UPDATE: My Big Mic Audition for MN Gophers Women’s Basketball!
It wasn't the result I wanted, but at least I received an answer: I will NOT be the next voice of Minnesota Golden Gophers Women's Basketball. I got the "we regret to inform you" email last night. On the plus side, I was encouraged to apply to be a back-up, so of course I'll be doing that.
I'm still thrilled that I was a semi-finalist (much further than I got when I auditioned to be the Timberwolves' announcer). The experience was a trip! Read on!
On Wednesday (10/18/23), I had the opportunity to audition for a position that hasn't been open in 26 years: the public address announcer for Minnesota Golden Gopher Women's basketball.
Jim Burns - the legend retiring from the best seat in the house - made the announcement at the beginning of October. When I saw the announcement that the U of M was looking for a new voice...I hesitated. Sure, I've announced high school and junior college sports for a quarter century (on and off), but the University of freaking Minnesota? No way.
Then I said an expletive. Out loud. Several times. I charged up my iPad, downloaded the audition script, recorded three takes, and submitted the third take.
I figured that it'd go the same way as when I auditioned for the same job with the Minnesota Timberwolves: my hope would hang on a thread for a bit before getting the "we regret to inform you" email.
Except that email was a "Congratulations! We'd like to invite you to audition in-person!" instead.
I loaded up on ibuprofen, grabbed my cane, and headed down to Williams Arena for the audition.
I was greeted by a pair of students and escorted to the warm-up room. Walking past signs that read, "Authorized Personnel Only", is always a trip; especially when I'm not tackled by security after doing so.
I honestly hadn't been that nervous in years. I waited for about 10 minutes before the student returned to escort me to the arena.
Now I tell you hhhhwhat (#HankHill), walking into The Barn was magical. It was completely empty, save for the three staff members I was auditioning for. I was given the rundown for what they were looking for, then given a test run (test talk?) to get acclimated to the GIANT REVERBERATIONS OF AN EMPTY ARENA.
I made notes in my audition script (name pronunciations, where to stop, etc), and let 'er rip. My nerves mellowed out after the first paragraph. I got through the audition without stumbling, and was even complimented on my "growl". Years of rock radio and rock bands finally paid off!
As of this writing, I haven't heard if I'll be moving on to the final round. Making it past the first round was cool enough, now I really hope to make the final round. I gave it my best effort, so it's up to the U, now. Enjoy the gallery below!
Choad's MN Gopher Women's Basketball P.A. Announcer Audition
Highest-Rated Free Things to do in Minnesota, According to TripAdvisor
Gallery Credit: Stacker