Ok – I admit to being an avid fan of American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. There – its out there now. And even though Michael would deny it, there have been many episodes where I have heard the TV in the bedroom sync with the one in the living room as he changes from whatever professional sports challenge he may be watching to a peppy quickstep tune and I know he is watching some attractive and athletic couple spin a breakneck speed around the dance floor. I “tsk tsk” with every minor footwork mis-step they make knowing full well I would collapse in a sweaty mess if I had any more physical activity other than running to the bathroom occasionally. And – yes – I grimace when an aspiring idol doesn’t quite “hit” whatever note they were aiming for knowing full well that if those judges ever made it to Karaoke at Applebees on every third Thursday of the month they would lift that 35 year old age limit and insist that I at least make a token performance before I walk away – record contract in hand.
But, yesterday, with the cards I have in hand, I auditioned for “In The Shark Tank” – a reality show about people who have invented something and need someone to back them financially. The panel members are all unbelievably rich self made trillionaires and have all experienced some form of unexpected entrepreneurial success. We heard about it on the radio the day before and decided to – surprise – jump in and give it a try. Michael invented a really exceptional mattress topper that is hypoallergenic, water resistant and adds a great deal of comfort to any kind of mattress and it really is a great idea. We had Jimmy over at Regal Mattress Company make up a briefcase size version of a mattress and then made a topper for it so we would have something to demo and I wouldn’t have to lug around a real mattress. We wrote out some “features and benefits” for me to use as notes and decided I should appear to be “Casual Florida Chic”.
It wasn’t anything like the American Idol auditions – no lines wrapped around the building and no crazy costumes…oh wait – I take that back. There was a couple dressed as clowns…don’t know why…or what…
There were some characters though. One muscle bound anabolic type guy had an idea for a website for men called “mancard.com” where “men can be men without apologies” and if you sign up you get “man points” which you can turn in for a beer at the Wing House. It had all kinds of testosterone based “calls to action” and actually had a “man-o-meter” where you can measure and assign a number to your “manliness”. You got a membership card and a T-shirt and then you would have access to know who the “Man of the Month” was. I believe this month was Dale Earnhart Jr. Oh – and the really crazy thing is that you can do things to have your man card “revoked”. I’m thinking that you wear a Mancard.com t-shirt into my house you will have your dinner revoked…as well as the warm spot next to me in the bed!
Another character had invented a toilet seat handle made of copper which he claims has anti bacterial qualities and was “easy to clean if – (seriously) something splashed on it”. NO! NO! NO! He kept trying to hand it to me and although I didn’t want to offend him, I politely refused. Let’s just say that he was quite insistent and I had to spend some time in the bathroom – just me and a wire brush and some ajax. I still think I might have something under my thumbnail…
I managed to easily secure a place in the second interview and whizzed smoothly through that process where I was then told I would be “taped” and the tape would be forwarded to producers who would determine whether or not I was able to get In The Shark Tank. I thought I would be fine until the red light on top of the camera came on and then suddenly I was completely obsessed with completely random thoughts that had nothing to do with whatever it was that I had come here for.
Why did I wear a beige bra under a black shirt? Was it showing?
Did I look fat? WHY did I eat those steamed dumplings the day before? I feel puffy…
Was my hair hanging in my eyes and if I flipped it away would I appear to be a bimbo?
Did I have too much eye makeup on? That is a sure sign I am nervous…I look like I am a MAC counter manager at Macys.
I forgot my name and where I was from and – for a moment – completely went blank as to what I had practiced I would say in the car on the hour long ride over. Fortunately I was able to start and then it was just a matter of rote…I really don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to mattresses but I repeat what I have heard Michael say all of it a million times and the words flowed a little easier when I got my “crutch underneath me. I stumbled a couple of times but I managed to finished and then the sweet little camera guy told me to wave goodbye – which I did…quite impishly.
As soon as the camera light went off I regained my composure and the camera guy volunteered that I had done well…and he didn’t say it as if he had been saying it all day for the last two days so I willed myself to believe him. They said the next process was to weed through all of the applications and then all the finalists would be flown to LA to start the elimination process. I hope I don’t get a seat on the plane next to the toilet seat guy.
All in all it was a fun experience and I enjoyed being able to dress up like a girl and have a day away from the warehouse.
The Shark Tank might be the place for me…I hear they make good bait!