I was offered a private audition for America’s Got Talent in Portland, and although I don’t do anything with dogs, farts, or fire, I thought I might as well do it. The Friday before the show, there was a rumor that a booker would turn up at the Bagdad to check out our talent, and local comics were fighting like crabs in a pot for spots in the showcase, and in a Waiting for Guffman moment, the booker showed up at Harvey’s instead and offered me a private audition time, which I already had.
It was cool sweeping past the THOUSANDS of f*ckers on the outside. One of the PA’s was the talent scout who had talked to me at Harvey’s, and it was kind of fun knowing someone “inside.”
It was good practice to do a 90 second set for four people in a brightly lit room.
They giggled. They said they enjoyed it. They didn’t stop me after my 90 seconds, so I did a closing bit. I don’t think I stand a chance with the barrage of hula-hoop competition teams and Chihuahuas on exercise balls. They don’t need a dark, sarcastic girl comic, I don’t think. And frankly, my family-friendly material peters out after 90 seconds.
A friend of a friend came up from SF to do the cattle call and was there from 8:30 AM to 7PM, and I got to visit the cattle call holding pen. I saw the wisdom behind not doing those calls, they just look like a bunch of crazy people. I saw a tiny Michael Jackson impersonator, a fat Elvis (really? You think they need a jumpsuited Elvis?), many many Sparkle Motion child dance troupes and cheerleading teams, fifty nurses in scrubs with a dance routine, and singers in Goodwill eveningwear. I had NO IDEA that there were so many people in the world, or that they were so talented. They had come from Salt Lake City, from Potter’s Dick, Wyoming, and from Pig-Snout, Arkansas. Being in the room was like being in a tiny town where everyone was crazy.
In the prebooked section, I met a guy who has perfected conch shell playing, and a very cute tap-dance trio (The Hot Shot Tap Dancers), and a popper from Seattle, and a harmonica player (they were all in my green room). I did not meet or see any other comedians. Since I was not carrying a guitar or an animal, I was widely assumed to be a singer.
All in all, not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning.