Yesterday I had a post up announcing my 5:30 audition for America’s Got Talent. Then I read the confidentiality clause in the audition contract and got spooked, so I pull the post. But after reading through the AGT website, I’m sure there’s nothing here that wouldn’t be considered public knowledge, so here goes—an account of my big adventure auditioning for a reality show.
Getting an audition spot was simple enough. A couple of weeks ago, the guy who runs the Bonkerz comedy club here in Las Vegas sent an email with a flyer announcing the audition opportunity to all the comics on his mailing list. All I had to do was send an email to the address on the flyer expressing my interest.
I got a response almost immediately saying they’d contact me in a few days. Then last Thursday—literally 5 minutes after I got an email saying my essay was going to be aired on Northeast Public Radio—I got a call from an AGT producer in Los Angeles asking if I could come in at 5:30 on Monday. A double shot of good news!
They send me a contract and a pretty extensive questionnaire which asked things like what obstacles have you faced (hello, stagefright), what was your most life-changing event (moving to Las Vegas by myself after my second divorce) and what would you do with your winnings (make sure my mother is comfortable for the rest of her life). That kind of stuff; stuff that actually required thought.
So yesterday I collected all my paperwork, picked out a cute little outfit (black miniskirt and purple V-neck top—slightly age inappropriate, as always, but perfectly balancing sexy and professional) and strutted myself to Palace Station casino. I arrived early, of course, and checked in upstairs in one of the meeting rooms. I actually stood in the wrong line for a while, but a kind Michael Jackson impersonator who was also auditioning got me on course. It wasn’t a madhouse or anything, and if it hadn’t been for the 20-member girls’ gymnastics team, the scene would actually have been quite subdued. After checking in, I took a seat with a couple of comics I recognized. Their appointments were an hour before mine, and they said it had been a lot busier before I arrived. One by one, people were whisked away for their time to perform.
As it turned out, I was the third from last person to audition, so things were quiet at the end. After waiting about two hours, I followed a nice guy down to the Louie Anderson showroom and waited outside until it was my turn. Then they called me in. The stage was lit, but the room was dark and empty except the handful of people sitting in a booth in the back. I know this stage well—I just did an open mic on it Sunday night—so that was probably an advantage.
The guy explained that they needed to get “clean audio” and so I shouldn’t worry when I don’t hear any laughter. “I know that’s hard for comics,” he said, “but just work through it.” No problem.
I had 90 seconds to wow them, which was good because I have only about 90 seconds of clean material. I pulled all my snappiest punch lines into one cohesive mini-set and delivered it flawlessly. Really, I had not one iota of anxiety. I was pleased with my performance, and I actually did hear laughter during my set. Afterward the guy thanked me and said, “That was really funny.” I was in and out in less than three minutes.
Performers who are selected for another round will be notified in April, though believe me, the odds of hearing from them are astronomical. The only thing that would give me a slight advantage is that I’m female and I’m older. At any rate, auditioning was a great experience. The process was well executed and took but a few hours of my time.
Tonight I’m back on stage in the lounge at Aliante Station. This stage is very well run, so I can highly recommend it to you. The show is free and starts at 8:30. Hope to see you there!