On Friday morning, having got up at five, I got to the airport bright and early ready for my seven o'clock Delta flight.
The flight was overbooked however, and I gladly accepted the three hundred dollar voucher towards a flight some time in the future, and left on the 3:15 flight instead.
Destination Roswell, Atlanta, Georgia.
Purpose - Audition for Own Your Own Show, on Oprah Winfrey's new Own network.
It was a short walk from the gate to the plane and the path was marked by large footsteps painted on the tarmac. For a moment I felt the same sense of "destiny" that I had felt when last March I went to "The Hill," to lobby Congress about Health Reform and Mental Health Parity.
Strange I thought, because where I am going and what I am doing now are two completely different things, or are they?
One of the first things I learned since Andrew died last November is the difficulty getting the subject of suicide out into the open. So much so, that I have an ongoing petition to the media.
So, when the opportunity to audition for a show on Oprah's new network was announced, I thought:
I'm going for it.
Imagine having my own show, I told myself. I'll be able to be heard, but not only that; I'll be able to give people like me, the chance to be heard.
My show will provide a venue for people to share their challenging experiences, it will give people the opportunity to address issues that are normally swept under the rug, and explore different paths to wellness. And such a show would give me the opportunity to do something else that is dear to my heart, that is, increase our Personal and Collective Wellness Footprint.
And that was one of the items on the list that even before Andrew died in November, I had written on my Law of Attraction Journal:
Be on Oprah and have my own Increase the Wellness Footprint Show.
I spent the past month prior to the audition, filling out the sixteen-page-long application form, working on developing the show and the show's format.
My husband and children, my children's friends and a couple of close trusted friends, were all consulted. I wrote the pitch, memorized it and rehearsed everyday in front of a mirror and in front of my family and friends. I timed myself and kept the presentation to the ninety seconds I believed were allowed for each audition.
And now, I am in Roswell, Atlanta, with a couple of thousands of other hopefuls from all over The States.
I got up at 3:15 in the morning to be ready for my rendezvous in the hotel lobby with two of my newly made friends. We are supposed to go to the audition location together.
After waiting a few minutes and no sign of them, I hitch a ride with Barbara, a lovely young woman from Cincinnati, who, like me, has left home to come to Atlanta for the audition. When we get there at 4:20 a.m. a line of six to seven hundred people greets us!
No matter, I have my comfortable folding chair and I don't mind. Every one is chatty and in a good mood. People keep arriving, and Mark Burnett's people are organized.
By 5 o'clock the line starts moving and by 7 I have my wristband, I am number 539 and Barbara's 540, our audition will be sometime between nine and ten.
Instead of having to change behind a bush or one of the port-a-loos, we have time to go back to the hotel. At 8 o'clock we meet up in the lobby again, and drive back to Kohl's parking lot where the auditions are taking place.
Waiting for my turn, I have butterflies in my stomach. People coming out of their audition tell everyone that we only get thirty seconds, not ninety!
"Shit, now what?" I ask myself. "Right! I won't say my long name or where I'm from, that should save me... eight seconds? I'll take out this line and that line. I take out all the bells and whistles and leave the absolute bare bones. Anyway, I tell myself, It's all in the delivery. I'll give it my best shot and that's all there is to it.
And I did. I said my name while handing my application form to the casting director, and launched straight into my presentation:
Welcome to my show: Get Your Wellness On!
So, what is Wellness?
Is it Physical, is it Financial? Is it Emotional, Environmental? Sexual?
We shop until we drop, we eat until we pop. Whatever it is, we spend out lives in the pursuit of Wellness.
Blah, blah, blah and it was over!
I did very well and now I am in the pool of candidates!
I am so excited. I hope I win all the way to actually having my own show.
In any case, I have met some wonderful people and made some new friends. I have given myself permission to pursue a dream despite my broken heart, and despite the fact that I am no longer twenty years old or as slim and pretty as I was then.
My whole family is as excited and as thrilled as I am, and we have been laughing, dreaming and working together on this project.
I love that. I love that in my family, we do things together.
In many ways, I am truly blessed.
Okay, we are going to take a quick break, but when we come back...
Who knows... when we come back I might have my Own Show