Adventures in Auditioning for Travel Channel – Part Deux
Alslo known as: “How to really piss off your friends with a cliffhanger ending…”
Ok – I’m back in the Bay Area after a hellacious drive back from the Southland – but when is it not a nasty drive back?
When we left off…I was sitting next to the very beautiful and talented Tensia, who was helping us both calm our nerves about standing in front of the camera for the audition. The numbers were slowly rising that were being called and the tension in the room was palpable.
After a quick restroom break to ensure I wasn’t going to pee all over myself on film, I went back to the holding room to await my number (47) being called. When the numbers hit 43, I decided to start pacing in the room. I also took the opportunity to took up, and talk to Mom.
(For those of you who don’t know, she passed away back in 2004 from leukemia). I told her that I knew she’d be right in there with me, and that I would make her proud.
No pressure or anything…
Finally, the moment came – or so I thought. Turns out the coordinator went out of order somehow calling numbers, so when she called mine, I asked about #45, which she had skipped.
False alarm. So I went back to standing next to Tensia. (She was number 49). Now nither of us were talking. We had our game faces on. I even tried making small talk with the burly security guard just to keep my nerves down.
Finally, the moment came – just before 9:00opm – my number was called. It was time to go.
I was led back to yet another room that turned out to be a large soundstage, with two opposing camera setups. This way, they were able to do one audition after the other.
The setup was simple – single camera on a tripod, green screen behind you, two softboxes in front of you and a shotgun mic above. All standard stuff. I found the markand was told to hold up my name and number.
To my horror, a spot of food had fallen onto the paper while it was sitting near the catering. Someone must have dripped while I wasn’t looking. Most people would have just ignored it, but I saw the opportunity to break the tension with a joke (more for my own personal sanity).
As I held up the paper, I said, “This is NOT my food spillage. I didn’t do this! I am NOT a slob!” The cameraguy and coordinating producer snickered. I was in like Flynn.
The producer then said “Go ahead and start whenever you’re ready.” And so I did…
I must have spoken fast, because I ended up with just a little extra time in my two minute limit so thankfully I had a backup sentence that filled that void perfectly – and nestled right up to the 2 minute limit. It’s almost as if all those hours on the radio bumping up to the top / bottom of the hours actually came in HANDY (Who would have thought!)
About halfway through the audition, I noticed someone walking towards me in the bakground. It looked like the Executive Producer, or head honcho of some sort. He seemed really impressed or intrigued by what I was saying – if my body language analysis was correct.
After the 2 minutes was up, I collected my things from a chair that was just off camera. As I went by the crew, they all nodded and quietly said, “Nice job.” I was ready to jump for joy, but knew I was still “on stage” and didn’t want to let my emotions get the best of me. I was escorted past the other soundstage by yet another large, burly security guard back to the first room we began in at the front of the Tastemade building.
As I came out, another coordinating producer was already there – and that’s when eyebrows starting to get raised.
He asked me, “Hey can you hang out here for a few minutes?”
“Of course!” I said. They must want to wrap things up with us or maybe sign some more forms, etc. Then I watched as two other would-be auditioners walked directly out – they weren’t being asked to stay. Something was up.
Since there were no cameras around – I decided it was time for a few celebratory fistpumps. My adrenaline was pumping faster than any ride I had ever been on. It was a high that I suppose you could only get from some seriously nuts drugs (not like I’d KNOW what that was like…)
The camera lady who I had joked with earlier in the night then stepped in – and asked where I was from. They were both shocked to hear I had driven, “all the way down from the Bay Area just to do this.” I told them, “Nailing the audition like that, saying exactly what you wanted to and not screwing up – just made that long trip all worth it.”
Out of nowhere, comes Marianela Pereyra – the host of “America’s Best Beaches” – a web-only series for Travel Channel. I had no idea who she was, but they asked me to step into the light of the camera and give a “postgame interview” with her.
Standard stuff really – “how’d you feel, what was it like, was it worth it, etc.” My only concern was that I was staring at her boobs the whole time. No matter…
Tensia got done with her audition and asked me to walk her to her car. As a gentleman, I obliged. Turns out she parks right across from me on the street. We said our goodbyes, hugged it out and made plans to keep in touch.
After updating social media with the good news, I called Dad and gave him the scoop. Still high on adrenaline, I tried to find a nice restaurant that was still open. No luck. So I settled for the L.A. staple (and recommended to me by Tensia herself Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles.
Today (Thursday) was far more sedate. Met up with Kurt of theCoasterGuy.com for lunch at a restaurant in Valencia. Then made the arduous trek over the San Andreas Fault through the Grapevine and back to the Bay Area.
So to recap:
1.) I am NOT the next Travel Channel Star – at least, not YET. The contest officially ends on April 15th – and if there’s a web vote portion, expect some social media blasts to help me out. But there are some signs I may have made a serious impression.
2.) I spent way too much at the Imagineering Store (Mickey’s of Glendale).
3.) Don’t ask me for my autograph – unless you have $20 on you…
As they say – STAY TUNED! 🙂