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My Oprah Casting Call: One Stiletto Stampede, Forty-Five Breathless Seconds, and Six Lessons Learned (Part 1)

A QUICK NOTE: I published this story on Facebook back in June, and the response was so overwhelming, I thought my new readers on this site would be entertained by it as well! Enjoy!

There are moments in life when you wonder what the heck you have managed to get yourself into. The Oprah “Win Your Own Show” casting call Saturday June 26th was precisely such a moment.

As many of you know, I had been competing - quite successfully, thanks to your amazing support - to win my own talk show on Oprah’s new OWN Network. I entered the competition because of the way that it was described on the website calling for entries, “Are you an expert or spiritual guru? Are you passionate about what you do? Win your own talk show and help MORE people!”

I thought, “Hey! I am an expert, and I really, really want to help people! I am passionate! I am going to go for it!”

Not to mention, I - like so many of you, I am certain - truly admire Oprah Winfrey for all that she has overcome and accomplished. To be part of her network would certainly be an honor. 

So, I did the video thing - which was totally unnerving, because even after all this time doing what I do, I truly hate being taped. But - if it meant getting a shot to get The Flow Method out there and help as many people as I could, I was going to grit my teeth and do it.

After about a half an hour of filming and one laborious Sunday filling out the 20 page application to enter the contest, I submitted everything and the video went up.

Then, somewhat apprehensively, I took a deep breath and started letting people know that I was up there and could use votes. 

The most extraordinary thing happened - I started to get these lovely messages of support from all of you. Thanks to so many of you sharing the video on your page and also voting like crazy, my voting numbers started going up and up - and I ended up holding a spot on the 1st page of the Health and Wellness category for the entire competition (finished up on Saturday in the #21 spot out of 1787 videos in the H & W category and #98 out of all 9,504 videos - top 1% - which is pretty remarkable).

But - there was more I could do to win this thing. I knew that there was an open casting call in Atlanta on June 26th, and I felt that if I was serious about going for this I needed to make the effort to get there. So, still jetlagged and exhausted from my incredible Romanian book tour, I took off for Atlanta on the 25th.

I delighted in driving my new Mini Cooper Clubman, found out that I still knew all the words to Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” (not sure what that says about me, but it can’t be good), and ran through my answers for the questions that the producers would surely ask me. 

After about 7 hours of driving and almost running out of gas in Sandy Springs, GA (the signs say that they have a gas station there, but don’t you believe them), I arrived, checked into the hotel, and decided to do a “dry run” over to the Kohl’s where the call would be held the next morning. Being somewhat famous for having the sense of direction of a drunken sparrow, I figured that the first time I tried to find the place should not be in the dark at 3 in the morning. 

To my relief, the Kohl’s was only 1.5 miles from my hotel and quite easy to find. I walked in to see if anyone knew anything about, well, anything for the next day, and ended up being greeted by a leather-skinned Kohl’s cashier we’ll call “Maria.” I glance around and don’t see any signs up about the casting call, so I ask her if I am at the right Kohl’s, fearing that I may have headed to the wrong store altogether. 

“Yep, you’re in the right spot, and you can show up here tomorrow at 4 am to line up.  Here - “ She waves me over. “You just need to fill these 5 questions out quickly for tomorrow!” She walks toward her register. 

I assume she means that there is something else I need to bring in order to get in line. “Oh, okay - what else do I need?” I say, following her to her counter, “I already filled out my application and brought it with me.” 

“No, no - this is different. It’s just 5 questions.” She rustles around looking for something.

I stare at her trying to understand what in the world she is talking about.

She flies through the next sentence as fast as an auctioneer selling cattle. “Just 5 questions so you can get a 20% discount tomorrow on shopping and...” she slows down, “you just need to fill it out now.” She smiles like a snake charmer. 

Something is not reading right here. “Uh, well, I don’t really need a discount right now. I just got off the road and am really tired.”

She sinks her teeth in deeper. “It’s just 5 easy questions - just your name, your address, your social security number -”

I cut her off. “My social security number? Is this for a credit card?”

“Oh, well, yes - but if you are going to shop tomorrow, you will want your 20% off.” She acts like she is looking for something at her cash register.

“No, I doubt I will be shopping tomorrow, and I really don’t want to do this right now.” I look at her with as determined a look as I can muster. I am a ridiculously friendly-looking person, so it isn’t very convincing.

“It’s just 5 quick questions - you don’t even have to think to do it.” She hands me a pen, but refuses to meet my eyes.

“No - I am not doing that right now.” I mentally call up my inner Mr. T, stare at her like I really mean it, and hand the pen back.

Refusing to let her potential credit application commission slip through her leathery fingers, she whips out an app and fills her name and “associate number” in the proper spaces. “Oh, well, here - keep this with you and you’re all ready to go for tomorrow.” She hands it to me. “Don’t forget it!”

Sure thing! I think to myself as I wonder how far away the next recycling bin is.

I begin to make my escape when I hear my dear friend Kellie Kuecha call out, “Hey girlfriend!” She and her wonderful boyfriend Cliff Moitt are also there doing surveillance. I hadn’t physically seen her in years, so we hugged and laughed and she brought me up to date on what she had found out - which, unfortunately, was pretty much what I found out - which was not as much as either of us would have liked.

We parted ways with me worrying because they had not found a hotel yet (they found one right after). I grabbed some dinner and headed back to the hotel to just relax and burn a sample DVD of me doing on-the-spot mind-body diagnosis and a CD of sampling of the meditations I have produced. I put these with my media kit, testimonials of The Flow Method, articles in Romanian about my tour, press releases and everything else I can think of to showcase my work. Being under the assumption that they are looking for an expert in her field that does something really unique, I want to bring an entire kit to show what I can do.

I run through everything one more time, get a pep talk from my husband and parents and fall asleep around midnight.

Next, Part 2: The Stiletto Stampede and My Run-In with Del from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles...

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