See the U.S. Open for free as a ball person (tryouts on Thursday)

If you’re a paying customer, tickets to the US Open (August 27 to Sept. 9) are $65 and up, and those are for the early-round nosebleeds. But if you’re spry, nimble and a decent thrower, you could be a ball person and get paid to maybe be sprayed with Rafael Nadal’s sweat. (Last year, ball individuals earned $7.75 / hour.) The US Tennis Association is holding ball person tryouts this Thursday, and here’s what you need to know: 

WHAT: Approximately 80 positions as ball persons for the 2012 US Open are up for grabs with more than 400 people competing for spots. Prospective ball persons will be evaluated by US Open officials on their running, throwing and catching skills.
WHO: Ages 14 and older
WHEN: Thursday, June 21
General Public Open Tryouts: 3 p.m. registration
Registration line for the general public begins forming at 3:00 p.m.
Evaluation process will begin at approximately 4 p.m., after a welcome by US Open ball person Director Tina Taps.
WHERE: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing, New York

Here’s the official site for more info. Also, every year, a handful of newspaper reporters try out to be ball persons and then file funny stories about how they didn’t make it; here’s one from last year.