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What does it take to be a Notre Dame leprechaun?

| Thursday, April 20, 2023

Courtesy of Jeffrey Myers

Some would call it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Others, an event unlike any other. And still, others may find the only appropriate descriptor to be “lucky.”

Tryouts to be one of the next students to portray the Notre Dame leprechaun are in full swing here on campus, with the festivities of the final round taking place this weekend. Here’s what goes into the rigorous and extensive process by which the next guys and/or gals in green will be chosen.

First thing first: Any Notre Dame student enrolled at the University can try out to be a leprechaun.

The role itself often calls for a specific subset of skills that span across many different and unique backgrounds, meaning that the individuals who audition to portray it should do so as well. This initial written application consists of two tryout forms, five short essays, a one-page personal statement, a one to two minute audition video and a general resume with background information. To say the least, this first step in the process is quite an undertaking in and of itself, perhaps suggesting that only those willing to devote that much effort and energy into submitting it might be able to do the same if offered the job.

Following this first round of written applications, the applicant pool is narrowed to between seven to 10 finalists who are invited to try out in person. These in-person tryouts comprise the “meat” of the formal process and take place over the course of two to three days. On day one, each finalist is invited to portray the mascot at an athletic event for a certain amount of time. This stage of the process is designed to give each person a feel for in-game experiences and fan engagement firsthand and marks the kickoff to the tryout weekend.

Night two of the final auditions tends to be the most involved piece of the puzzle, seeing how this night is evaluated by a panel of coaches, former leprechauns and staff from the athletics department. In this phase, each of the finalists will give a four-minute pep rally, engage in a two-minute improv scene, answer hypothetical media interview questions and conclude by formally interviewing with the aforementioned panel. As for the pep rally and improv skits, contestants are handed unique scenarios they will need to cater their performances to minutes before they take the floor. Should the panel fail to select the top four candidates for the position by the end of the night, a tie-breaking round would take place during the Blue and Gold spring football game.

Sound stressful? Good, it’s supposed to.

The final tryouts to determine next year’s four leprechaun mascots will be taking place 6 p.m. Friday in The Pit of the Joyce Center and are open to the campus community. This year, eight finalists will perform for 11 panelists and the attending friends/students that make it out to support. If you want to be one of these students, be sure to arrive by 5:45 p.m. for an experience you are sure to remember.

Ryan Coury


April 19

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