Behind the Curtain: Inside Scatterbomb’s Fall Auditions

By August Kissel, Editor

On Wednesday Sept. 13, the Kelly Commons fourth floor lobby was filled with the nervous chatter of students who were auditioning for a spot on Manhattan College’s improv comedy group, Scatterbomb.

The 25 students were welcomed into the audition room. The evening started with an icebreaker and a game called “Zip, Zap, Zop.” These games serve as a way for the Scatterbomb members to help break down the walls and tension in the room.

“We start out with some quick games, some icebreakers, and things that just get you thinking creatively. Then as the night goes on we build up progressively on those smaller things. For example object work and things like that,” said junior Kevin Donald.

The audition process also works as a basic workshop. The Scatterbomb team makes an effort to teach everyone the fundamental steps and rules of improv. Their goal is to make sure that regardless of the student’s ability and knowledge everyone has a fair chance. Many of those auditioning have never had any experience with improv or acting. All fans of Scatterbomb are encouraged to audition.

“This is not about being onstage and doing whatever you want, improv has a lot more structure than a lot of people think. We use this time to get out there and we have fun and try to get to know each other,” said senior Angela Benevenia.

As the audition went on, the students were told to get into two lines. These lines served as a way to randomly assign partners to create mini scenes. The activity started with creating three-lined scenes and as time went on the students were told to add lines so that they could create full length scenes.

“It’s really fun to see people who are so much better at improv than I was when I auditioned. I think it’s really cool,” said Benevenia.

“I would say [the auditioning process] is really hard because not only are you seeing if someone is strong at improvising but you are also getting to know them in an hour and half… then those people you end up picking become some of your best friends when you are on the script,” added Donald.

After the activity with the mini scenes the students were dismissed and were told to keep an eye out for a callback email.

“I didn’t even know I was going to be coming here today. I saw the flyer and I was like I may as well go because I like going to the shows,” said sophomore Carly Brownell.

The students represented a wide variety of the Manhattan College community and each had their own reasons for auditioning.

“I decided I wanted to meet more people and join a community where we act spontaneously,” added freshman Eddie Grimes.

In comparison to the atmosphere of the audition, the new Scatterbomb members will get to experience acting in front of live audience.

“When it’s in Hayden 100 with our great audience, it’s a lot easier, it’s effortless really. You just go out there. The most important thing is that when you are in front of an audience you have to realize that they want you to succeed, they don’t want you to fail. It’s really just about being comfortable on stage. When you are in front of an audience it will all just happen naturally. People will laugh,” said Donald.

The next Scatterbomb show is Friday Sept. 29, in Hayden 100 at 8 p.m. The new Scatterbomb members will be in the next show.