Freshmen bust out the funny in Comedy Wars auditions

Two students out of 25 who auditioned were selected as potential new cast members.

Every Wednesday night in Memorial Union, the Comedy Wars cast gets their funny on and does what it can to make fellow peers laugh until their sides split.

Of 25 students that recently auditioned, only two were picked to join the team: freshmen Natalie Curtis and Zach Beattie.

Team captain Leann McLaughlin said although these two were selected from the bunch, they're not yet official members of the Comedy Wars cast.

“Currently, Zach and Natalie are invited to practice with us for an undetermined amount of time next semester so we can get to know them and see how they improve,” McLaughlin said. “They aren't actually Comedy Wars members, but we are taking a closer look at them to see if we would like to add them to the team in the future.”

During the audition process, McLaughlin said the troupe looks for those who seem to fit naturally into improv.

The team saw that intangible quality in both Beattie and Curtis.

“Natalie was very honest in her performance, which is a great skill in improv,” McLaughlin said. “She never forced anything into a scene. Zach was easy to work with because he had a natural presence that felt easy going and comfortable.”

Beattie said that being different is what made him stand out.

“I knew my oddities would get me somewhere in life,” he said.

Although he wasn’t nervous, Beattie said some of his fellow hopefuls were.

“I've never seen so many pit stains in one room in my life,” Beattie said.

As for Curtis, her active involvement in the theater department in high school helped her land a prospect position -- without the pit stains Beattie witnessed.

“I really wasn't that nervous because I quite honestly wasn't expecting a call back,” Curtis said. “I was never very good at improv in high school, but I’m glad they saw something in my audition.”

To get to know the team better, Beattie and Curtis have joined the team after a few recent shows at The Heidelberg, the team’s usual post-War hangout.

Because the team is so close with one another, McLaughlin said sometimes deciding whether to keep the prospective members feels like picking their future best friends.

“They are legitimately awesome individuals who love what they do,” Beattie said. “And that's what I'm most excited about.”

The two don’t actually start practicing with the team until next semester.

McLaughlin said she practiced with the team for about six months before she was an official member of Comedy Wars.

“We usually have a good idea after several weeks whether or not someone is right for the team, but it's important that our prospective members are confident in their skills and demonstrate excitement and readiness for the stage before they start performing on Wednesdays,” McLaughlin said.

Depending on the growth they demonstrate over their time practicing with the team, both Beattie and Curtis could very well be seen on stage every Wednesday night as official newbies.

“I think they show great potential,” McLaughlin said. "But only time will tell."

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