As I read about Arlene Dickinson’s first audition for Dragon’s Den in her book Persuasion, I am reminded that I too, had a similar opportunity for fame and fortune on television, but the outcome was quite different.
I’d been gaining a name as a parenting expert – my kids can chuckle at that one – and was asked if I would like to host a parenting TV show that was to be aired in the afternoon. I got invited for an interview which I naively thought would just be your standard question-answer type meeting. Little did I know that this would be an actual audition.
For a start the “interview” was right across Toronto and a fair drive for me, which for those of you who know my fear of driving in the city, was a big deal. So I didn’t exactly arrive all relaxed and raring to go, more frazzled and exhausted by the energy it took to just get there.
Immediately I was ushered into a studio where I was presented with a script that I was expected to learn and spew out when my turn came. As I looked around, it was like Barbie goes for an audition. I was surrounded by these young things, actresses, all ready to strut their stuff and for whom the line-learning was a breeze. Even back then my short-term memory was a challenge.
Anyway, getting more nervous by the minute, it was soon my turn, and that was when the fun began. I can’t remember the actual case scenario that we were to talk about in the taping but the script was lame, to say the least, and not at all what a mom would do or say.
So being the “expert” I was supposed to be, I felt compelled to tell them that. In the end they let me be taped with my own script of how I thought it should be.
Did I get the “role”? No.
Did I get asked to rewrite the script? No.
By this point, I was past caring, after all I had the drive home to worry about. I had already decided that I was not destined for a life under the bright lights, and with menopause just around the corner, maybe that was just as well. I would have been too hot to handle.