Well a couple of days later I got an e-mail from Holland saying they'd had a spot come open and wanted me to come in for a call back interview!
The interview was at 10am on Wednesday July 15th at Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear, AL. Needless to say I sent an immediate request to my boss to take a vacation day! Matthew came with me again for moral support and we made it to the hotel a few minutes before ten. There was another girl already there, who'd also gone to the casting call and gotten a call back. She came from Birmingham and was scheduled after me. (She didn't get a follow up e-mail after the interview )
We'd only been there a few minutes when Holland came out to get me. She explained that the interview would be filmed, but not to be nervous, the interview process was very informal and conversational and to try to forget the camera was even there. Yea right!
Here is the room where my call back interview took place
Holland and DJ sat in chairs on either side of the camera and I sat on the couch. For the most part, she was right, it was very casual and conversational and I was able to focus on talking directly to the casting directors and not pay much attention to the camera.
They asked a lot of questions, some funny, some serious, some that of course brought me to tears but they were really incredibly nice and encouraging and really fun to talk to.
In the e-mail that I got inviting me to the interview it said that call back interviews can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Mine lasted 45 minutes, which I'm guessing is good. I figure they know within ten to fifteen minutes if you're not right for the show and are experts at cutting the process short if they don't think it's worth it to keep talking to you. That probably sounds a little harsh but they are casting directors and even though the show is about changing people's lives if it's not good TV, it's not good TV, and in the end ratings are what TV shows are really about.
We finally wrapped up the questions and answer session and Holland said "Ok it's time for your first 'weigh in'".
I was like my uhh what?
She was like "We're not going to make you do the whole bike shorts and sports bra thing like on the show but we do need you to pull your shirt up to your bra and push your pants down a little under your stomach".
I know if I make the show I'll be showing my rolls to damn near half the world, but right there in that moment I was mortified to have to expose my jiggle to them and have it go on camera!
After that they took a head shot and full body picture against the wall and said that if I was picked to move on I'd get an e-mail by Friday.
Here's DJ, me and Holland - the casting directors.
After the interview Matthew and I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince then went home. The interview was at 10am, the movie at noon and when we got home around 3pm I checked my e-mail and saw this...
Congrats! You are on to the next round of casting for BL9! Attached are a few files: a sample bio, the home tape instructions and background questionnaire. Let us know immediately if you did not get all three. Below are details regarding each document. Please take this very seriously and get done what we need in a timely manner. Not everyone makes it to this step so we congratulate you for making it this far!!! (a bunch more stuff....) Please keep in mind you are required to mail these to us within approx. 7 days of getting this email from the casting directors.
Remember now, they said if I got picked to move on I'd hear something by Friday, so I fully anticipated not hearing anything for two more days. Imagine my surprise to have an e-mail waiting for me already by the time I got home the same day as the interview!
The bio took about half an hour, it's surprisingly hard to talk about yourself in 3rd person and the 24 page background questionairre took a bit longer. Who remembers every address they've lived at and every job they've had for the past 10 years?
The video was going to be a bit more tricky because they wanted footage of my family, my job, my home life, hobbies etc. The job and home life weren't terribly difficult but the family part... well all of my family live in Mississippi, which meant I had less than a week to get to MS, film myself interacting with my family and spending time with my nieces and turn it all into a video!!
I normally go to MS to visit my nieces every other weekend, but because of the 4th, then the next week being my sister's birthday we'd already been two weekends in a row and now we were going to have to go a 3rd time. I called up my sister and was like "Yo, we're coming over, taking the girls to the park and making a video. Be ready!".
Matthew did an incredible job filming and by 10:30pm Sunday night I'd managed to get all the clips I'd filmed over the previous 3 days edited, put together and burned to a disc ready to mail. I spent dang near $20 shipping it UPS 2nd day air but I wanted to make sure they got what they needed on time!
So now I wait.
The next step is the casting directors take my video, edit and combine it with the video of the interview and come up with a clip to pitch to the producers of the show. I e-mailed Holland and asked her how long it would take to hear anything, IF I hear anything after this part of the process and she said "any calls or e-mails in the next few weeks are good news!" so I could hear something today or I could hear something in 2-3 weeks.
Then again they could decide not to pick me and I could not hear anything at all, but with all the incredible people I have cheering me on and rooting for me I think it would be more of a miracle if I didn't make the show!
This weekend I'm going to try and edit down my video to a more short and less embarrassing clip and I'll post it for everyone to see, but for now I'll save showing my jiggle for the show!!