I cannot even begin to tell you how crazy my day has been.
If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen the slew of twitpics I was sending in all morning - I guess I just felt like I was at that audition in part because of the encouragement (and demand) of a lot of you, so I felt like giving you rather frequent updates on how I was doing.
Last night I drove with my friends Liz and Bekah down to Vancouver, WA, where we were going to stay with my uncle, so as to cut our commute time down to 20 minutes, from the 3 hours it would have taken us to get to the Lloyd Center from Seattle. We arrived around 9, which was too early for even for people knowing they had to wake up at 6 AM, so we flipped through the channels and ended up watching an episode of "1000 Ways to Die" on Spike TV, which is a show that is hilarious and sad and gruesome all at the same time.
The next morning (which would be today) we were groggy and tired, but Bekah and I put on our audition outfits (which were just skinny jeans and tank tops - Bekah had heels but I'd opted for flats, a decision I went back and forth on appreciating and regretting all day), said goodbye to my uncle, and whizzed out the door. We found the Lloyd Center in no time, and arrived exactly 2 hours before the casting call was starting. Even being that early, we were still about 30th in line.
This is when things started to get out of control. We assumed we'd just wait in line, turn in our application packets, be asked a few questions on camera, and head out. We were so, so wrong.
So first, we sat on the floor and did absolutely nothing for about an hour and a half. From 8:00 to 9:30, we just killed time, chatted, met the girls in front of us and behind us in line, and watched the minutes tick by on our phones.
Then, around 9:30, some people from the contest in matching CW t-shirts started coming by and handing out these green wristbands with numbers on them so we knew where we were in line and who was a contestant.
Then more people came by and double checked with us that we had two different forms of ID - a drivers license and a passport, birth certificate, Social Security card, whatever. At this point, some girls starts panicking, but Bekah and I were prepared. We had our passports. Everything was still going fine.
But THEN, more people came by to double check that we had our photos. Photos? Nobody told us we needed photos. We started asking the other people in line, "did you see anything online about bringing three photos?" "No, I totally read the fine print, didn't you?" "Yeah I did, I didn't see anything about that!"
But even then, I was thinking, worst case scenario - I had my laptop in the car; Liz does stock photography with both Bekah and I all the time, so we have a huge assortment of pictures to choose from - we could just pop some on a USB drive, take them to a photo store (we were in a mall) and print them out quickly before our turn in line.
But THEN, the t-shirted people came back to inform us that one of the photos needed to be a full body bathing suit photo.
I don't know about you, but I don't just have a collection of photos of myself in a bathing suit floating around anywhere. Especially not posed ones. In fact, the only photo I can think of that I have with me in a bathing suit is this one:
...and I don't think they anticipated casting Jack Skellington's sister Kristina for this Cycle of ANTM. Just not good.
So luckily, luckily, Bekah was more prepared than I was, and brought her bikini to the casting call. And we're about the same size. So this is what we did.
1. Made Liz hold our spot in line.
2. Borrowed the digital camera of the very nice girl in front of us in line.
3. Ran to the bathroom.
4. Took turns going in one of the stalls, took off all our clothes, and put on the bathing suit.
5. Came out of the stall, in a public bathroom, and posed against the blank wall in the bathing suit. In front of everyone else in the bathroom.
6. Snapped two of the worst pictures of ourselves we'd ever seen.
7. Got dressed again.
8. Ran to the copy center.
9. Printed the pictures.
10. Ran back to the line where Liz was getting nearer and nearer to the front.
Already, the weirdest morning ever. Luckily, we weren't the only girls doing this, as literally 80% of the girls had shown up without photos because it was not made apparent at all on the website that we needed them.
That wasn't the end, though. Once we got back in line, we thought we were ready, but Liz informed us that NOW we needed a photocopy of our IDs. Seriously. So we ran off again in search of the only copy machine in the whole mall, where the line was out the door with frantic girls holding their ID impatiently in their hands. It took about 20 minutes but we got the ID copied, ran back to the line (this was a serious workout, all the running we had to do) and were right at the very front of the line when we got back. We were sweaty, we were flustered, but we had everything we needed, and after seeing some heartbroken girls going home (a combination of being under 5'7" and disqualified for it, or not having 2 forms of ID) we knew getting this far was already a major accomplishment.
They measured me when it got to be my turn and the guy chuckled; I am well over 5'7". He sent me to get my paperwork checked, and then I was sent to stand outside the casting room. It only took a few minutes before they called my name, and before I knew it, I was sitting down with a really friendly guy who was going to be my audition coach. He asked me if I'd ever been interviewed like this before. I said yes and no, yes because I've been interviewed quite a few times but no because it was never this sort of high stress situation where I am really trying to "sell myself". I flashed back to my interview with Max&Jason for Current TV at the Fiesta Movement celebration - this felt completely different.
Then my time was up - he led me over to have my photo taken a few times, and before I knew it, I was standing in front of a microphone. I don't actually know how much I am supposed to divulge about what goes on in the audition (they kept the types of questions we'd be asked under wraps until we got into the casting room) so I'll just say they asked me a few questions, made me show them my runway walk (hahaha I'd never practiced a runway walk before in my life so I can only imagine how that went) and then they told me I'd nailed it and that they liked me. I mean, maybe they tell everyone that (they seemed like really nice guys) but it made me feel good about the audition.
The whole experience, even if nothing comes of it, was really fun. Bekah and I had a blast all day (her audition went well too - she actually ended up taking her heels off for her runway walk because they told her to do what was comfortable, so I don't feel badly about wearing flats anymore) so we don't regret driving all the way down to Portland for a long shot. It makes a great story, and I think putting yourself out there in ways that could be really scary like this (I mean come on, any audition is a little scary) is hugely character-building and can only help you in the future for job interviews or anything that needs this sort of driven confidence. So I am pleased with my experience.
And who knows! Maybe I'll get a call in the next month. I have no idea when they're contacting finalists, but the move-in day is in May, so I'll at least know by then. :)
Also, I met Kris, Alan Lastufka's girlfriend, while I was there. She surprised me by showing up (since she lives near the mall we were at) and it was lovely getting to meet and chat with her. There were also these two girls ahead of me in line who, after our separate auditions were over, came over to me and admitted that they watch my videos and couldn't believe we were so close to each other in line. So that was fun. We took a picture. I joked about how we may be potential housemates soon. It was a lovely day.
So there you have it, Internet. Ask and you shall receive. I auditioned for America's Next Top Model. Cross your fingers. But if I don't get it, that's okay too. I just wanted to have the experience.
Oh! They gave the contestants these little goody bags, and most of the stuff inside was lame (like "$10 off a haircut! ... if you buy a color too") but there was one cool thing: a gift certificate for $5 at a nail salon. $5 doesn't buy you much at a nail salon, so Bekah and I spent it on nail polish. Just to be clear, I am nothing like Hayley or Kayley when it comes to my fingernails. I honestly haven't painted my nails since my senior prom in high school, which was almost 4 years ago. So as a joke with myself, I bought solid black and solid white. It made me chuckle, thinking about all their "Purple Moonlight Sonata" or whatever the heck they wear.
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