They had an open casting call for Big Brother 12 today, on the other side of Austin. Big Brother is the only reality show (save for the first season of Amazing Race when Swain won) that I’ve watched, and that was because Amy lured me in with the promises of a home cooked meal while I was still in Dayton. After watching it there, I basically kept watching future seasons in New Orleans as an excuse to text Amy and Vera more often than I otherwise would.
So, what better way to for them to keep tabs on me than go on the show? Since I’m unemployed, I sit around all day doing nothing, I might as well try to do that with a $500,000 cash prize at the end.
When I had the idea, which was Wednesday, I printed off the 13-page questionnaire and answered some questions. I’ll spare you all 70 questions, and give you some highlights:
(13) Have you ever appeared in any television programs or films or movies or commercials or advertisements of any kind?
I was Elf #2 in an ad (voice only) while interning at a radio station.
(18) Are there any nude or other revealing or compromising images of you that are available publicly either through the Internet, video or otherwise? If so, please describe and explain.
No, but if they’d be helpful for the show’s publicity, just ask.
(26) If you drink, how often do you get drunk? How do you act when you get drunk?
Every once in a while. Like me, only louder.
(33) What is your favorite TV show(s)?
The fine programming on CBS and Endermol Productions.
(49) When was the last time (if any) you hit, punched, kicked, or threw something in anger? Please provide details.
March 12, 2010. When Dayton lost the A-10 quarterfinal game against Xavier, blowing their NCAA chances, I threw my wallet against the door in frustration and kicked the garbage can.
(52) If you could hold any political office, what would it be and why?
“Ruler of all I survey” so I could make everything better.
(53) What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?
#1 – At a basketball game, I was coordinating timeouts for TV and had to hold up play for four minutes. Members of the crowd of 13,409 began chanting “asshole” at me.
#2 – A guy in front of me tried to time a light, rolling towards the intersection. He had to stop and immediately the light turned green. I immediately gave him the “It’s Green! Go!” honk. It was awesome.
(60) What would you do if “Big Brother” made you famous?
Marry someone better looking that I could otherwise pull on my own.
(62) What types of people would you NOT choose to live with you in the house?
People who snore or have tourettes.
(64) What do you think would be the most difficult part of living in the “Big Brother” house?
Figuring out a way to record all the sporting events I’d have to miss. That would take dozens of DVRs.
Thursday was the casting call, so I drove over and found the place. When I got in line (which was about 25 people deep), a woman in front of me was holding a stack of papers.
Her: “Are you here to audition for Big Brother?”
Her: “Go to the table up front, check in and get an application”
I checked in, but had the app in my back pocket. When I returned, she said “Did you get an application?”
She looked me up and down because I was holding a cup of coffee and no app. She said “No, you need to fill out an application.”
I pulled it out of my pocket.
Me: “So, are you running the show? What’s going on here?”
Her: “No, I’m just in line.”
A few minutes later, a girl came up behind me in line, I said “You need to go to the table up front, check in, and get an application.” She returned, sans app. I asked if she had one, she pulled it out of her purse, and she asked if I was auditioning or working the line.
So the girl in front of me (who’s name I can’t remember, but she was endowed like Christina Hendricks, so we’ll call her Christina) and the girl behind me, Summer, a dentist who aspires to open her own dental office, all got to talking.
After updating my Twitter (“Line is entertaining. Disappointed I won’t be in a house with them”), I realized I would need pictures for this recap. So I took a very unflattering picture of Christina, who called me out for taking her picture. She didn’t like the pic, so I deleted it. I took a picture of Summer, and realized “She’s cute. I might have to get my molar checked out.” (Don’t worry my legions of female fans, she has a boyfriend so no Showmance potential).
We discussed what we put our applications, Catch Phrase, the ridiculous wind wreaking havoc on their hair (Advantage: Bald Guy.) and other fun topics. Then we began to discuss the casting and strategies for getting on the show.
Christina was of the belief that the show has in mind certain types they are looking for, so it doesn’t matter what you put on your application trying to fool them. If they want a gay cowboy from Austin, it doesn’t matter how the rest of us do in auditions.
At this point, the guy in the plaid shirt in front of us entered the conversation, lisping “I could be a cowboy!” He added that his partner told him he should really “play up the gay,” but he doesn’t act very gay (his words, not mine).
I surveyed the line and realized, “If they’re looking for a straight male from Austin, I might have this in the bag.” Take a look at those people. They were all wearing loud shirts and looking like three-dollar bills.
I explained that I felt I had no shot, because I looked like I had slept in my clothes (jeans, Tulane ‘Thriv’ T-Shirt), and was surrounded by people trying to impress, some good looking people – some of whom had large breasts.
Christina reminded me that the breasts would only help if they were looking for a sweet girl with large breasts, if they’re looking for a funny guy who’s entertaining to talk to, I could get the gig. Someone added “and if they’re looking for a black guy, we’re all out of luck!”
I said “I could be a militant black guy!” and proceeded to do my impression of Hooper X from Chasing Amy.
As the line moved and people who’d already gone walked past the line to leave, we asked what was going on. Basically, you stand in front of the camera and they say “ok, go.” And you have two minutes to say whatever you like that you think will impress them.
We all commented that we have no idea what we were going to say. But instead of thinking of something, we continued talking, because that was a lot more fun.
The conversation turned to the questionnaire’s inquiries about drinking and how there’s a total lack of context. People who drink socially would sound like alcoholics. I busted out my “alcoholic quiz sounds like everyone has a problem. Try replacing drink/drinking with shower/showering” schtick, which killed as always. But Christina shared her story of being in a relationship with an real alcoholic, which probably helps her chances. I should have made up something about a dead mother.
It was Christina’s turn to go on camera, and Summer called out “Hey, you’ve got leaf on your skirt.” Christina picked it off, and said “Thanks! That would have been embarrassing!”
I yelled “Don’t worry, they’re only going to show you from here up” and held my hand inches below my throat.
She shouted back “It better be from HERE up” and held her hand under her rack.
When Christina was called, we realized she was the 50th person to audition… and amazingly, in an hour and ten minutes, NO ONE had joined the line behind us. When Alberto (he was actually in between myself and Christina, but spent only about 10 minutes in line because he was sitting off to the side filling out his questionnaire) was doing his stand-up, a 54th person entered the line and Summer took her turn as the Big Brother Casting Specialist.
Finally, I got to the front of the line, and I chatted with the camera guy, asking if he needed a white balance (once a media relations director, always a media relations director) and if they had any input on the casting or if they were just delivering the stand-ups. They were just delivering the stand-ups. I held up a white board with my name and number (#52), pretending I was posing for a mug shot. And then they rolled.
I introduced myself, said why I think I’d be a good personality for the show, cracked some horrible joke(s), and ended it in about 55 seconds. A very poor performance on my part. Oh well, it was more fun chatting in line.
As I tweeted again (“Well that sucked. They should have recorded me in line. My performance there was much better.”), I realized I should have had Summer roll video on my camera phone of my stand-up, so I could post it here. Great ideas always come too late. Instead, here’s a picture of Summer’s stand-up, so you could see the situation we were up against.
Then we all wished each other good luck and told each other we’d root for them if they got on the show. I got Summer’s number so I can get my molar worked on once I have dental insurance again.
But more importantly, it was an entertaining way to spend four hours of my life (I spent about two hours driving with the traffic on the way home). Christina and Summer were both cool, and I had a lot of fun meeting people my age for the first time in a month.
I’ll be interested to see whom Big Brother selects from Austin. Because unless they want a militant black guy like me, my money’s on Summer or the gay guy in plaid.