Only about 2,000 people showed up for Oprah's open casting call last Saturday at Kohl's in Laguna Niguel (Orange County). I was number 399. As you can see, it was quite a circus! When coupled with the auditions in other cities plus about 5,000 online applications, it looks like well over 10,000 people are desperately trying to become one of ten finalists who will compete in a reality show where the ultimate winner will get to host a talk show on Oprah's new OWN network.
So I have a 1 in 1,000 shot.
According to Ripley's Believe It Or Not, this is about the same probability of being able to twist your tongue upside down (I can do that!) or of getting diagnosed with MS (that too). And it's far better odds than winning the lottery. But do I realistically have a chance?
You can judge this for yourself by going to Oprah's website for the competition. It's fun to browse the diversity of submissions; my personal favorite is Zach's travel show for people with cerebral palsy. (It is currently coming in at number two with over 4 million votes!) You can also see my own last minute entry here with a paltry 400 votes.
One thing you may notice is that some of the top vote getters are not exactly outstanding entries. On the other hand, many of the submissions with fewer than 50 votes are fantastic. I guess it all comes down to how big our online networks are and how many people we can convince (bribe?) to press the vote button multiple times every day. (There is no limit on how many times a person can vote.) This must be why the producers are reserving their right to choose whomever they want for the final competition, regardless of online votes.
Nevertheless, a daily sympathy vote (or twenty) from you certainly wouldn't hurt.
Not that I went through this exercise because I desperately want to host a show on OWN -- on the contrary, I would have to decline even if I were somehow miraculously selected. As you may recall, however, one of the original purposes of this blog was to "have more fun" in my post-legal life by trying new things. I've now been to several casting calls, and I'm not sure that "fun" is the right adjective to describe the experience of waiting around for hours with hundreds of people in a parking lot just to give a 30-second pitch. These come a little closer:
Tired. Cold. Nervous. Thirsty. Impatient. Hungry. Hot. My feet hurt. I forgot my pitch. I have bad hair. And I have to pee.
So by the time they called number 399, my live pitch was far from comfortable and far from perfect. And my online video was even worse (as you can see!) because I put it together rather quickly on the last day prior to the live casting call. And unlike many of the contestants who had their videos professionally produced, I have no clue how to edit film and didn't really capture all the clips that would have best explained my show concept or been the most interesting to watch.
Pretty pathetic excuses, right?
But it really doesn't matter. Although it would certainly be a great ego boost to have my OWN show on Oprah's network, the point I was really trying to drive home in my audition is that I already have so much.
Yes, I lost my job last summer, and yes, I have MS, but I refuse to be a victim. I still live in a beautiful place, am married to my best friend, can still see sunsets, and enjoy more material comforts than 99% of the world's population. In my opinion, the so-called Law of Attraction simply cannot work without fully implementing the Law of Gratitude first. Before we can attract anything good into our lives, we need to first truly appreciate what we already have. This is what I was trying to get at in my previous post about a man who appeared to know the real Secret.
So I guess my final thoughts about the Oprah experience are that I appreciate the fact that I was feeling healthy enough to make it to the audition last weekend in the first place, and that I was able to meet so many fascinating people there who also gave it their best shot. Just about everyone there had great ideas about how to inspire others and how to improve our world. At the end of the day, I was reminded once again that we truly are all one.
And it doesn't really matter who wins the competition, because just by showing up and sincerely trying to live our best lives (Oprah's mantra) we all win.
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Have you ever tried to compete for something, only to find something other than the result you sought was your real lesson? Have you ever (or would you ever) attend a mass casting call just to see what the experience is like? And what are your views about THE SECRET and the LAW OF ATTRACTION?