My America's Got Talent 2015 Online Audition video

  • AlexDSSF

    Posts: 35

    Jan 21, 2015 6:31 AM GMT
    Hey, guys. Sorry for not having been active on RealJock for some time.

    I'm auditioning for America's Got Talent 2015 as a comedian. I just submitted this video. It's 3 minutes of me telling jokes, some of which are good and some of which are bad (as far as I know). I've never done anything like this before. I'm first and foremost a writer, but I want to be more than just that. I also have social anxiety and depression. I figure that I need something to force me out of my comfort (or discomfort) zones, hence this act. You can watch the clip here:

    Thanks, guys. I'll try to be on this site more often. :-)
  • metta

    Posts: 44484

    Jan 21, 2015 7:49 PM GMT
    I wish you luck. From what I have heard, it can take a long time to develop a style that will work. Just keep working on it.

    People like Joan Rivers have several writers to help them come up with jokes....they get thousands of jokes and only choose a select few out of those.

  • metta

    Posts: 44484

    Jan 21, 2015 7:50 PM GMT

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    Jan 21, 2015 8:25 PM GMT
    Anthony Hopkins: "Learn your lines...!"

    It's obvious you're reading. And because you can practice, record, practice, record, practice, record...I recommend you do this act MANY times. Look away from the lens ONLY when you want the viewer to follow your eyes (toward Victoria, or wherever else that joke can go). If you're vlogging it, post all examples and only submit your final to the show.

    You have a lisp. It's adorable, but it's where I thought the joke was going to go with the "mispronunciation" of your name. With it, you can be self-deprecating and sound (hilariously) "offended" at the same time. And that's a razor-thin tightrope to tread on, so I would personally practice that a hundred times to get the "offended" just right. "Hi. So glad to be here. My name is Alex Sormiento. People mispronounce my name. Some people pronounce it "San Francisco," "San Fernando," "Sans Serif"...seriously, you don't hear the lisp? It's Ssthormiento. People just don't listen any more..."
  • Parker817

    Posts: 359

    Jan 22, 2015 4:24 AM GMT
    I'm a huge stand-up buff, and you have some great material! I agree with Mickey about the reading -- you know these jokes, you wrote them better than anyone, so try focusing on the audience.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11421

    Jan 22, 2015 5:33 AM GMT

    You need to work on your delivery ... your timing is off .... and stick to simpler wording (example: in-trepidation)
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    Jan 22, 2015 6:22 AM GMT
    Re your delivery/persona, I feel you need to be either much more energetic ala Alec Mapa and Mario Cantone, or laid back, ala Steven Wright. Possibly to contrast with or detract from the material, which strikes me as very middle-of-the-road. (But after Cantone's post-stroke Bette Davis impersonation I'm spoiled.)

    The only two people on the planet who could probably get away with sending in an audition tape with unmemorized material would be Marlon Brando and Christopher Walken (both famous for relying on cue cards and teleprompters). You have no excuse for not knowing your own material, particularly since, unlike Brando, you're alive.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Jan 22, 2015 7:25 AM GMT
    Your material is good. Problem is, material is the easy part.

    Your production and delivery are FUBAR.

    (1.) Plant the camera and do not hold it like you're doing a selfie, unless low-budget or self-consciously awkward is your schtick, which now it isn't.

    (2.) Dress nicely OR like your persona. Default would be a blazer and a nice shirt, tie optional. There are clubs you couldn't get into wearing that non-collared shirt. How you dress yourself says a lot about how much you care about your audience. If your schtick calls for odd or unusual dress or grooming, great, but again, that isn't your schtick now. Your schtick now, as best I can tell, is just "your everyday guy telling jokes."

    (3.) Select your background. I was more interested in looking at the locale and decor, and trying to infer your socio-economic status and personal (or family's) design aesthetic than the material. Put up a curtain/sheet, not wrinkled and draping, but taut and wall like. Or better yet, find a nondescript background (a wall, or large door) that does not detract from you. I shouldn't be seeing an ajar dark bathroom and glass collectibles behind you.

    (4.) Develop your persona. Your having social anxiety or other issues is absolutely NO barrier to being a funny comedian or having a public persona that people want to watch. Right now, it's uncomfortable and painful to watch your performance. I'm not a comedian, but I'd recommend you either develop a veneer of self-confidence (many leading speakers have anxiety disorders or are otherwise petrified to speak publicly, though you'd never know it because they're such great actors on stage), OR develop a self-depricating "I'm a dork" persona. If you do the latter, be sure to be self-aware, and to explicitly let the audience know it's okay to laugh AT you and with you. Lots of famous comedians do this. It puts the audience at ease. The old line is true, an audience will follow you wherever you lead them as long as you are honest and explain the steps. Kevin Hart explicitly makes fun of his status as a short/small man, as a weak man, as a man who is afraid to fight, as a man whose family is messed up, etc. Nobody judges him, instead we identify with him because even if we don't suffer those particular maladies, we can relate because (insert XYZ) is wrong in our life, and the lives of our loved ones. But as it stands I felt no connection to the audience and no attempt at a persona.

    (5.) As other posters have mentioned. Learn your lines. No excuses. If you're incapable of learning 3 minutes of material, you cannot be a comedian or public speaker. Period, full stop.

    Good luck. I have a friend who does comedy in NYC as a career, and she barely eeks out a living. And she's laugh out loud funny. It's hard work, but I think you have potential. As Katt Williams says, everybody wants to be famous/rich, but nobody wants to put in the work.

    It's put up or shut up time.
  • AlexDSSF

    Posts: 35

    Jan 23, 2015 6:54 AM GMT
    Thanks for the comments, everyone. I realize that I have an uphill battle in front of me. I have written a bunch of material for my stand-up act, about ten pages worth. But of course, that's not enough.

    I do understand that my use of note cards may suggest a lack of rehearsal, and you're right. It does. I have rehearsed, but only in my mind. I'm a very shy person. I don't even like the sound of my voice. Therefore, I go through my routine in my brain. I also listen to comedy albums and watch stand-up, namely from Kathy Griffin, Joan Rivers, Kate Clinton, and Margaret Cho. Alas, there isn't a comedy club where I live (I think that the only one closed a while back), I don't have access to a car, and almost no one in my family knows about this. I did the video while my parents were out running errands. I'm a one-man operation. I write and rewrite my own material, and I filmed the video on my Android. When I'm not doing that, I'm helping my aged parents out with day-to-day tasks. They're not immobile, but it can be rough especially when you have your own shit to deal with (as I mentioned in my video). So I don't have enough time to do a proper rehearsal. I wish that I did, though. I would welcome any help, even if I don't get the attention of the AGT producers.

    The America's Got Talent audition website said that they would gladly accept videos of acts just performing in front of a camera in their homes, in addition to the glossy and professional ones. Having said that, I plan on doing a second video without the note cards.