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Paw Patrol Candidate Gives Inside Look at Auditions

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes

EDITOR’S NOTE: On July 28 at Arena, 70 people auditioned for the 2012-13 Coyotes Paw Patrol. Michela Ricci, a hockey player/blogger, was one of the participants, and what follows is her account of the experience:

By Michela Ricci

We arrived in Glendale around 10:30 a.m. and made our way inside Arena, a place strangely warm due to the missing sheet of ice. Paw Patrol veterans and hopefuls buzzed about, all somewhat nervous, but excited at the prospect of making the 2012-13 squad.

Michela Ricci

Auditions for the Paw Patrol have never been this popular, or so I hear from those who’ve attended in recent years past. I once auditioned in 2007. This year was much different.

After checking in 61 girls and nine guys, the judges who will pick the squad led us down to the arena’s concrete floor and explained the day ahead. First up was splitting us into groups. I found myself in Group No. 10, and I quickly made friends with all the lovely ladies I’d be trying out with for the next several hours.

All of the groups were instructed to sort through the in-game promotional toys – including Sumo wrestling suits, tricycles, inflatable bowling pins, etc. - and create a game to stage as if there were 17,000-plus fans in attendance. Simultaneously, while we all reverted to eight-year-olds coming up with crazy neighborhood relay races and such, each group broke off and presented themselves to the judges as individuals. We were asked our name, hometown, and an interesting fact about ourselves, followed by random questions from the panel. Group No. 10 was given hockey-related questions, and as a hockey player I’ll admit I found my request to explain off-side quite stress-free. After all groups spoke with the judges, we began the games. This was, by far, my favorite part of the day. We had tricycle polo, human bowling, and a lot of games that involved spinning around numerous times and then running a puck down the “ice” to score a goal. I participated as a contestant for another group and made sure I lived up to my hockey background by scoring first (even after five spins).

Photo by Norm Hall

Next up was dancing. And no, not the Dougie or the Running Man (which I am actually fairly talented at), but a wonderful number created by our potential boss and a former Coyotes/Arizona Cardinals cheerleader who was assisting as a judge. We had a short time to learn the routine, something I failed miserably at, and after practicing we grabbed some water and a seat to watch the guys show us an impromptu dance routine they’d been working on. I’ll go ahead and say that I would have fit in better with the guys and their funny dance moves as they had everyone laughing and cheering. Once it was our turn, we danced for the judges group by group, and even when some of us (ahem…me) couldn’t remember the correct steps, we smiled, kicked, and hair-flipped like we actually knew what we were doing.

A lot of makeup touch-ups and gulps of water later, we came back from our second break in the nicely air conditioned Toyota Club and began our final leg of the day’s audition. We headed up into the stands for this last test: the crowd pump. Each group grabbed an assortment of pom-poms, “Howl” and “Noise” signs, and flags and ran down the stairs cheering and dancing in front of the other hopefuls who served as our enthusiastic crowd. Each group was amazing and the energy stayed high, all the way through Group No. 10.

After that, the time came for thank you’s and goodbyes, and the judges told us that we should hear something from them soon. It was a fantastically organized audition process and I had a blast!

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