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Carmageddon coincides with Laker Girls tryouts

July 15, 2011 | 10:36 am


In the wake of "Carmageddon" during the 405 Freeway shutdown this weekend, law enforcement officials are urging everyone to stay off the roads. But sometimes there are important things to attend to, such as Laker Girls tryouts.

Usually these auditions involve young women fretting about whether they nailed the dance routine and have the looks to wear the glittery purple-and-gold costumes. But with tryouts taking place Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo, Laker Girl prospects will surely be tested on whether they can navigate the treacherous L.A. traffic without pulling the hair they just spent hours on highlighting, spraying and straightening. 

"Hopefully, people will pay attention," said Laker Girls director Lisa Estrada, who said the tryout date was scheduled between January and February and couldn't be changed. "Obviously it's in the media so everyone knows about it, even in other states. Hopefully people will know. If not, I end up with whatever I end up."

In a way, it could make Estrada's job a little easier. She plans to make three to five cuts after various dance combinations and is open to holding follow-up dance callbacks and job interviews next week so she can assemble a 20 to 22 member team. While she said no Laker Girls prospects have expressed concern about the NBA lockout that could wipe out or at least shrink next season, Estrada sensed that some members of last year's team didn't fully understand the commitment being a Laker Girl requires in attending games and making numerous public appearances and only makes exceptions to absences for classes or other jobs.

With the Laker Girls planning to make at least 100 appearances this summer and becoming the team's ambassador during an uncertain work stoppage, what better way than to have Carmageddon help with the weeding-out process? 

"I don't really know. I don't have a comment on that," said Estrada, considering the Lakers have posted on their website guidelines detailing alternate routes on how to navigate around Carmageddon. "If people made preparations to get here for July 16 and knew this was coming up, then hopefully they will get there on time. That's what I'm hoping."

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Photo: Laker Girls tryouts will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo during Carmageddon. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / Oct. 26, 2010