Eight people prepared to do their best cat impersonations.
But they couldn't tape it because someone had checked out all the digital cameras. After a few minutes, they scrounged up a camera.
No, it was not auditions for a Broadway play, but a sketch for a comedy show on Boiler Television "The Movie Tribute Show."
The sketch is a contest inspired by the movie " Cats and Dogs;" cast members competed to see who could do the best cat and dog impersonations for the final taping.
"Only six can make it onto the dog round," said Erik Mygrant, as he explained the rules of the contest.
Mygrant, a senior in the School of Liberal Arts, created the show a few years ago and taped a couple of episodes. This semester he has resurrected the show, which he said is better than it used to be because it goes farther with the jokes.
The show airs at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays on Boiler Television. Each show features skits based on movies that are playing on BTV that week.
Because it is based on what BTV is doing, Mygrant said this makes it easy to come up with material each week. Although he admits most ideas come from only the titles.
Along with his main cohorts Jim Reidy, Matt Ayers and Alan Pearson, all seniors in the School of Liberal Arts, and the rest of the cast Mygrant has taken a mouse to the movie theater, walked around campus in a gorilla suit and held a jousting competition using desk chairs as horses.
The students agree one of their best skits was one influenced by "From Dusk Till Dawn," in which Pearson and Reidy had to dress up and walk around campus looking for vampires. The actors thought it was stupid. From off-camera, Mygrant tried to prompt them by telling them to interview people, to which he received replies of "No, its not funny."
However, each week Mygrant has been able to talk his cast members into doing a variety of things such as catching eggs thrown from a roof. "I can get anybody to do anything, I think that is what makes the show so successful," he said.
Monday night's taping
After the first two rounds of the dog and cat competition Monday, in which cast members did everything from chase a ball of string to mimic the sex and defecation acts of dogs, the shoot moved to the studio. The studio, located in the basement on the Stewart Center, is where most of the taping is done. Mygrant taped his opening monologue and then a skit where he interviewed three blondes who were influenced to go to Harvard because of the movie "Legally Blonde."
The cameramen spent much of the time directing Mygrant and the women playing the stereotypical blondes to look at the cameras. They were looking across the studio at each other even though the interview was being set up as "live via satellite from Massachusetts."
The on-air talents are still learning not to look at the monitor off stage and not to walk in front of someone when he is in front of the camera.
Pearson, who will take over when Mygrant graduates in December, said the show has been a great learning experience because everyone is learning about what goes into production. Students have learned a lot about editing, sometimes staying until 3 a.m. to edit a show.
After "Legally Blonde," the students taped the only running segment of the show Reidy's Review. Usually Reidy gives his weird take on movies, but Monday night he decided to do his own tribute to the movie "Shriek." He ran around campus shrieking but then found out the name of the movie was "Shrek." A mock fight ensued over Reidy's disgust for the unfair bureaucracy of the show.
Reidy is the talent of the show and, as Pearson said, "The only one who knows how to act."
Many skits come down to dressing him up as a woman, and in the past he's even walked around campus offering free gynecological exams.
"After I got slapped in the face, it got easier," he said.