Okay, so back in October, Wrath James White calls me up saying “I got a great idea.” Now you should know, when Wrath calls with “a great idea” we’re talking 6’ 6’’ of chuckling madmen whom I’m not always inclined to tell “you’re out of your mind.” So anyway, he tells me they are holding auditions for this new reality show (uh oh) called “Focus Rally America.” Think “Amazing Race” (since it’s from those producers) with teams of two traveling in a Ford Focus.
“Come on, MoBro” (he always breaks out MoBro when he KNOWS he’s about to talk me into something). “Picture it: what could be more entertaining than watching two horror writers go across country?”
“Wrath, you’ve actually seen me drive.”
“We can work around that.”
Which is how I ended up off to Austin, Texas to audition for what I called “How long before I get on Wrath James Whites’s nerves before he stuffs me in the trunk of a car. Then sets it on fire.”* I flew down on a Tuesday for a Wednesday audition (which also included dinner with Lee Thomas and Nate Southard) to come back on Thursday.
And now, let me give you a selective Tweet recap of things:
-Dear Jesus, thank you giving me this front row seat for the @WrathJW & Christie show.
-Who had “a half hour” in the pool of how long it would take me and @WrathJW to get in an argument?
-”Come home winners or don’t come home at all.” -Christie White. Wait, there’s a PS: “If you do come home, pick up BBQ for dinner.”
-I’m wearing my Kevin Matchstick/Mage t-shirt & @WrathJW‘s says “You will bow to me.”
Which was how we entered round one of the auditions. There was quite the line and they took us in 3-4 teams at a time and sat us around a table. There were folks dressed as clowns, a brother on roller skates, all sorts of folks dressed to be “personalities”. We just sat down and let everyone else talk first. When the producers got to us, all we had to do was introduce ourselves and what we did. Then the OTHER contestants kept asking us questions to keep us talking.
Skip ahead in the story via my Tweets:
-”You two are characters!” the producers tell us … now the wait begins to see if we get a callback.
-@WrathJW is so cute when he’s nervous. Whatever the terrifying version of cute is.
So, I extended my stay in Austin (which now included dinner with Daniel and Trista Robichaud) as we prepared for the second round of auditions.
-A snapshot of what the show would look like (we’re lost & the Garmin is yelling at us)
-”THESE ARE NOT PIMP PAJAMAS!!!” (my tweet)
-The casting agents saw Maurice in his bright red outfit and said he looked like a Skittle. (Wrath’s tweet)
Okay, here’s what you have to picture for this round: there are two producers behind a camera and a love seat. They ask me and Wrath to sit in the loveseat as if we were sitting in a Ford Focus. You have to realize 1) Wrath is bigger than a Ford Focus and 2) in any given situation, Wrath likes to take up a lot of space. So I’m all but sitting in his lap. The producers say they have a list of questions for us, but they want to see how we’d interact in this situation.
They never got to their questions.
It was 15 minutes of me and Wrath insulting each other, arguing about God and strippers (don’t ask), and non-stop jokes. We literally had the producers in tears. And they said that they have a dilemma: because the show was going to be an experiment in doing direct to the internet programming (via Hulu), they were casting people with huge internet presences. So we were competing against YouTube “stars” with millions of views. The problem was that those stars didn’t have much by way of personality. We, as you might guess, had personality for days. So it was going to be a close call.
The third round was paperwork, a background check and:
-And now the nine page application package to fill out. uh oh: what would your friends say are your best qualities? Your worst?
Well, we didn’t get the slot. I’m pretty sure we lost out to the big-boobed jiggle twins I saw on one of the Ford Focus pages. But it was a great time and experience. The only thing I wished I’d had from that experience is our audition tape. I’d love to post that on YouTube that way folks get that instead of me and my “I swear to you, in context, it makes perfect sense” watermelon dance. NOTE: There’s a fine line between savvy marketer and attention whore. *checks rear view mirror for the line* The things I do to have interesting things to talk about on this blog. I’ll leave you with one last Tweet from that weekend:
-I appreciate all the requests for a Maurice & @ChesyaBurke sitcom, but I’d have huge salary demands for that gig.
*Little known fun fact, he had three possible scenarios in mind: he and Brian Keene, he and me, or he and Hal Bodner. I don’t know if there’s a show big enough for a couple of those combinations.