I’ve been surprised at how many people have asked me about the audition I had in Toronto a couple of weeks ago. I had actually resigned myself to not getting the part so I was surprised when others asked about the results. Sorry for not sharing sooner. Unfortunately I didn’t get the part. They responded about a week ago with a pleasant email. It was a learning experience and I had a nice relaxing couple of days visiting with friends. As for the idea of doing a cooking show I might have something in the works in the near future. I will of course be letting everyone know if and when my ideas come to fruition. So, for the time being at least, you won’t be seeing my mug on the tube any time soon.
Just pulling out of union station in Toronto. Well I had my first audition yesterday. (I use first as if I have so many lined up. Not the case.) Not really sure why that’s worth mentioning. I think the word audition carries so much weight and invokes so many ideas of grandeur. The notion of ‘the big break’ inspires everyone for some false hope at a life so special. Well that romantic notion is just a way of elevating the importance of such an event but is not really grounded in actuality. In actuality it was a bland, short, uneventful twenty minutes.
After a brief lunch with my friend Aaron and a long trolley ride west, I found myself at a small photography studio. I walked in, sat down, signed a release form and waited. After a brief wait a woman escorted me downstairs where they had a small studio set up. Within minutes of taking off my coat I was in front of the bright lights and camera mimicking a cooking show. In broken English the cameraman/director tried to explain to me the premise of the show. It goes like this. A chef and a female co-host receive letters from viewers. The theme of the letters revolves around the idea that the viewer would like to cook something special for her/his husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend especially because their relationship is going through a tough time. It’s called The Romantic Gourmet by the way. So we read the letter, discuss how we can help and what kind of dish we’ll prepare and then we split up. The chef, me in this case, goes shopping for the food and the female host goes and meets the couple and talks to them. We then cook a meal with the person who wrote the letter and then serve it to them. They love it, fall deeper in love and everybody lives happily ever after. Interesting premise for a show, it will probably do well. The entire time leading up to it and the entire trolley car ride after the audition, I tried to understand why I came to Toronto and did the audition. I’m not really sure I would like this sort of show. I definitely wouldn’t watch it and I don’t think I would enjoy playing the part. I’m not really a good fit for it. I would be better suited for a show on the spike network where I can be myself and talk about food and cooking with a lot of passion in my own unique way (expletives and all). That being said, why was I here in Toronto trying to get this part? It’s all part of the long arms of promotion. What better way to help promote BKB, Windsor, and any future projects by having a recognizable public persona. When you decide to be self employed and wander the weary world of small business you come to a realization that everything you do is interconnected in one way or other. Like it or not. Do I agree with the concept that it should be like that, not really, but I do realize it as reality and trudge on. If they called me tomorrow and told me I got that part, even with the realization that I wouldn’t really enjoy it, I would gladly accept and then tell the world about it. I might even do a happy dance. As much as I might not like the day to day of doing the show I know that it would be a great benefit to promoting everything else I do. As for how I think I did, well I wouldn’t be surprised if I got a second chance audition, but I would be VERY surprised if I got the part. They liked my camera presence when I mimicked the cooking portion but I think I fell flat when working off the co-host and doing the intro and closing. I can’t just instantaneously get into character and have some funny banter and great rapport with someone I just got introduced to and am standing next to for the next three minutes. I have trouble with the bullshit. I guess that same attitude can be seen in most projects or interests I’m involved in. Not much bullshit, just simple and to the point. BKB is a great example of that. No fan fare, no bells or whistles. Good food, actually great food, served fast and bloody cheap. That simple.
So, I got an email from a friend of mine suggesting that I reply to an ad on Kijiji. The ad was for a television show that was searching for Italian speaking chefs. You needed to be bilingual and have experience cooking Italian food. I satisfy both those requirements. On a whim I sent in my resume and head shot. I took my head shot photo in my house that night on my crappy digital camera. To my great surprise I immediately received a reply requesting to set up an audition. An audition! I have an audition. So we set up an audition for today, February 3 in Toronto. Now I don’t have high hopes or any real expectations of getting the part, but I’m essentially using this as an excuse for a 36 hour get away. I have many friends in Toronto and am looking forward to seeing them tonight.
I have been pretty excited about this trip simply because I love to travel, especially on planes or trains. It was easier and more practical for me to take the train today than to drive. When I was booking the trip Anastasia felt sorry for me that I had to take the train. Her experiences are those of legend. Most of her trips on Via were returning home from school in Toronto. There had been one incident or other on every trip home. Incidents such as hitting a cow and being delayed for numerous hours hence turning a four hour trip into an eight hour trip were the norm. I on the other hand was excited for the trip. I, through choices that I have made, have not been able to travel as much as I like in the last few years. Just the idea of taking a trip gets me excited. I love simply picking people up at the airport. I love the smell. The first thing I do when I walk into an airport is stop and take a deep breath. Weird? Sure. But I know most of you know what I’m talking about. That smell triggers the realization that you’re embarking on something great. I have been on many a long journey and really appreciate the fact that the actual trip can be as fun and interesting as the vacation spot you’re going to. Road trips are the best example of that.
So here I am on the train and all excited especially because everywhere I look there are WiFi symbols. I get to work and write and surf. Four hours to relax and just have me time. This is going to be awesome. Well to my dismay when I turn on my computer and go to log on it directs me to a Via page where I have to pay for the internet use. What the F@#K!! You have to be kidding me. Not only do I have to pay but the minimum for 24 hours is $8.95. Unbelievable! Not only has that already ruined my trip, and I’m just out of Chatham, but I now am bitter at every little bump that I was easily willing to disregard before. For the past hour it has felt like there are tiny brail messages written on the track and my intestines are trying to decipher the message before puking. I am writing this, by the way, in Word because I refuse to pay ten bucks to use the internet for three hours. Many people won’t find this as appalling as I do. Those people are probably not reading this blog. They’re probably not online. How is it in today’s day and age that a company like Via offers WiFi, promotes it like crazy (there are stickers and symbols everywhere!) and feels it’s ok to charge for it. I’m scared to go to the bathroom. I don’t have any cash on me in case they charge for that too. I simply don’t get it. Everywhere you go, restaurants, cafes, bars, apartments etc, there is FREE WiFi. We offer free WiFi at BKB. FREE! How can we afford to offer this service to our customers and Via can’t? I just spent well over one hundred dollars for this trip and to go online for a couple of hours is going to cost me ten more. Man o man. We wonder why more people aren’t online. This is one good indication why. I’ll let you know how the audition goes, just had to get that off my chest.