Audition.

4.21.2011

It always seemed really simple to me. Try not to come off as a total psychopath, look somewhat presentable, and don't say anything stupid. It was my recipe for job acquisition success. I'd only applied for jobs in which you walk in and ask for an application, and try to make your handwriting pretty enough that they want to hire you based on penmanship alone. This was different, though. I flew down to an entirely different state for a 'face to face' interview. My voice was apparently acceptable, but physical confirmation was necessary to be sure I wasn't a recording, or in fact, a giant cave-dwelling troll that couldn't fit through most doors. The interview was bright and early and called for professional business attire. Professional business what? I had my work cut out for me.

After several dressing room meltdowns, I came to realize quickly that most clothing manufacturers prefer not to make anything that could professionally cover my Care Bear shaped body in a flattering way. I've always found that when in doubt, wear sequins. Or, just wear a black dress and unforgiving spanx. In this case, the latter seemed more appropriate for the occasion.

My mother affectionately approved my meltdown-inspired purchase by almost crying and saying that I looked like "a baby woman." It's a high honor among the daughters of the household, and not creepy like it sounds.

After a quick plane ride over a few states, I had arrived in Georgia. It was my first solo hotel stay, so imagine my delight in a giant fluffy bed, my own little coffee maker, and free access to Animal Planet. With a long day ahead of me, I retired early, only to conveniently wake every hour of the night for fear of oversleeping. And quickly discover in the morning that I brought no mascara or concealer to hide such a travesty.

Waiting for transportation in the lobby led me to realize there were dozens of other hopefuls pouring from the woodwork. None of us had left our rooms. Perhaps they were nervous and didn't want to miss Emergency Vet, either.

Once we had all arrived in the lobby, I felt the blood drain from my face as I began looking at the expensive trench coats, purses, and portfolios. It was at this moment that I decided to quickly shove my casual H&M jacket into my luggage and pretend the purse wasn't mine. I may as well have carried a Lisa Frank folder with my resume in it, just as the icing on the cake. Just. Keep. Smiling.

We were herded into a giant room playing Frank Sinatra. There were Flight Attendants lining the perimeter of the room, waiting to meet us. I prayed that my hands wouldn't be sweaty, and that my giant pageant hair would compensate for the forgotten mascara. We had to introduce ourselves, and I tried to make it memorable. I knew I was being watched, and I also knew that with every five minute break we were given to run to the restroom, I must wash my hands with cold water so as not to completely lose the job because of my offensively clammy palms.

After many hours without food or water (by my own choice), there was a tap on my shoulder, and I was led to a room with several other candidates.

We stood there silently, listening to a manager describe the qualities they were looking for. I held my breath and tried to decide if it all meant it was a good thing.

And then he offered us a job.

I felt the air rushing back through my lungs as relief and thankfulness flooded over me. I was going to be paid to see the world, move to New York City, and love on thousands of people in the process.

It marked the beginning of a really exciting new adventure; including, but not limited to: my first drug test, a lot of training with a lot of pretty people, and trying to wear heels on a daily basis and pretending to be good at it.

I'm excited to tell you all about it.