cafe mama

entering the mind of the married mom

Not an "Apprentice" - April 2, 2004

I attended open casting calls for "The Apprentice", Trump's brilliant hour-long weekly Trump empire commercial. I figured I would be a shoe-in; I look cute in a business suit, I have a quirky sense of humor, and hey, my credentials are pretty good. I went to the same business school as the Donald, for goodness' sake. What other reality TV show could ever be so perfect for me?

Far too busy to produce a 10-minute video of me, I decided to instead camp out for open casting calls here in Portland. It was pretty simple; wake up early, bring a cozy coat and gloves, and wait for my chance for glory.

I never expected to have so much fun waiting in line! I arrived at 6:30 a.m. or so (far later than guy #1, who arrived at 10 a.m. the previous day and sold his spot for $400 a couple of hours after I arrived) and ended up being #264.

I soon realized that the chief benefit to sitting in line for open casting calls was to make friends and business contacts, in addition to an extraordinarily rich landscape for people watching. Like for instance the woman who, we were sure, was Tammy Faye Baker's daughter. And the one wearing the parachute pants. Oh, the horror.

I was very surprised that a small percentage of the people around me lived in Portland, and an even smaller number were Portland natives. I met two interesting men from South Dakota, who had flown in the night before; a cool woman from Connecticut who was working in graphic design; a funny, sweet guy from Idaho who was #70 in line; an absolutely gorgeous woman who worked for the Hollywood Reporter and could have been in line for America's Next Top Model; and a strange woman who trained horses and whose name was "Mare."

The actual interview was strange, short, and entirely disappointing to someone who has had real business interviews with organizations on par with Trump's (or, likely, much better). I was interrupted, ignored and undermined by my co-interviewees. It was a free-for-all of desperate people. I was doing this for FUN, not for my life. I give in! You guys want it WAY more than me. I don't even have an Apprentice application web site.

So I signed a confidentiality agreement, but I can't imagine how they can limit me from describing the applicants I met. So I could be throwing my chances to be the Apprentice, season 2, away ;) sorry Donald, it would have been fun.