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Audition Xtra: Nerds ECC, Featuring Choreographer Josh Bergasse

Monday, January 25, 2016 in Audition Xtra|6 comments
It's always exciting to be a part of a new show and this upcoming audition for Nerds is advancing on us pretty quickly! So, we've put together as much information as we can possibly find to help you step into that audition full of knowledge. You may have been to 6 other auditions already this week, you may have been number 367 on that non-eq list at 6am, no stress. That's why we've taken the time to put this together- you do the audition, we'll do this part.

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Leslie Kritzer, Photo by Curtis Brown

Nerds is a brand new musical coming to Broadway. Here's how it's billed: Nerds is a cheeky original musical that celebrates the birth of computer technology and the two pop-culture icons, Bill Gates & Steve Jobs, who made it possible. The show follows the lives of the founding fathers of personal computing as they rise from nerds to billionaires, making a mark on history, and defining the golden age of technology.
Back in 2007, it received the Barrymore Awards for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Original Music. Here is a review from the show's Run at Philadelphia Theatre Company


Book: Jordan Allen-Dutton, Erik Weiner, also known as "Famous Last Nerds"
Lyrics: Jordan Allen-Dutton, Erik Weiner
Music: Hal Goldberg

Director: Casey Hushion
The lovely Casey will be directing Nerds as an addition to her array of Broadway and Off-Broadway directorial and associate credits. What I admire about this director is that a quick look at her resume shows us someone with a wealth of experience as an assistant and associate director, who is now leading an original show on Broadway. 

In this video of Casey Hushion, she talks about her creative process in The Sound Of Music.

Choreographer: Joshua Bergasse.
We managed a quick chat with Josh, for some insider tips on what's going on in the world of Nerds:

Can you describe your process in choreographing Nerds?
The movement in Nerds is inspired by the characters and the individuality of the actors playing the roles. Since Nerds is a (hilariously funny!) comedy, the movement is designed to support the comedy.

What are you looking for in an ensemble member in Nerds?
Individuality, comedic abilities in dance. I'm not necessarily looking for highly technical dancers, they will have some tap skills though. They will have great voices with excellent comedic timing.

In an audition room, what stands out to you and makes you think "yes" or "no" about a performer?
Dancers stand out to me when I can see the joy they have in their work. I'm drawn to performers that are really being themselves. People who look like they are stressed out or difficult to work with are big "no's" for me

Furthermore, if you're looking to get a feel for how Josh works in rehearsal? This video gives some great insight, from rehearsals of On The Town at Barrington Stage.

Casting, Telsey, Something Rotten, Audition, NYC Audition
Something Rotten, Casting by Telsey
Casting: Telsey and Company, Bethany Knox.

A force to be reckoned with, Beth has cast extensively on the musical theatre scene- including, Something Rotten, Motown Musical, Elf , Hamilton and many more. 

Casting, Hamilton, Broadway, Audition NYC, NYC audition
Hamilton, Casting by Telsey

Here's some audition advice from Bernie Telsey:
"There's an art to auditioning, Telsey notes, and one of the most common mistakes actors make is "not being available to what's going on in the moment in the room, because they're so worried about the nerves and all of that that they're missing what I call the 'blind date' that they're having with the casting staff. You can easily tell when someone is not present. Another common mistake is not fulfilling the material by making a choice and being incredibly prepared. The audition process is 10 people or 200 people coming in for the same role, and it's about who's best in the audition. It's no different than an Olympic race. They're all great runners; that's how they got there. But the one who wins is the one who finishes first. How do you finish first? Preparation and being available to what's in the room."

On his page,  Jordan Allen-Dutton, shares some music clips from the show. As you can hear, the vocals vary from a contemporary musical theatre sound to rap. What rings through though, is the character driven nature of the songs. 
On this page, you can also hear music from another of Allen-Dutton's showsThe Bomb-Itty of Errors. What shines through is the sense of comedy to drive the songs.

There are a wealth of uptempo character songs on Virtually Vocal, which also gives you accompaniments. You could try a song by Heisler and Goldrich such as, "Taylor, The Latte Boy." Also, look at songs by Kerrigan and Lowdermilk such as "Someone Else's Life" or "A Little Bit" by Drew Gasparini.


We have some key pieces of information to help us here. We know that the show is set in America around the early 2000s, we know the movement is very character driven and we have some costume pictures from the out-of-town production.

I would suggest comfortable clothing, leaning towards the civilian side of things instead of purely technical dancer. That doesn't mean don't wear form fitting clothes, but do look to express your unique style too.

For a show yet to hit the Great White Way, that's a good deal of information to have under your belt before you audition. I hope you enjoy your moment to perform, knowing you have prepared as well as you possibly can.

Thanks to Stephen Purdy for his great advice on Virtually Vocal

Til' next time,


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