Follow Your Weird:November 2004

Reality Show

Was it back in June? Dang.

Today I’m puttering.

Puttering is what Leah calls it when I work on miscellaneous stuff. It may include, but is not limited to: doing dishes, doing laundry, organizing my comics, taking a bath, doing homework, blogging, doing invoices, rearranging furniture, alphabetizing tapes and CDs (not anymore, that’s what iTunes is for), throwing out the trash, cleaning up cat poop.

Today I’m doing a few of these, but not nearly all of them.

One thing I’ve been meaning to write about was the Reality Show I auditioned for.

I found some old notes I had taken on the directions to the studio.

It was back in June. There was a posting to craigslist, Leah forwarded it to me. I sent an email to some anonymous address, and I got a call like a few hours later.


I asked Leah if I should call back. She asked me how I felt. I said “strange.” I wasn’t expecting an answer, and yet here it was.

I called back, and got an audition.

I “auditioned” on a Monday. Showed up for a 1pm meeting.

No, I didn’t ever really talk about it here. Caution I guess. The subject of the show was weight loss.

First thing I did when I arrived at the studios in Manhattan Beach on the Raleigh Studios lot was go in the main gate and park in the designated “visitors area.” Nice security guard lady gave me a generic parking pass. I parked, and made my way to 3Ball Productions.

They gave me a 10 page (or so, I didn’t count) questionnaire. So many questions. I took some notes about it. It asked me if I ever hit anyone. It asked the typical “job interview” questions: what are your strengths? what are your weaknesses?

It also asked if I had ever been featured on any websites. This was around the part of the questionnaire where they asked if I would have any objections to putting my family on camera. I specifically said “only if they agree to it.” This was also the area where they asked about felony convictions.

I sort of figured that all the websites I take part in would basically disqualify me, but I felt as though I had a shot. I’m an energetic, personable overweight guy. I’m a great candidate!

As I was filling out the questionnaire, in the nondescript office block, I could see and overhear the production assistants and staff talking about “The Terminal” and what kind of numbers it did over the weekend. L.A. never changes — people love to talk about box office figures. I also overheard them talking about Wes Anderson, which was sort of cool.

The questionnaire must’ve taken about 45 minutes. I handed it to a redheaded female PA in flipflops. She takes it to an office and (presumably) to the producers for review.

Afterwards an East Coast guy (nice guy) comes out and takes me to a small room. This was the on-camera (camcorder) interview. The guy was personable, and had read my questionnaire, sort of playing talk show host from behind the camera as I answered, on-camera. It was sort of fun. It was so self-conscious for a while, then it was fine. That is the same feeling I got being on the radio. It’s intimidating, but strangely natural. Not that I want to spend lots of time in the media spotlight, but I could do it if I needed to.

The thing I remember most about the interview, 5 months on, is that I told the guy about blogs and said he should check out Defamer (the snarky Nick Denton L.A. entertainment blog). Who knows? Maybe he did. He had not really heard of blogs before. I guess I can’t stop evangelizing blogs, even when just talking about myself.

After the 30-minutes-or-so interview I said good-bye and made my way home.

The show I think is this one The Biggest Loser, which matches what I was told about the format and matches the production company. At the time they didn’t know what the show’s title was going to be about.

It’s a mixed blessing to be rejected from a show called “The Biggest Loser.”

And that, kids, was my experience in Reality-TV-land.

Okay, back to puttering.

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