Saturday, February 05, 2005

Reality Bites

Saturday mornings were made for sleeping. But this morning I dragged my ass out of bed at 7am to go to the Hyatt Downtown where The Apprentice was holding its casting call for Season: 4. I stood in line for 4 hours to spend 15 minutes in a room with 15 other reality wannabes.

TURNOUT Approx. 400 people. 20 and 30-something professionals. Guys in suits, girls in skirts. And it was pretty cold. One guy packed the girls into his SUV to take turns warming up.

WHY? Just for kicks, I didn't think that I stood a chance in hell to be picked. Most people I told beforehand didn't know why I'd want to go. But I figured, "Why not?"

THE DONALD OR MARTHA? Some of the potential contestants came for the Martha Stewart Apprentice. One woman made handbags out of the Martha Stewart Living covers. Another wore a long skirt that looked like a checkered tablecloth. Someone was filmed threading a needle.

THE DEAL In the room, everyone's seated in a U formation. The potty-mouthed casting director introduced himself and proceeded to rile up the crowd. Who did you vote for? Did Bush lie? Do you believe in gay marriage? The "discussion" (basically a shouting match) disintegrated into a free-for-all that made little sense at all.

THE EXTRAS The kids who took coffee orders in line showed off their entrepreneurial spirit. One guy in line had won $10,000 at a free throw promotion. One woman slept overnight to guarantee a wristband for entrance. And in the end, that's all I got to show: a lousy purple wristband.

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