tired of the “women aren’t funny” stuff. Let’s just agree that statement is null and void. Here is my belief…I want this belief to change…I risk getting attacked for this belief, but I’ve said it out loud many times: if a person were to pick another person to add to an improv team and all the following “types” are at the exact same level of improv, here is the order of which they would be chosen:
- 20-something male, not caucasian
- 30+ male, not caucasian - caucasian male of any age
- 20-something female, not caucasian
- 20-something female, caucasian
- 30+ female, caucasian
- 30+ female, not caucasian
This is generalized, and I might change this tomorrow. I would love for all the women to be on top of that list, but it’s not going to happen. Not yet. I want it to happen. I want it to happen very badly. At the risk (again, so risky today) of sounding like someone who is overconfident in her abilities, I am a very good improvisor. There is zero reason for my TALENT to keep me off of any main stage team of any improv theater. My belief is that politics and gender come into play when choosing members of teams and, unfortunately, talent is sometimes forgotten.
There is an over population of caucasian women looking for acting work in Los Angeles. It’s extremely competitive out here. Sometimes people look at talen, or drive, or persistance, but sometimes it’s just who you know.
Let’s bring back the romance fellas. I think feminism gave you the idea that women don’t want love, to be pursued, to be woo’d. Each woman (or person, for that matter) has her (their) unique style and taste. Get to know her, see what her romance level is (some are like me and DO want flowers!!), and get on that woo boat.
Women are different than Men
If you do research, men and women do test differently in clinical trial for medication and disease. A woman’s biological make up is different than a man’s. Not only this, but we still do not have all the detailed specifics on how a HUMAN’s brain (regardless of gender) works.
I have no idea how to wrap this up. Remember that sexism is still alive. Be aware of the people around you. Be aware of the talent around you. Try to get past judgements or preconceived ideas of people of any gender or race or age. We’re all different in some way, shape, or form. We are primarily different by what is felt inside. I feel something different than you when I experience anything. That experience is my own. I can never truly share it because it is within my bones, brain, and soul. I am as unique to me as you are to you.
Now… Feel free to book me NOW on the biggest acting job of my life…
…and then make me President or Queen of something LATER
(unless I change my mind about that last one, ask me later.)
I’m not funny. I am funny.
Comedy is subjective.
What I think is funny may not be funny to someone else.
Who I think is funny may not be funny to someone else.
Who I think is a great improv player may not be to someone else.
I make some people laugh.
I make some people frustrated.
I blow some people’s minds.
I bore some people’s minds.
There have been a lot of auditions happening (and still happening) in the improv/sketch world here in L.A.. Some hearts were broken, some became numb, some became enlightened. Remember that it’s ONE groups’ (maybe only 5 to 20 people) feedback on your work. It’s ONE moment you had at that time.
Have more moments.
Get more feedback.
Do it because you feel it in your bones to do more.
& feel free to make yourself laugh.