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Black Comedian/Actress Shares What It’s Like To Audition For 'SNL'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act November 15, 2013 at 11:42AM

Black Comedian/Actress Shares What It’s Like To Audition For 'SNL'
3
 Nefetari Spencer

We've talked this issue to death already, committing about half-a-dozen posts to the issue over the last month or so (read HERE & HERE to start), so I'll say no more. 

In the comments section of some of those posts, questions came up, asking how the show's producers go about casting for it. So, this time around, I thought I'd highlight a piece published last week on Salon.com, which I only just learned about, titled "What it’s like to audition for “SNL” as a black woman." 

In the piece, comedian Nefetari Spencer talks to Salon about the SNL auditioning process that she went through, as well as the ongoing diversity controversy that's kept the show in the headlines in recent weeks.

Here's a sample:

About six months prior to [my test day], my commercial agent said there was a project that he thought I’d be good for and asked me to send over my sketch/improv reel. I sent it and thought nothing of it. About two days later my agent called me back and [asked me to shoot 30-45 seconds of me doing characters/impressions and to turn it in over by the weekend]. I [thought], “What the hell commercial is this for?” After handing in the reel, I got a call from my manager telling me that my agency was going to submit me for “SNL.” I was speechless but also thought, “What are the odds?” About a month or two passed and honestly I had forgotten about it because rejection is a daily occurrence in an actor’s life. My manager called and in his special, I’ve-got-great-news voice said, “Nef- e- tar- ri, we just got word that the producers at ‘SNL’ like your reel, you have moved on to the next phase, which means your reel has gone up to Lorne Michaels. He has to watch your reel and decide if you should come out to New York and test for the show.” I was told it could take weeks or maybe months to get a response, but I needed to start preparing like I was going to NYC because when they call, they only give you one-day notice. So I prepped hard. I studied mannerisms of celebrities, people on the street, wrote jokes, and watched lots of YouTube.

To read the rest of the informative piece visit Salon.com HERE.

By the way, the  episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Kerry Washington a couple of weeks ago, was the highest-rated for the season.

This article is related to: TV News, Things That Make You Go Hmm...


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