I was never going to try out for America’s Next Top Model.
Seriously, what are the chances that I get anywhere among the thousands of girls auditioning around the country. I mean, I was FOR SURE that I wouldn’t make it.
However, since I was about 9 years old, it’s secretly been a dream of mine to rock the runway. As you can see I started striking poses early on.
But I think it was the summer of my senior year in high school, when my dad took my photo for the class yearbook, that I realized that I may be on to something with this modeling thing.
Back to the auditions. I got an email from a friend about a week before the cycle 14 auditions in Minneapolis and pretty much discarded it. I wasn't going to waste my time. A few days later another call from a different friend. “Raina you’ve gotta tryout!” I’m still thinking "ummmmmm NO!”.
Finally audition day rolls around and I learn they are right downtown and only a few blocks from my apartment. "Oh alright . . . I'll go. Why not? At least I can say I tried, right?”.
Dun dun DUNNNN! And so, unknowingly, the journey begins.
I show up to a line that wraps around several blocks. "I knew I shouldn't have come!" The line has got to be 3 to 4 hours long. I'm just about ready to bail when I get a text on my phone. It's my girlfriend who is at the very front of the line. “Raina, you better be here somewhere!”
"Yes, I’m here…..standing next to hundreds of teenagers wearing primarily swimsuits and very questionable pants.” Miraculously I'm now at the front of the line. Yes, you're right . . . I "budged"! Sorry girls. But you know you’ve done it to!
I can’t remember what number I was. I’d say it was somewhere around 73. Anyway, I waited for roughly an hour and a half before I got to “the room”. This wasn’t any ordinary room. It was a very quiet room, and everyone in the room was staring at you uber intensely. I proceeded to walk in front of a camera, said my name, age, and all that boring stuff, and then I left. No kidding, I waited all that time for less than one minute in front of the camera. But it felt good as I walked out.
Area Code 310
A month goes by and I've all but forgotten my 60 second audition. Then my phone rings. I look down. Area code 310? I’m thinking, “This is my first telemarketer ever! I’m going to have some fun with this!” I answer. Wrong. It’s ANTM. "You've made it to the next round of auditions."
Now, my apartment building has fairly thin walls . . . you hear all kinds of "interesting" things. Anyhow, I screamed so loud that I am 101.3% certain that the ENTIRE building heard my shrieks of joyousness. Yes, I jumped on my bed for at least five minutes before calming down enough to call my mom and dad. It's my choice of several locations for the next round of auditions and I choose Chicago. Road trip!
A seven hour drive from Minneapolis to Chicago, followed by 7 hours in the audition gauntlet. It was a long day filled with nervous anticipation but I survived all three cuts. Unbelieveable! The Chicago auditions would yield a group of 25 girls for consideration. Now I had to keep in mind that there were many other cities that had groups of about two dozen girls selected for further consideration, so I didn’t get too excited. But getting that far was a big deal to me. That alone made me feel like superwoman. Exhausted, I drove back to Minnesota with a stack of paperwork to send in and expected nothing more because I knew how many other girls were being considered. I never did fill out the paperwork. End of adventure.
Area Code 310, again.
Another month goes by. Another call from area code 310?! "Raina, where's your paperwork? It was supposed to be here 2 weeks ago." OhMylanta, I made the semi-finals and would join 32 girls in Los Angeles for the filming of the first episode. I sent in the paperwork, quickly made arrangements with my professors to complete any classwork that I would miss during my absence, and hopped on a plane for LA.
Note to self: Receiving information regarding making it to semi-finals for America’s Next Top Model while driving a vehicle = probably not good. Needless to say, I pulled over, jumped out, danced, screamed, got back in, drove home, and danced some more.
So here we are . . . and tomorrow night (3/10) we see what happens next.