The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff has published an extensive look at the relative horror it is to audition for NBC's Saturday Night Live and its creator, notably weird, opinionated and enigmatic dude Lorne Michaels. If you like SNL, it's something to sink your teeth into; if you don't, it's another indication that being a woman on the show definitely used to suck a bit.
Rachel Dratch first auditioned for SNL in the late '90s, joining the cast in 1999. Of the experience, she told the Times:
I didn’t get it that year [of her first audition]. They hired Horatio [Sanz], Jimmy [Fallon] and Chris Parnell, and they said: "We're not taking any women this year. But maybe next year." I was at peace with it.
One thing I noticed when I first moved to Chicago was that the teams were like you said, seven guys and one woman. Actually, it was kind of an advantage, because women were always in demand to improvise, and so if you were kind of good, you could get a lot of stage time, as opposed to if you were, like, the 80th white dude there. So I think it kind of ended up giving me more stage experience, and then you get better and better. It’s sort of the anti-vicious cycle. I don’t know what you call that: the miraculous cycle.
Dratch has tweeted to clarify her comments:
@Jezebel I love u but was dismayed to see that one line from a long interview i did was pulled out to seem like a negative about auditioning— Rachel Dratch (@TheRealDratch) August 22, 2013
@Jezebel it was in the context of saying I got to audition again the next year and had to come up with all new stuff!— Rachel Dratch (@TheRealDratch) August 22, 2013
Im dismayed to see everyone is quoting my comment about SNL not hiring women the 1st yr I auditioned as some sort of sexist thing.— Rachel Dratch (@TheRealDratch) August 22, 2013
They have diff needs every hiring season. The context was me saying I'd used all my best stuff up for 1st audition!— Rachel Dratch (@TheRealDratch) August 22, 2013
Screenshot via SNL