House Teams & Auditions

All you need to know about auditioning and house teams at Comedy Café Berlin! Please read this thoroughly before you message us questions!

House Teams

We are in the midst of adjusting the way House Teams work. For context, current House Teams have no set ‘terms’ and we’ve simply added teams to the roster – e.g. Fünfdollar and People System were our inaugural House Teams and they still perform regularly now as House Teams 5+ years later; in the meantime we added Pizza Studio 3 years ago and Thunderclap 1.5 years ago and all 4 teams share time on the roster. This has worked well until recently, but unfortunately we don’t have the capacity to add more teams, even though we have a large (and growing) pool of eligible performers. Therefore, we have made the decision to change the way House Teams work in an effort to keep things fresh and to make room for new talent.

Going forward House Teams will be limited to 18-month terms. This term will include 6 months of coached development/practice and 1 year of biweekly performances (2x shows a month). After their term is complete, a House Team will be eligible to transition to a “weekend team”: they will be offered a regular monthly show spot at the theatre but will no longer be an official House Team with free coaching and practice space.

We will continue to have 4 actively performing House Teams, with 1 or 2 development House Teams preparing for their performance phase at any given time.

An additional major change is that we will no longer be mandating House Teams perform a Harold. While we love the form and would be happy if teams choose it, we will leave that choice up to the teams in consultation with their coach. Our expectation is that new House Teams use their 6-month development/practice phase to fully hone a form of their choosing – whether that be something new they develop on their own or an existing form that they take on and make their own. Our only requirement is that teams spend enough time developing and practicing their form until it’s working well. This will necessarily mean that House Team players commit to weekly practices for their entire 18-month term, but particularly during their 6-month development phase.

What happens to existing House Teams

Our veteran (inaugural) House Teams Fünfdollar and People System will transition to weekend teams in the 2nd half of 2024. We’re excited to see what they do as our inaugural weekend teams!

Our veteran teams Pizza Studio and Thunderclap will continue on as House Teams and transition to weekend teams in 2025. We’re equally excited to see what new forms they perform on stage!

Can I continue as a House Team player after my team’s term is over?

Possibly! We will not require House Team players to re-audition if they’d like to continue performing on a House Team, they simply need to let us know they’d like to join a new team. However, we can’t guarantee that they will be given a spot on a new team. In an effort to make sure as many new and talented performers are able to join the House Team program as possible, we may not have the room on a new team for veteran players. This does not necessarily have any bearing on your talent or abilities, it’s simply a pragmatic decision we’ll need to make based on the number of talented people looking to join a House Team.


Auditions

Our aim is to be holding auditions twice a year. Auditions will be advertised via our newsletter, social media channels and posters up at CCB. Anyone who has completed Level 3 – The Harold at The CCB Training School is eligible to audition and can register for an audition spot. All performers must register in order to get a spot at auditions. We aim to allow for everyone registering to audition but given our limited schedule this may not be possible, so we encourage you to apply early! Registered performers will receive an email shortly before auditions with a specific date and time to audition.

Auditions will be used to fill a few open spots in existing House Teams and to create at least one new House Team. We strive to remain flexible and make a determination about how many spots we fill based on the strength and quality of the auditions.

How auditions work

We will place performers auditioning into groups of 8 – 10 performers each, and each group will perform a 25-minute Harold using the Documentary Opening. You will be performing in the theatre to CCBTS Co-Directors Josh Telson and Noah Telson plus 2 or 3 additional CCBTS instructors. We will have time at the end of each group audition to answer questions. We aim to get back to everyone with our decisions within a week of the final audition (this means if auditions are being held over the course of several days/weeks, you may not hear from us for a bit if you audition early – don’t stress!). We will do our best to give performers who do not pass auditions some feedback, but ask for your patience and understanding that in-depth feedback may not be possible based on audition numbers.

What we’re looking for

We’re looking for someone who’s comfortable being a great ‘pinch-hitter’ – (for those of you without baseball references:) someone who can jump into any scene and play the voice of reason or the absurd character without hesitation; someone who can play big & goofy in one scene and slow & grounded in another.

Of course, we’re looking for the basic skills as well: Who is showing support? Who’s making strong game moves? Who can demonstrate a balance between improv and comedy (who is doing great improv while achieving comedy rather than telling jokes?)

More than anything, we’ll be looking at who’s supporting the entire set/show/team rather than trying to shine as an individual. Are you editing when the scene needs an edit? Are your game moves supporting the scene? Are you setting up and supporting your scene partner(s)? Are you making bold choices? 

We also know you all as players and students already and that will play a role in our decision (you won’t be auditioning in a vacuum). Know your weaknesses and see if you can address them in the audition. If you don’t have the strongest audition performance but you’ve shown us that you’re working on weak points in your improv, that counts just as much as someone who blows us away during the audition. Likewise, if you’re a regular at the theatre and you’ve made the time to create/join an indie team and perform regularly on your own, that necessarily shows us your commitment and will be used in our decision-making as much as the audition performance.

Additionally, we will be trying to run auditions more regularly (at least once a year, if not twice a year). Our hope is that by doing so, we will ease some of the pressure & stress performers put on auditions. With this in mind, we encourage performers (particularly newer performers!) to audition not with the immediate expectation of getting on a House Team but simply to get practice auditioning and to show us your engagement! We also highly encourage those performers interested in joining House Teams not to wait for performance opportunities – go out and create or join an indie team and get stage time on your own! You’ll develop invaluable performance skills while also showing us you’re committed to performing.

Expectations for House Team players

Some important things to keep in mind before auditioning:

  • House Team players are expected to make weekly coached practice
  • House Team players are expected to make biweekly (2x month) shows, once the team is performing
  • House Team players are expected to adhere to and uphold our Code of Conduct and Theatre Policies

Any performer unable or unwilling to commit to the above will not be able to join a House Team or will be asked to leave the House Team program if they are already a player.

In return for the above commitments, House Team players get free coaching & practice and guaranteed time on stage twice a month for the duration of their House Team’s term, in addition to additional performance and potential teaching opportunities. You can read more about that on our Performing at CCB page.

We understand that it is a significant time commitment, but it is the only way we can guarantee the kind of performance quality we expect to put on stage at CCB. And as part of our new House Team schedule, this level of commitment is only necessary for 18 months, which we hope will give more performers the opportunity to join House Teams.

Eligibility

Anyone who has completed Level 3 – The Harold at The CCB Training School is eligible to audition. We highly encourage any player who completed Level 3 more than 6 months before auditions to make sure you’ve “kept your reps up”! If you haven’t improvised regularly since taking courses, get a practice team together or at least start coming to jams. Build that improv muscle back up!

If you have equivalent experience in a similar style of improv from another school/theatre, you may email us to request an audition waiver: [email protected]. To save time, please let us know when and where you took classes and/or performed, with as much detailed info as possible. Please note that requesting a waiver does not mean you can audition; you must receive a positive response from us before you can register for auditions. Finally, to set clear expectations: if you’re interested in auditioning but haven’t taken classes with us, please come to the theatre and join the community if you haven’t already – watch shows, join our weekly Sunday improv jams, create/join an indie team! It is very unlikely we’ll grant you a waiver if we don’t know you, even if you’ve got years of experience.