"Oprah Fail" Part 4
Another blocked number. This time, my cooler head actually prevailed because I had already spent the past week mind melding myself into preparedness.
"Hello, this is M--- calling about Your OWN Show."
This time it was a casting director's assistant. She tells me I've made it to the "next level" of the selection process, and that she's going to email me the paperwork for a background check.
I was to fill it out immediately and return it within two days. I tried to subtly pelt her with questions about how many people she was contacting and if this was the final phase before the 40 finalists would go to LA to be whittled down to 10. She was surprisingly similar to some law enforcement and public officials I've interviewed--as in, she was giving me zero information.
The background check was major. Financial details. Previous employers. Past addresses. Dating back 7 years! And when you've moved 4 times in 6 years, it's a lot of zipcodes to remember. But I had me some swagger at that point. I mean, Oprah's not going to check a hundred people's backgrounds, right? She's didn't become the first black billionaire by spending her money all willy nilly.
After 14 thousand entrants...to make it to the extensive background stage...deep breath. I was feeling like I had a real, live shot at getting to LA for the finals week. And my power of positive thinking was in overdrive. I was Secreting myself into Oprah's arms. Visualizing the moment. Shaking her hand and giving her a big hug. I even had a memorable opening line planned.
"Hi Oprah, love you, love your show. Have you tried sippin' kombucha?"
I know, weird but it was one of my possible icebreaker lines.
So I sent everything in. And spent the next week waiting for The Final Call.
We were in the final stages of the race. How hard is it to pass a background check? I mean, there was that one streaking episode. But the lawyers assured me that would never get on my adult records.
But a week went by, and then it was the Friday before the Monday, July 12th, that the top 40 would be in LA. And then it was Friday afternoon. And then it was Friday night. I kept hope alive through Saturday morning. But then it sunk in.
Oprah was done with me. And she hadn't even STARTED. Bwaaaa waaahhhh waaaaaaaah.
No one was going to call and arrange my flight to LAX. No one was going to tell me to look for the driver holding the "Vicky Nguyen" sign to take me to the studio.
It. Was. Over. The dream that dreams dream of had officially ended for me.
And I was sad. Probably the saddest I've ever been in my professional career. Just because it was so outerspace in the first place to get called for your Dream Job. Twice! And then, nothing. Black Hole.
It was just as the casting assistant said, "If you don't hear from us, it means we went in a different direction. We don't call with bad news. We only call with good news."
Poor Good Doctor, he had to pick up my crumply self from the floor and tell me I really wasn't a total loser. I was mopey and despondent and lame. But only for 48 hours.
Lucky for me, and for him, we already had a trip to Tahoe planned for the following week. And watching your husband fall off a paddleboard after multiple attempts to stand up does wonders for lifting your spirits.
Because damn it, when that show debuts on 1-1-11, if I see a short, bossy, stubborn, demanding, loud, trucker-mouthed Asian woman on that show, I will go bananas in my living room. I could've been that short, bossy, stubborn, demanding, loud, trucker-mouthed Asian woman!!!
And I will curse the day I streaked down my neighborhood.
(I'm kidding. About the streaking. In case any present future employers find this post and decide to background check me. I'm legit, people.)
What's next...in Part 5.