Part 4: “S C R E W Luck!”
I had to laugh, b/c as I was juicing up my creative energy to finish up this highly-anticipated post , I came across the below email that was sitting in my Inbox. It explains WELL what I believe will effectively communicate the round-up for Part 4. It’s an email TO ME, from someone who was at a Casting Call four weeks before mine (at the NY one). I don’t know her, but I randomly came across her. Okay, not so randomly. I heavily stalked investigated to find a reject — in fact, ”anyone” — who was Tweeting or Blogging about their experience at a previous Casting Call. Oprah’s site was SOOO sketchy in the details or specifics about things. The “what to expect” category needed to be filled in for me.
So, I desperately searched through Twitter to try and identify anyone — and I mean ANYONE — who was Tweeting about “being at the casting call in NJ right now”. I found MAYBE 1 or 2. I was shocked. I thought tons would be Tweeting about it. I finally find one. I watch for further tweets. Bingo. She Tweeted that she didn’t get a call back. I Tweet her “U have no idea who I am, but since U didn’t make it “anyway” (insert cheezy wink here) and we’re not “competition” (insert cheezy wink again here), is there ANY CHANCE u’d b willing 2 share w/me ur experience at Casting Call?
She was more than willing.
Here’s what she wrote:
The “costumes” she referred to included a “Clown” costume. Seriously?
So, as midnight approached that you read about in Part 3, I TRULY gained peace about the likeliness that my iPhone would not ring. I’m not saying I was thinking I wasn’t going to be considered a candidate, period. But, specifically for the next day call back. And, I was — in all honesty — C O M P L E T E L Y okay with that. A few things:
- Heck, this would likely be the last time for 2 decades that I would be able to spend by myself in a hotel room for a day with NO AGENDA, for God’s sake. I wouldn’t mind just waking as I pleased instead of freaking out about another audition. Go to the mall. Spend money on the credit card for the last time in my life (will fill you in on a post this week).
- Hell, I knew my video was complete. AND SUBMITTED. After reviewing some of the other dooooooozies of audition tapes on the Oprah site (and I mean DOOZIES) — I was feeling like I had a decent shot of being considered. I was increasingly gaining momentum in the confidence department that I had a shot.
- Specifically, after learning that in NY they chose CLOWNS to be called back — I was fully realizing that the “Sunday Call backs” for each of the 4 cities’ Casting Calls was going to be pseudo American Idol Style. You know… how they open the Season Premiere of American Idol.
Picture it: The first several shows for American Idol are showcasing the TOTAL goofs, losers (I mean that in the nicest way possible), and train wrecks for the world to gasp at, point at, and make fun of. And, as I really started trying to read EVERY BIT of fine print on the Oprah Site, I read that if you were one of the 50 finalists, based on VIDEO AUDITIONS or Casting Calls, they’d fly you to LA where you’d be put through a gamut of tests… including Psychological tests. Again, reading my new Twitter friend’s email… this competition was for a CAST OF CHARACTERS for a Reality Show. And, I’d likely totally fail the schizophrenic tests. Did I really just say that?
Giving me the biggest feeling of contentment was the conclusive realization that I. ALREADY. POSTED. MY. VIDEO. SUBMISSION. I didn’t care at that point whether or not I was called back for the next day on air audition (see first bullet point, above). I had a shot, a very decent shot, at the potential to be selected based on my Video Audition (okay, personally, I thought it kinda sucked… but thanks to all of your support, and KEY reminders from THIS guy in during the tumultuous teenage years) — I felt like my video audition may have kicked some asshhk.
Remember Stuart Smalley?? SNL??? His Daily Affirmations (while looking into mirror), I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!: Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley.
ALSO, and most key, was (remember I mentioned this in Part 2) that they asked at the Casting Call if you ALREADY posted your audition online already. And, if you did — you must write it in the top, right corner of the 16 page application. That, coupled with the fact that 70-80% of the people at the Casting Call did not post an online Audition (as I had), I assumed (by 11:59 pm) that MOST of the people they were calling back were either:
(A) Those who didn’t submit an online audition, but they were interested to see how they appear on camera. They knew they’d have access to see the ones who peaked their interest online when they popped open their laptop that night, OR
(B) They were only looking for COMPLETE C-H-A-R-A-C-T-E-R-S for Sunday’s “taping”
So… at 12:01 am (even though a smidge of me was thinking “maybe they’ll still call up until 12:15 pm”), I had both a sense of relief (see 1st bullet, above), as well as a sense of confidence that my video was in, and it was decent.
Another important note is that the Submission DEADLINE for the ONLINE AUDITION was also 11:59 pm that same day, Saturday. Any concern over that didn’t even come into play in my mind, b/c mine was submitted days ago.
As I’m chatting away on the phone with my cousin who’s watching my kids for the weekend (love her), I’m 1/2 listening to her, and 1/2 surfing the ‘net (very typical, esp. when talking to her ). Randomly, I check email. An email came in at 12:43 PM saying the following:
- WTF???? 2 – 3 days later… you’re NOW telling me this?
- It’s almost 1 am… the freaking submission deadline was 11:59 pm. Wait, is that EST? I run to check.
- It’s PST. So I have some time.
- Wait, some time to FREAKING DO WHAT??
- They don’t friggin’ tell me WHAT IS WRONG with the video (you saw it in Part 2… It was exactly 3 minutes (as indicated), didn’t use ANY COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS (????), and you’re tell me that Zach in his underwear wasn’t inappropriate? (Not that I don’t think he shouldn’t win!)
- WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO???
- My Videographer HAS ALL THE RAW FOOTAGE. My hands are tied. I can’t even GO IN AND EDIT IT?!?!?!?!?
- I can’t decide for a good 1/2 hour about whether or not to (a) FIND HIS Phone number (we communicated exclusively via email, and then just met when we shot the video), or (b) HOW INCREDIBLY, INSANELY, OUTRAGEOUSLY RUDE that would be to call someone OUT OF HIS bed as an “emergency”…
- The back and forth in my mind went on and on and on and on and on and on and on until I bit the bullet.
- I called my videographer, Chris Moore. I left a voice mail. It was 1:07 pm.
- I called my videographer, Chris Moore. I left a voice mail. It was 1:09 pm.
- I called my videographer, Chris Moore. I left a voice mail. It was 1:10 pm.
- I called my videographer, Chris Moore. I left a voice mail. It was 1:11 pm.
- I called my videographer, Chris Moore. I left a voice mail. It was 1:13 pm.
- I called my videographer. Chris Moore. I left a voice mail. It was 1:14 pm.
- I received a return call at about 1:30 am.
- WHAT A GUY!!! WHAT A PROFESSIONAL. WHO DOES THAT THESE DAYS!?!?!?!?!?
- HE TRULY wanted to help me. He was 100% committed. I’m telling you guys, he’s AWESOME. (And, for you Raleigh locals, he does IMPROV at Comedy Worx, Downtown… I need to post his webaddress and some of his work next week!)
- I pick up the phone and have VERBAL DIARRHEA, and PROFUSELY APOLOGIZE for my INCREDIBLY, INSANELY, OUTRAGEOUSLY RUDE awakening from his bed. He wants to know what the heck is up.
- He and I go back and forth, scratching our heads as TO WHAT exactly they’re referring to. I think it’s the fact that the T-shirt I RANDOMLY, without ANY THOUGHT, threw on had an image of a lady drinking from a martini glass ROUGHLY sketched on the front of it??? Was that considered “Copyrighted material”? “Inappropriate Content?”. WTF?
- Chris thinks that maybe the LOGO “The Kat’s Out of the Bag” maybe the culprit. I explain that I purchased the image of the paper bag w/tape AND the brown bag from iStockPhoto (and have proof!!)… how could that be it?
- Or, we thought… what about the “quotes” I have at the end? Do we have to put the names of the people ON THEM?
- What we do know is that TIME IS RUNNING OUT. We hang up… decide to RIP, RIP, RIP ALL of those keenly planned items (did NOT plan the shirt, damn it!) FROM the video. It would take some time, so we rush off the phone.
- AT about 2:30 am EST (11:30 am PST) he uploads the new video.
- It says, “Processing” for the ENTIRE 1/2 hour… until at 11:59 PST it reads: “The Deadline to Submit has passed. Please click here to view and vote for other entries”.
- I. WANT. TO. EFF’IN. HURT. SOMEONE.
We notice a “note” on the top of the Oprah Page saying:
- So… wait, was our video “technically” considered TO HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED “leading up to the video submission deadline of 11:59 PST”? Is “SUBMIT” when you click “SUBMIT”? Or is it when THEIR TECHNOLOGY is feeling up to processing it fully?
- Why did they not mention that it could take OVER 1/2 an hour to submit, so “please submit 1 or 2 hours BEFORE the SUBMISSION DEADLINE to allow for some lee-way??”
Feeling CONFUSED, and DEFEATED, we hang up the phone for our last and final call. I promise Chris and his wonderful fiance a homemade meal and compensation for his time; we both agree it’s time to call it a day (night).
We each had a bit of hope – CONSIDERING THERE WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much of a grey area as to what “submitted” means. Also, they did not give a deadline in their 1st email that ”you may resubmit your entry” — UNTIL WHEN? BEFORE the deadline still? Or since THEY didn’t tell ME for 2-3 days that I didn’t comply, that they’d give me 2-3 days to resubmit… or just 23 minutes?
I send Oprah a few emails. The one at the bottom was sent 3 hours after we submitted; the one on top — a few days later:
- So we wait. 1/2 a day goes by. 1 day goes by. We keep seeing the SAME note on the Oprah Site as I hve in blue, above. 2 days go by… and NEW ENTRIES keep popping up. Thousands of them, since the submission deadline. Was it clear I wasn’t going up, live, on their site? Or, was it becoming clear that I was? I WAS (and still am!!) SOOO confused.
- 3 days go by. 4 days. Maybe 5-7 days… I lost track. But I know at one point a notice went up on the site saying, “All entries are complete”.
So… WAS it rejected again (How is that possible??? We COMPLETELY COMPLIED and took care of any/all grey area on our parts. OR… DID the “submittal” never effectively go through? Either way, they should have DEFINED “Submittal” and mentioned that we should have given a few hours lee-way as to how long it would take to process. Oh yeah… or my favorite — LET ME KNOW WITH MORE THAN AN HOUR’S NOTICE that I had to completely REDO MY AUDITION TAPE when the 1st one was submitted DAYS IN ADVANCE OF THE DEADLINE.
Nope, I’m not bitter. Everything happens for a reason (ECKT! How Cliche).
WHAT THE HECK was wrong with the 1st submittal, do you think? I just don’t get it.
All of that work. Time. Expense. Down the drain. (Oh, how ironic… ANOTHER CLICHE!)