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Next step after you have performed 20 minutes of bits 50-100 times successfully before a live paying audience:
audition for M.C. work at comedy clubs that have not seen your act; i.e., places where you have not done their open mikes or showcases.

When comics inquired about working the clubs I booked back in the previous century, we send them the "AUDITION PROCEDURES" letter which appears below.
Note: I am currently not producing comedy shows, but just offer this letter to you as an insight into what producer's want from prospective acts.
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/workbook package includes 2 hours and 21 minutes of audio
and 600 pages of workbook.
It is included in my Home Study Program of 1,200 workbook pages and 21 hours of audio.
Comics call this "the Big Red Book"!

Producer's audition requirements letter:
AUDITION PROCEDURES

ORGANIZED COMEDY produces 3-comic shows without guest sets. Therefore, the only way to apply for work is by audition video.

Please send a VHS video tape or full-sized audio cassette tape, CD, DVD, link to your video on the Internet, etc.; but must be the same length as the job you are auditioning to fill:
     
M.C.: 20 minutes (we particularly need more M.C.'s)
     Middle Act: 30 minutes
     
Headliner: 45-60 minutes

Be sure to mark your video with:
     Your name, phone number, mailing address, web site address and email address
     Date recorded at club
     Name of club, town and state
     Video length (please be accurate)
     Job for which you are auditioning: M.C., Middle Act (a.k.a. Feature Act) or Headliner

For the older VHS video format, 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 video the usual press packet materials:
     Photo
     Resume: name, phone number, mailing address, web site address and email 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 come to see you!

RATING CRITERIA

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.

Exit applause:

Be sure to include all your exit applause on your audition video. For a Saturday night in front of 250 paying customers, 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 or body function jokes; 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 for an opinion.

We are also strongly 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 video.

To Laughs,

Jim Richardson

NOTE: If you are not yet ready to meet these standards, do not send your video. If you do, we may not look at another audition video of yours for a year. So, time the audience response before you snail mail the video or email us a link.

Page last updated: Monday, December 24, 2012, 9:44 am PST

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