Sunday, May 25, 2014

YOLO: Reality Show Audition

We had a family emergency recently. It took days of hard physical labor to get things fixed up and back to normal. I returned to Colorado exhausted, keenly aware of my mortality and my limitations. When faced with such a gloomy realization, some people might turn to religion, or maybe drugs.

I auditioned for a TV reality adventure show.

I took my youngest daughter’s motto to heart: YOLO or You Only Live Once, and filled out a short online form. I made hay about being an erotic romance writer. I figured that would distinguish me from the multitude of personal trainers. I swept through the questions, my answers more snarky than pensive. Halfway through the questionnaire, I got my cheery back.

Not long after, I got a call from a producer/casting/assistant type of person, inviting me to an on camera interview. I went.

The on camera audition was an altogether unfamiliar, and lovely, experience. There were three young people in the room. Two transcribed what I said onto their laptops (I think that’s what they were doing), and another worked the camera and asked questions. The interviewer was empathetic and highly personable. I wondered what they were looking for.

I’ve always been goal-oriented. Concrete achievements are the measure of success. Like a degree. Or getting to the top of a mountain, or potty training a child, or getting a book published. I soon recognized that audition success had nothing to do with a curriculum vitae. Beyond the basics of my background, the casting folk just didn’t care.

They were looking for personality.

To get to the next round, I’d need to allow the producers to see some innate, inborn part of me. I’d have to pitch who I was, not what I’ve done. And I’d have to do it by showing, not telling. Was I funny? Intellectual? Judgmental? Adventurous? Psycho? Personality analysis happens during all job interviews, I suppose, but usually there’s a pretense of discussing skills and education. The purpose of a reality show interview is only to find people who’ll make good TV. Heh. We'll see how far I get. In any case, I'm having an adventure.

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