A night of trials for Mojo hopefuls

Christina Blakley

“All right, everyone, let’s warm up! Slow-motion samurai, fight until you’re dead. or decapitated,” said Dathan Brown, a four-year veteran of the comedy troupe Grandma Mojo’s Moonshine Revival and senior in journalism and mass communication.

Instantly, the seven members of the group and eight “Mojo hopefuls” start slow-motion fighting samurai-style across the stage.

This past Monday, Grandma Mojo’s Moonshine Revival, Iowa State’s sketch comedy improv group, held tryouts at the Maintenance Shop in the Memorial Union.

The group performs every other Wednesday starting Sept. 5 at 10 p.m. and, as stated on their Grandma Mojo’s Fan Club on Facebook, they’re the cheapest date on campus – tickets are only $1.

Andy Birmingham, a three-year member of Mojo’s and junior in political science, said they had a lot of members leave and are looking to recruit.

“We want funny girls,” joked one member, regarding the lack of girls in the group.

One of the Mojo hopefuls, Justine Year, junior in performing arts, said she considered herself only slightly entertaining. She said she wasn’t very nervous about the audition, but hoped they didn’t use Russian roulette to pick the new cast members.

“You don’t have to be fantastic, you just gotta get a good laugh,” Year said.

One part of the tryouts involved short improvisations. Two to three people would start a scene and whenever someone else wanted to, they could jump into the scene or create a new scenario by saying “freeze” then tapping a person out.

Consequently, the scenes switched rapidly from a fight to a girl scout selling cookies to an aerobics workout session.

The last part of the audition was a chance for the Mojo hopefuls to “sell themselves,” by showing why they should be a part of Grandma Mojo’s.

Samantha Clark, sophomore in political science, showed her skills by doing a back flip on the stage.

Another random talent was by Angie Hellmann, sophomore in dietetics, who crushed a soda can by holding the can between her shoulder blades and pushing her shoulders backwards.

After two hours of group tryouts, the Mojo hopefuls left the M-Shop and the veterans pulled chairs onto the stage to discuss the auditions.

“We run the show – we’re family,” Birmingham said. “We’re all different and we all bring something to the show.”

Birmingham pointed to another member, Don Watts, sophomore in performing arts, and said jokingly, “Like him – you don’t know he’s funny till he’s on stage.”