Last week, I attended one of ABC's open casting calls for "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." Thanks to her recent visit to the HuffPost office, I received some pre-casting advice from current Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe: 1) Wear something comfortable, and 2) Tell a joke if you're funny. I wore the heels that give me blisters, and I did not tell a joke. Turns out being the Bachelorette is a LOT harder than it looks.
Arriving at a "Bachelor" casting is kind of like arriving at a Vegas club ... but without the flashing lights and money falling from the sky.
You show up, and a line of humans in semi-scandalous attire waits to get in the door. The line wraps around the block. You're not sure if you're gonna make it into the "club," aka ABC Studios. Unlike in Vegas, it is raining.
I'm not here to make friends, you think to yourself. Which is weird, 'cuz all these girls look nice enough to be your friends. But that's what they say on "The Bachelor," so you say it to get in the mood. You join the line and edit some Instagrams quietly. 'Cuz you're not here to make friends.
That's me in line. I'm flashing a peace sign, because I'm secretly here to make friends.
The line moves like a slow loris. If you're lucky, you have a friend who shows up to wait with you. If you're not lucky, you wait alone and try to make friends. But nobody's here to make friends, you remind yourself, 'cuz it's "The Bachelor." So you just ignore those peripheral humans.
After what seems like hours (and probably IS hours), you enter the studio and go through security. It's like airport security, only the guards compliment you on how pretty you are in a semi-uncomfortable manner. ("Heeey girl. You have a great face, girl.") The guards know you are weak. They know you are vulnerable. They know you are here to be judged. They are taking advantage of the situation, I think.
Then, The Girl At The Front Table gives you an application with the Sacred Questions. And you get a Sacred "Bachelor" Pen to fill them out with. (This pen will probably be the only thing you ever receive from the "Bachelor" franchise, so hold on to it.) You begin to answer the Sacred Questions with zest.
Those are the Sacred Questions, obviously.
Next, The Wee Intern Who Is Here For The Summer takes your picture. He tells you that you look like a celebrity, and he seems totally starstruck to see you. Acting all pose-y for his camera is easy, on account of this kid being the same age as the small child whom you babysit.
That's the photo station, along with a REALLY crowded room of potential Bachelorettes.
Then you have lots of sitting time to answer the Sacred Questions with your Sacred Pen. Questions include, but are not limited to, "What's your favorite drink?" (Um ... whiskey?), "Describe your dating history" (Um ... Tinder?) and "What's your greatest achievement?" (IDK, JUST MAKING IT PAST THIS CONFUSING QUESTIONNAIRE AND ONTO YOUR TELEVISION SHOW WOULD BE NICE, THANK YOU).
When you're done, the Questions Warden checks to make sure you answered all of the Sacred Questions and didn't leave any blanks. She staples your application with the Sacred Stapler.
Sadly, I did not steal the Sacred Stapler ... I think it could get you disqualified.
Next, there is Musical Chairs. Musical Chairs is when you sit in a bunch of chairs waiting to go in front of the cameras. Everyone in the chairs pretends to chat and be friends. But you are not here to make friends. 'Cuz this is "The Bachelor."
When it's time to go in front of the cameras, you get to wear a real microphone like a real "Bachelor" contestant. It will be hard to affix the microphone to your shirt. Do not panic. Just smile and say you're here for the right reasons. Bachelorettes are always here for the right reasons.
When the microphone is on, the Camera Person will ask you some of the same Sacred Questions that were on the application. Only this time, you will have to say them with your actual voice, which is apparently difficult to do after waiting for, like, three hours and getting all nervous. (Pro tip: If asked to describe your dating history, do NOT say "none." You will probably not become The Bachelorette. Not that I did that or anything.)
That's my friend Allison being LOVED by producers. She did great!
After that, you will leave the camera area. You will cry a little on the inside, on account of you will feel that you did not act bubbly enough, nor flirty enough, nor Bachelorette-y enough to be the next Bachelorette. If I only had one more chance, you will think, I would win America's heart.
But that would require making friends. And you are NOT here to make friends.
Correction: This article has been updated with the correct spelling of Kaitlyn Bristowe's name. It was previously spelled Katelyn Bristowe.