Vanessa had gotten an email about a casting call for a new reality tv show called Focus Rally: America that will be airing on Hulu. She forwarded it to me and asked, "What do you think?"
My first thought, "That is just so crazy, it would have to be awesome." I was all about it!
There is a natural course for blogging friendships. You start out commenting on each other's blogs, and that turns to emailing. Eventually you take the leap and reveal your name and your life through a facebook friend invite. Sometimes there is a phone call or a skype session. One day you meet up at a blogging conference or in an incredibly public place. Not me. I went straight from the facebook friendship to this other, slightly less known step in the blogging friendship where I invite the blogger to my house and then plan to go on a five week long competition road trip with each other.
That is how I got to Wednesday afternoon. Waiting for Vanessa to arrive and hoping that she was really Vanessa. And not, you know, Victor the Vicious or Sid the Stalker. I was pleased to see that in person, Vanessa is just as sparkley and fun as she seems on her blog...and she didn't have an ax or a shovel with her, so I felt pretty safe.
There is a short video of our meeting, but I think it has been rated top secret to protect the dorky (referring to myself there) and you have to have a blog reading security clearance of at least 92 to be able to view it.
Yes. I totally made up that blog reading security clearance thing. I'm just saving you from a level of dorkiness that not a single one of you is ready to witness....and Vanessa hasn't let me see it yet.
We hopping in her car and made our way to downtown Orlando for the casting. We passed a 7-11 that was not a gas station (it was inside a building with offices) and found our destination. After successfully navigating the parking garage with was extremely twisty and had a stairwell with these strange people sized holes in the wall (which we may or may not have considered crawling through commando-style) we were ready for our closeup.
Here is a picture to prove it:
|Vanessa and Tracie|
Paperwork came next. One of the questions was, "What is the most interesting thing that someone would not know by looking at you?" and I restrained myself from answering "I am actually a unicorn". Then it was time to get in line for two hours. Which could have been boring, but our fellow line standers kept both of us entertained.
We were joined in line by Zeke (not quite his real name) who was sampling, and by sampling I mean drinking many many goblets of wine at Urban Flats when he saw the sign up for the show and decided to give it a go. His theory was the more wine the better, because they are always looking to cast at least one crazy person on a reality tv show.
We were standing there talking, when we heard it. What might be the most obnoxious sound in the world. A guy driving down the road slowly revving his engine to show just how
Vanessa is going to tell you how she started to feel sorry for the guy, but I was heartless and cheering. Let me tell you now, that is just because I love you my dear readers and I knew what a great blogging moment that was to witness. When I was cheering I was only thinking of you....and of how great it was that Obnoxious Guy got that ticket, because clearly I am not as nice as Vanessa.
There was also Toronto Girl (that is her real name of course) she asked us how we met. Upon hearing our story, Zeke asked, "What IS a blog?" Which prompted me to act out this video for Vanessa.
Then a guy walked by wearing two incredibly large sombreros. I would have taken a picture, but he also looked slightly menacing, so you will just have to trust that there is no way I'm making that up.
Toronto Girl gave Zeke a lesson in how to swing a golf club correctly.....lacking a golf club they used his empty wine glass which narrowly missed hitting Vanessa in the head.
Just as it was starting to get dangerous, the woman who was in charge of the line told us to keep an eye on her because she would give us a hand signal when it was our time to walk to the table to speak with Jen, the casting producer. We watched her carefully and at our cue (that's show business talk, right? Cue. I am ready for this tv gig!) we moved to the table, turned in our paperwork, and spent a minute telling her about ourselves.
At this point I'm sure you are wondering what this reality show is all about. What would inspire us to stand in line for two hours hanging out with Zeke and Toronto Girl? Here's the scoop. It is a race across America. Just me, Vanessa, and a Ford Focus 2012 for five weeks.
Okay, there would be five other teams, and we haven't officially been chosen to participate yet, but positive thinking never hurts. While driving across country we will be getting help from followers and friends on social media, blogs, facebook, twitter - that mean YOU. The exciting thing about helping us is that when we win...when we leave all the other teams behind in a cloud of dust....when we drive over the competition....the 10 people who helped us the most will each get their own Ford Focus.
I have to say that no matter what happens with the show, it was definitely worth it to go hang out with Vanessa at the casting and have all that fun. I laughed so much last night. Although I'm really hoping to hang out with her for five weeks on the road. We established that we both sing along to the music on the radio, Vanessa is not at all scary (in face she is pretty awesome!), the Ford Focus has a GPS and parallel parks itself........so add in some junk food, and I think we are ready to go!
Part 2 of this story, A Successful Covert Mission or When We Went to CALLBACKS.