Monday, May 26, 2014

Five Year Flashback: Going undercover

Five Year Flashback day 3! All those stories!

It is not often that I write about myself, but when I do, it is because it would be a injustice not to share the story with the world. I don't regularly go out of my way to do these types of stories, so I don't have many.

One of my favorite stories was the time I taught my friend how to shotgun beers in a bathroom stall at the Eddies - but I figured the time I auditioned to be on Big Brother Canada, was more appropriate for this series of posts.

Originally Posted: October 2, 2012

Big Brother Canada casting call in Calgary - My Undercover Audition
The Big Brother Canada audition wagon came into Calgary this past weekend and the turnout was quite amazing. Around 800 people gave the auditions a shot...and one of them was me.

Generally at these type of calls, media are invited out to interview hopefuls and get a feel for how their city is going to do in the casting process going forward. I've been one of those people in the holding room with my recorder trying to get a reality TV wannabe to tell me "WHY on God's green earth do you want to be on TV?"

I, for some strange reason, never get good responses. I am assuming it is in part because they don't want anything to be printed that will hinder their chances of getting on the show and part because they are just plain embarrassed to be trying out for a reality TV show (as they should be).

This time around I knew I needed to reassess my game plan for getting a readable story. I have always wanted to be an undercover reporter or police officer (as long as I didn't have to live in a slum or do crack to prove I was legit) and I thought this would be a safe way to test the waters. I would get in line with the riff-raff and do an audition.

The fact that I was willing to wake up BEFORE DAWN and stand in a line should pretty much be evidence enough that this is my calling (the undercover thing, not being on Big Brother).

How did the day play out you ask? Well let me tell you:

5:00 a.m. – Wake up, throw on some clothes and chug a jug of coffee.

5:45 a.m. – Leave apartment, notice that our neighbours are just getting home from the night before, cause they're bad ass like that.

6:00 a.m. – Arrive at the Sheraton Hotel to the sound of a screaming crowd. I had money on 30 people being there…I was 187th in the line.

6:15 a.m. – Decidedly annoyed that I wore a thin jacket as it is generally cold in Calgary when the sun isn't out and we have to be outside until at least 8:00 a.m. when they open the doors.
6:20 a.m. – Receive a piece of paper with a number and a survey on it from the production team. They ask for general info including "weight" (I want to fill in the box with "rude" but that wouldn't be very undercover of me) as well as a question about why you should be on the show.

6:25 a.m. – Still haven't figured out what I am going to write for my short answer question…brain is quite literally still asleep. I ponder.

6:30 a.m. – Screw it, I write out some gibberish about being awesome (obviously), evicting roommates in real life (true story) and sometimes being a bitch (just trying to be honest). I read it back and it doesn't make sense…possibly because I am still sleeping or maybe it just didn't.

6:35 a.m. – I am cold and my roadie coffee is almost gone.

7:30 a.m. – Eff this noise, I'm going to Starbucks.

7:45 a.m. – Successful trip to Starbucks and get back into my spot in the line.

8:00 a.m. – Line is moving. The drunk people in line can barely stand up straight, they are my favourite form of entertainment.

8:45 a.m. – We have finally reached the holding room. HALLELUJAH. People are getting called every ten minutes by number in groups of 5.

8:50 a.m. – I meet a guy who tells another guy "See you in the house" …to which I roll my eyes and ask him why he wants to be on the show. He gives me, what I assume would be, the same boring ass response that he would have if I were in here on a media pass. Zzzzz.

9:00 a.m.- Asking people where they are from. I am hard pressed to find even ten people in the room of about 100 who are actually from Calgary. Most of them are from small towns, Edmonton or Rider Nation.

9:30 a.m. – My number is called to a chair in Group C.

9:35 a.m. – I know someone in my group and they are moved…you aren't supposed to know people from your group.
9:40 a.m. – Have decided I am the coolest person in my group. Partially because I am the only one with a Flava Flave sized watch, but also because I just ooze greatness.

9:55 a.m. – My group is called in.

9:56 a.m. – We meet the producer who is going to be judging our personalities. He clearly immediately likes me after I ask him if I can eat the sour keys that are at his table (which are obviously for his consumption – I just wanted to see how nice he would be). He declares that he didn't know that's what they were called and I, with a tad of disgust in my voice, asked him if he was American. He was. As you can tell by this initial interaction, I am definitely on my way to Big Brother fame.

9:59 a.m. – Producer asks me if my glasses are real. I refrain from punching him in the face and force him to try them on. He declares to my group that I am blind. Thank you for confirming.

10:00 a.m. – Everyone in my group already hates me…as I get the most attention and am bonding so well with the American producer I insulted upon meeting.

10:01 a.m. – A question is asked to each person in the group (I have been asked not to share with you what this is). I nail my answer (obviously) which elicits the producer to try to one up me with his own story. Do you see what I did here? I am making him audition for me now – that's how good I am.

10:06 a.m. – Everyone has answered their first question. I am eating sour keys and the second question is asked (again, cannot share).

10:07 a.m. – I make a smart ass comment about someone's answer and get called an attention whore (clearly this is still going in my favour).

10:10 a.m. – Producer tells us the audition is over and that we need to turn our phones on and hold them close for the next 11 hours as we MAY get a call back.

10:11 a.m. – We all fist bump with the producer who clearly loves my group because I am in it and he tells me "You did REALLY good" with sad eyes that read "but I really have to submit the old man in your group as the call back because we must meet our diversity target."

10:13 a.m. – I receive a parting gift of a Big Brother shot glass.

10:14 a.m. – People in my group tell me I will be on the show…because I was awesome (and an attention whore). I think to myself that they have no idea what they are talking about – I am too much, even for reality TV.

I didn't think they would be looking for the outgoing, semi-hipster with the smart ass mouth in the Calgary auditions. They were probably looking for the super redneck from small town Alberta and/or a bartender from Cowboys. I fit neither of these descriptions (thank Jesus) which probably why I didn't receive a call-back.

I am sad that I can't tell you my WHOLE experience as an undercover master journalist, cause my answers to the questions were dope, but you get the gist.

There will be someone from this great province on the show, reppin for Alberta in a way that the rest of the country will understand (ie. redneck conservative with oil money).


The live auditions continue in Montreal (October 7), Halifax (October 7) and Toronto (Oct 14).  

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