In the midst of holiday madness, there was a planned evening full of CHAOS–the good kind. On December 12th, the magic of TEDx Asbury Park came to life during Live Audition #1. Rescheduled from a month earlier, when Mother Nature delivered an early winter to the Jersey shore, the Paramount Theatre was alive with relentless anticipation from the wait. The holiday spirit was present as attendees donated canned goods being collected for hungry New Jerseyans as they took their seats.  As each speaker presented their abbreviated TEDxAsburyPark Talk with grace, audience members kept their phones at the ready to vote on who was Talk-ready and who would have to save the CHAOS for another time.

Even with such a successful first Live Audition behind us, the TEDxAsburyPark team still gets asked all the time “What exactly is a Live Audition?” With Live Audition #2 on the horizon (Jan. 31st), we thought now is as good a time as any to answer all of your questions. After all, we try to tame the CHAOS whenever we can!

Those who are familiar with or who have attended a TEDxAsburyPark ‘main event’ know the basic premise: big ideas are shared in 10-15 minutes increments with speakers and performers divided among four acts. There is an intermission and sometimes an interactive element so attendees can be directly involved in that year’s theme. The Live Audition is the abridged version of this event, keeping the spotlight on prospective speakers while saving some surprises for the main event in May.

Like any good preview, the Live Audition is a teaser for the TEDxAsburyPark main event that we have come to know and love. Don’t let the word “audition” fool you, however. The fast-paced energy of the TEDxAsburyPark crew setting up recording devices, ushering guests to open seats, and interviewing speakers makes the Live Audition an event not to be missed. Speakers curate and polish their talks to capture the audience in a shorter span of time than at the main event, knowing that time may be their greatest challenge in preparation. The lively, artistic spirit of Asbury Park is ever-present in this free event as the anticipation of new ideas and progress lingers in the air.

While every Live Audition speaker may not speak at the main event, the theme of 2019, CHAOS, remains the same throughout every Talk. The speakers who perform at a Live Audition have gone through the initial 2019 speaker application process and were hand-selected by the TEDxAsburyPark speaker team as potential finalists for the main event speaker slots. During the Live Audition, these prospective speakers present a shorter, 5-minute version of their Talk and get the chance to share their big idea in an abbreviated capacity. Once every speaker is done presenting, audience members have a chance to vote for one of three choices: 1) the speaker is not TEDx Talk ready 2) the speaker is TEDx Talk ready with some coaching 3) the speaker is TED Talk ready right now.

Because no speaker reveals their full Talk and the speaking roster for the main event will vary from those at the two Live Auditions, audience members can still look forward to a full day of CHAOS just a few months later without having to worry about any spoilers. While the Live Audition won’t showcase our entire talent pool on that final roster, it gives the speakers who want an opportunity to present ahead of time the chance to connect with the diverse and passionate community of Asbury Park and promote their ideas.

At TEDxAsburyPark, we believe in spreading big ideas, making connections, and promoting CHAOS any chance we can, so don’t miss Live Audition #2!. The date of this FREE event is Thursday, January 31st at 7pm at the Paramount Theatre. Follow us on social media @tedxasburypark and subscribe to our newsletter so you can be the first to reserve your seat. In the meantime, everything you need to know can be found on our website. We’ll see you there!


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