Why The Casting Process Is Detrimental To The Eternal Fatty.

Everybody loves me.  People, especially kids, look up to me.  I'm a "great person" with  a "kind heart".  I make people laugh.  People -- men and women --  tell me their secrets and respect my advice.  I love sports and used to be an athlete.  I'm competitive to a fault.  I look younger than my my 37 years.  And I'm really really fat.  

One day within the last year I had an epiphany -- I would be GREAT on The Biggest Loser.  In addition to all of the foregoing, I wouldn't be ugly when I was no longer fat.  The perfect "transformation" candidate.  So, in my typical "do everything perfectly" fashion, I researched what to do, and how to do it, for The Biggest Loser casting process, and immersed myself in applying for Season 10.  I read every casting tip, every blog, every comment to every blog.  I watched videos made by the casting team and subscribed to their Facebook pages and followed them on Twitter.   After determining what it is they want to see on the application video, I worked on one for months -- included pics of what I looked like during the one year of my life that I was thin.  Took footage of me at my current size and state of affairs up in the trees on an outdoor adventure course in the rain in the winter to show that I can do the challenges on the show.  I included clips of me playing with my favorite 5 year old.  Talked about "how being overweight affects my life".  Showed me as a fat kid.  Included footage of me competing in sports in high school.  Finally, included the dreaded shorts and sports bra, all fat hanging out, money shot.  Got it in on time for the casting team to watch it before they went on the road for casting calls, as recommended.  Then I waited for the "VIP pass" that is sent to those with "thoughtful tapes" who catch the eye of the casting team to use at a casting call near you.  And waited.  And waited.  All the while, reading on the blogs, Facebook pages, etc. of all of the other people receiving them.  I finally read that all of the "VIPs" had been given out.  Rejection #1.  

Even though they say over and over that the VIPs don't mean anything and that you should really go to a casting call regardless because 90% (or something) of the cast is chosen from casting calls, I had no intention of going to one without some acknowledgment of my audition tape.  I worked my *** off on that thing and did everything "right".  And they obviously didn't like me.  Oh, excuse me, they determined that I "didn't have what the show was looking for" - nothing personal.  But, I had promised myself when I decided to audition that I would do everything that I could so that there would be no "what ifs" at the end.  So -- I went to a casting call.

In preparation, I read over and over again what a "great experience" the casting call is and how you make friends in line who are "just like you", etc.  I wasn't looking for a "great experience" and I had no interest in making friends. Besides, why would I want to meet people who hate themselves, are disgusting, and don't have the things they want in life because they are fat?  These are the people that are "just like me".  No thanks.  I learned that, after waiting for up to ten hours in a line, you and nine other people would sit at a table with one casting director for ten minutes and most likely get to answer one question.  During your seconds of time, you were to "be yourself", "have fun", "show what is unique about you", "act like you do when hanging out with friends", "show how badly you want to be on the show",  etc.  As ridiculous as these "tips" are, I spent weeks thinking of "unique" answers for the questions "Why do you want to lose weight?" and "Why do you want to be on The Biggest Loser?"  I traveled to the closest casting call, which required a long car ride and overnight, and showed up at one of the casting calls on the first weekend that they were held. 

Once in front of the casting director, I was ninth in the semi-circle of ten hopefuls.  The casting director told us that this was "not the time to cry" and that it was to be fun.  The "one" question asked of us:  "Tell me something about yourself".  WHAT????  So, the first couple people talk about "always being fat".  The next two were sisters wearing "I'm with fab" and "I'm with flab".  Fab had always been the skinny sister, but was now heavy and had a new understanding of why her fat sister could never lose weight. Flab cried.  Next guy was probably in his late 30s and had congestive heart failure.  Next woman took off her shirt upon entering the room and sat in her sports bra.  Next guy TOOK OFF HIS LEG.  Next woman was a yo-yo dieter.  Then was me (more about this in a second).  Last was a 23 year old girl who was over 200 lbs in 4th grade and over 300 in 10th grade.  She cried.  Out of all of these people, the only one who was bigger than me was maybe the last girl.  The rest of them were overweight, but not huge.  The first woman piped in occasionally trying to be funny.  Each of us spoke for under a minute.

I talked about how I had been thin one year in my life (when I was 27) when I had to fit myself into a bridesmaid's dress that was built for a ten year old boy.  Prior to that year I had been very athletic and fit, but never thin.  After that year, I thought "Phew!  I can finally be a normal person and not have to obsess over my weight every minute of every day like I had for the previous 26 years" and the next thing that I knew I had gained 150 pounds.  I said that I was able to lose weight for that dress because there was no other option.  I had to make myself small enough to fit in that dress and that was that.  I view the opportunity presented by The Biggest Loser as the same type of situation because there was absolutely NO WAY that I would humiliate myself or disappoint my friends and family.  I would have no option but to succeed, There was no way that I would fail.

I knew that I talked too fast and I know that I wasn't able to show my funny, kind-hearted self, but I thought that I had given the best answer that I could.  And I knew that it wasn't going to be enough.  I didn't disrobe or have a removable body part or life-threatening disease.  How could I have "stood out" and "appeared unique" at this table? 

We were instructed that we would know by 10pm that night if we were selected for a "call back", which would be a one hour one-on-one interview.  If we weren't selected for a call back, we could still "send in a home video".  Since I had already done that (see rejection #1 above), this was it.  Ten pm came and went and, as I knew would happen, did not get the coveted call. That was it.  I had failed,  Again.  Rejection #2.

Fat people face rejection on a daily basis.  Most of us for our whole lives.  I thought  that maybe competing against other fat people could be the one thing that I could succeed at.  That someone would see something in me that was special, unique and worth the time and attention.  If I can't stand out among other fatties, then I really must be as invisible and revolting as I always thought.  I actually gave this a shot thinking that I was special enough to get this opportunity.  What an idiot.  All this did was confirm what I have always known.  I am unattractive, undesirable and so boring and common that I might as well be invisible.  Except for the fact that you can't miss me.  I'm the huge 37 year old that you are so glad that you aren't.

I heard being chosen to be on The Biggest Loser is "like winning the lottery".  However -- the lottery is pure chance that cannot be controlled.  I did everything that we were instructed to do.  Everything,  And I was still rejected.  I still failed.  Not being cast for The Biggest Loser isn't like not winning the lottery.  It is further proof that I have nothing to offer and am nothing special. 

AgingFatty AgingFatty
36-40, F
2 Responses Mar 8, 2010

Dont stop trying if its what you really want to do. There are some contestants who tried for three diffrent seasons before they made it on. I think the main thing is you need a hook. Something unique you bring to the table, either in emotional motivation or about you personally. I have mine. I too have been going thru the process and so far its been working for me. I got thru the casting call, got a call back, had a great Interview, and was told to send in a DVD. Its been sent in and now I'm waiting. The waiting is about 6 weeks, of which I have three left. This is the worst part. I don't know if my whole life is gonna change in 3 weeks or not. The next step is I get a call to fly out to LA for 5 Days. If they like me then, I'm on the show starting in Oct. It is a long process, but its definetly worth it. I just hate the waiting; it sucks and its justification to put off my much needed diet.

Hey! You put forth some real creative effort, you should be proud of that.