Friday, June 19, 2015
I Went to the Casting Call for THE BACHELOR!
She was giving out long-stemmed thornless roses to girls who were there for the chance to get on the Reality TV show.
My friend and I took the escalator up to the next level where the atrium was open to the next four levels and filled with pretty girls. At first glance the competition looked fierce. Curled, long blonde hair was everywhere, as were pretty smiles, figure-hugging outfits and lipsticked mouths.
The line moved slowly and when asked by people what everyone was in line for I said The Bachelor Casting call the first four times. Honestly I did. Then I began to tell people it was for a free iPhone. I needed a laugh amongst all the desperate worry and nervous energy in the mall.
I have to say, there were some lovely looking girls there. The casting directors were looking for pretty girls and if you think otherwise, you haven't watched the show. They pretty much only take the beautiful people crowd. And for a good reason. Would you be so excited for Magic Mike XXL to debut if the guys were old, pot-bellied men? Beautiful sells tickets. It's called escapism.
While sizing up the line that never seemed to get shorter as more women arrived, I picked out maybe five women who I thought were possible contenders. And I had to put on my extremely superficial glasses and look with the eyes of a Bachelor producer. Certain looks just have that thing that translates well to camera. When most of the women got to the head of the line where the photographer had them hold up their name card for a photo, most looked scared, or too normal to translate to a reality show about beauty. Star 101.5 radio station was in charge of this portion of the process and I took it upon my 58 year old self to point out to the desk of college-aged interns that they had these girls facing the atrium and the four floors above showing their names and phone numbers to the world. I kept turning around to see if single men lined the railings across from the girls and hoped that no one was taking phone numbers. Safety first and all that. I guess that's the mother in me. The interns said thank you for pointing that out and they'd take that into consideration next time, probably whispering "crazy old lady" under their breath.
I talked with a gal named Cindy who was adorable in a little navy blue outfit who reminded me of a 1930's film star with her red lipstick and bobbed hair. I kept telling her she should try tap dancing. Her friend Anna, who doesn't even own a TV, came to support her effort to be on the show and we sat in the café talking about life in general.
There was one woman in line who was my age, and she was very stylishly coiffed with spiky highlit hair and wearing a black leather jacket. Very pretty. And very brave. Or very cuckoo. Her friend watched from the café, wringing her hands. Most gals were under thirty.
When they called your name, you went into a circular lobby, like at a Grecian spa and waited again for your name to be called. Black out curtains ringed this room to prevent Snoopy McSnooperson (me) seeing in unless you snuck around to the side and found that one of the wall panels moved and a 58 year old woman could sneak in behind a panel and listen. And take a picture! This is the photo above. The counter in front held Aveda gift bags for all the girls, filled with two tiny products and a coupon for a haircut. My friend was horrified I was behind the wall panel so I popped out and just peaked through the clear glass area. When a candidate's name was called they went into one of three rooms labeled A, B and D (to the right) to meet with two casting directors.
According to girls I asked, they were filmed and asked questions from their applications about hobbies and relationships etc. If you made the cut, and I'd have to think that only twenty out of 400 did, from what I saw, you advanced to another curtained off area (on the left) to get a package labeled LFQ filled with legal papers to fill out and FED EX by Monday to Bachelor Headquarters. One gal I met who had the cherished manila envelope called them "Lady Fuckin' Questions." Get the bleeper ready for her! Once they had the packet, the chosen candidates went on to room D get more photos taken.
I got a chance to see the papers inside the folder and they asked for information about police records, driving records, asked if there were any nude photos anywhere, if the candidate modeled, acted, worked in any way in the entertainment industry, had any type of a record that might surface later. They also asked the candidate to be available early August to fly down to LA on ABC's dime and not tell anyone about this. They asked for more photos and had examples like when you get your passport photo taken--This ... Not This ... style.
As the guy with the microphone began to pack up his sound system and the last few girls were processed, things wound down at Pacific Place. It was 9 pm and the call was officially 4-8. One of the casting directors emerged from the curtained area and stood surveying the room in her grey cardigan sweater and her weary eyes. She looked like any shopkeeper in the mall closing up for the night, ready to go home. It was impossible to see what she looked for in the thinning crowd or if her trip to Seattle was worth the effort but with more Bachelor married couples than any other city in America, I'd have to say that Seattle turns out some good prospects.
Best of luck to the girls. One never knows what they are looking for in this crazy dating show.
Kim Hornsby writes a romance novella series called The Husband Hunt, based on The Bachelor. The first book is free and available for download on Amazon.