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Thursday, February 07, 2008

For those yet to audition.

I just walked out of my 8:30 am audition for Season 6 of Last Comic Standing. It was the most awkward experience. Going into the audition I had reservations. I wasn't sure I wanted to be on a reality contest show that greatly misrepresents what its really like to be a comic and struggle to become a full time working comic. I've thought about this a million times leading up to today. Do I want to be on a show like this? I know that I don't decide if I get to be on the show or not but still I didn't know if I would be happy if I were selected. People say that being on a show like that can be great exposure and help get you booked at clubs around the country as a feature and sometimes even a headliner. This point in the game seems to be the weirdest spot. You don't make enough money working comedy throughout the year but yet still can't hold a permanent 9-5 because when you do get a call from a club you have to go. You have no health insurance or extra cash in your pocket ever. You just have to hope that the shows and auditions you go out for are the right moves to help your career. So what do you do when you get the chance to audition for a show you aren't that excited about. Do comics lose respect for you because you are trying to win a contest to gain exposure? I have no clue. The main problem for me is that all the elements that make up this show aren't reflective of what you actually need to do or learn as a performer. I walked up to Gotham Comedy Club at 8 am. I had a booked audition for 8:30am. As I approached the club I noticed that there was a line of comics that was a block and a half long. People had been waiting for hours, spending the night on the sidewalk, just to get inside and showcase their comedy for 2 minutes. Who do they showcase for? The first audition round is in front of 2 producers of the show. I don't know these people. I don't know their names or their backgrounds. One was a an older woman and the other was an older man. I walked on stage around 8:40. I walked up to the microphone, stated my name and began my first joke. About 10 seconds or so into my first joke I realized that these two people had yet to look up and acknowledge my presence. They were discussing something and looking down at some papers. Perhaps it was my polaroid headshot that they took in the lobby or the meaningless personal info I had to fill out. Very warm and inviting posture. The one gentleman has a look on his face like you are about to take his only daughter on her first ever date and he has a time machine and already knows that later you end up touching her boobs and videotaping it for myspace pornography. This is how he stares at you before he even knows how funny you may or may not be. COMEDY. The fact that he is a judge is a joke within itself. Now keep in mind as I write this. I'm not angry that I wasn't selected for this show. I had reservations going in and honestly was on a fence about the whole thing. I just don't like the process. You go into a room with 4000 cameras and 2 people with angry faces. Thats worse that performing at an empty open mic in the middle of nowhere. I did 4 jokes and I knew as I did each one of them that I wasn't actually performing them or giving any life to them at all. I sounded like I was reading off someone elses jokes from a sheet of paper that I'd never seen before. So not being selected for this show is fine by me. I didn't give them much to cheer for. After a minute and fifteen I think, I stopped performing. The woman said that I had well written material but guessed that I wasn't performing it the way I normally do. She pointed out that it was 8:30am and a bit weird and I said it was weird and there is noone in here. However what I wish I would have said was "sir, perhaps you could sit up and force a fucking look of delight as we get up here and perform our material for you. There is a block and a half of people outside (which I already felt like a dick for getting to go straight into the club) waiting to come in here and perform, the least you could do is actually show some gratitude for their time and their effort. Without any of us, you don't have a show at all." I didn't say that on stage nor in my postperformance interview. I wish I would have said that though. Oh well. For anyone that is auditioning today or later this month, do not let those two people ruin your own vibe and energy. They aren't comics and in my opinion they aren't an audience either. Stare right through them and do what you do.


Blogger Conroy99 said...

Well said, Rory.

2/08/2008 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger larus said...

Im a big fan of yours, your the only comedian that makes me laugh by myself. I watched you on your website and man... i couldnt stop laughing out loud... usually when i am listening to a stand up comedian i just stare and dont laugh at all... but you man, i hope you get big greetings from iceland ;)

2/17/2008 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crazy man, Hey. If you get time check out this video on It's from the movie "stand by me." I'm sure you've probably already seen it but it made me laugh.

2/17/2008 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hey Rory! This is Jenny (Granger) and I feel like a total stalker now for sneaking into your blog :oD... but I happened to catch about one second of your face last night when I flipped to Last Comic Standing--and since I had bad timing with my flipping (almost didn't realize it was you), I wasn't sure how your performance actually went. I tried to Google your name with the name of the show, wound up here, and got the whole scoop straight from the source! :o)

I agree with everything you said, especially about the judges--They looked pissed through a lot of the auditions we watched and laughed at some stuff that just WASN'T FUNNY! I think you are awesome and I'm so glad you didn't let them get under your skin. What a tough business--most people don't make it half as far as you already have and you have done it all the hard way. Can't wait til you perform here again!! :o)

5/23/2008 02:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Dalbec said...

Congrats on going out there though! You're awesome Rory! :)

6/26/2008 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Phil Johnson - Roadside Attraction said...

Hey Rory... Well written. I agree.. That's why I've never bothered with that dumb show. I actually got through on a call back audition for another reality show and it made me feel dirty...

Anyway, good working with you last week in the prelims. :)

9/23/2008 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I really appreciate this post. I haven't met you at a show in NY yet but hope to.


7/24/2009 02:16:00 PM  

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