Next step after you have performed 20 minutes of bits 50-100 times successfully
before a live audience:
audition for M.C. work at clubs that have not seen your act; i.e., places where you have not done their open mikes or showcases. When comics inquire about working the clubs I book, we send them the "AUDITION PROCEDURES" letter which appears below.
Source: The Fundamentals of Stand-Up Comedy by Jim Richardson, ORGANIZED COMEDY Press, copyright 1990-2012, pages 440-441.
This material may not be reprinted without written permission and must include author credit.
This audio tape/workbook package includes 3 audio tapes and 600 pages of workbook; in is included in my Home Study Program of 1,200 workbook pages and 21 hours of audio tapes. Comics call this "the Big Red Book"!
audition requirements letter:
ORGANIZED COMEDY produces 3-comic shows without guest sets. Therefore, the only way to apply for work is by audition tape.
Please send a VHS
video tape or full-sized audio cassette tape, CD, DVD, link to your online
video, etc.; but must be the same length as the job you are auditioning to
M.C.: 20 minutes (we particularly need more M.C.'s)
Middle Act: 30 minutes
Headliner: 45-60 minutes
Be sure to mark
the tape with:
Your name, phone number, mailing address, web site address and email address
Date recorded at club
Name of club, town and state
Tape length (please be accurate)
Position for which you are auditioning
For video, record at 2 hr. speed (SP) and make the copy at 2 hour speed. We want to see every move you make, hear every word you speak, and clearly hear the audience response. Please check the copy before mailing. If you want it back, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Enclose with your
audition tape the usual press packet materials:
Resume: name, phone number, mailing address
Radio, TV, Film credits
Comedy contests won or placed runner-up
Quotes from newspapers, radio and TV personalities, and/or famous people
One line poetic description of your stage persona that sells the character so the audience will want to see him!
We are primarily interested in the audience's laugh pattern and the quality of your material.
Audience Laugh Pattern:
For our M.C. positions, we are looking for a minimum average of 2 solid laughs (3-4 seconds each of laughter/applause) per minute, before you cut off the last second of response.
At least twice during the set, we expect to see a big laugh (5-9 seconds) which is scored as 2 solid laughs. Great laughs (10 seconds or better) are scored as 2 big laughs (= 4 solid laughs).
These standards hold for Middle Act and Headliner positions as well, except we want more big and great laughs.
Suggestion: Do not let the laughter or applause die out. Standing there and waiting until a titter (1-2 seconds of laughter) wanes into 3-4 seconds of scattered response still scores as a titter.
Be sure to include all your
exit applause on your audition tape. For a Saturday
night in front of 250 people, we expect the following exit applause:
M.C.: 15 seconds
Middle Act: 20 seconds
Headliner: 25-35 seconds, or better
Once you are accepted to work for us, your every performance will be evaluated to make sure you are keeping up the above standards.
Quality of material:
We are actively interested in replacing comics on our roster who use blue material that bores audience members over forty and offends some over sixty. You can't tell whether or not you're funny to all the community if most of the audience is under 25.
What is "blue material"? Simply put, gratuitous swear words and any graphic genitalia; i.e., summer camp humor. The kids in the audience yell and applaud.
Those who are put off by the blue material remain silent. But you can hear their comments as they exit, what they really think. If you have questions about particular bits of yours, feel free to call us and check it out.
We are also strongly prejudiced in favor of comics employing social commentary and bits dealing with relationships in their acts. To us, this is an art form as much as it is a business.
We're looking forward to receiving your audition tape.
NOTE: If you are not yet ready to meet these standards, do not send your tape now. If you do, we may not look at another audition tape of yours for a year. So, time the audience response before you mail the tape.
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