My HGTV Home Staging Audition Experience

I’ve gotten some emails, calls & texts from friends, family and some people I’m not really sure WHO they are, but all have inquired about my experience on Friday with the HGTV screen test.  (I keep looking over my shoulder for the paparazzi, but so far I’m not being stalked by anybody with a camera -or so I know).  Sorry for the delayed update but I had to play catch up from being out of the office both mentally & physically….

So here is how it went down:   

I show up at the producer’s house 5 minutes early, hoping there isn’t some “casting couch” dilemma to be faced.  Yes, I know…my mind is a little dark & creepy sometimes, but I’ve watched too many episodes of Law & Order SVU.  Thankfully what REALLY happened was not an inappropriate invitation but rather that the producer’s house was ideal for a mock staging because he (let’s call him Jim) & his wife had been there for 20+ years and it was “well lived in”…definitely not in any shape to put on the market.  The plan was for us to tape me & him walking through the main living space with me as the Stager (duh) and Jim as the Seller who was reluctant to make any changes to his home.  But I’m getting ahead of myself….

Upon arrival, he introduced me to the cameraman, James, and we all visited off camera while they did some technical stuff with the microphones, and whatnot.  As we visited, we discovered that Jim & I had gone to the same yoga studio, albeit at different times, and we agreed that YogaSport Dallas absolutely rocks and had set the bar extremely high for either of us to find a comparable studio that was located closer to either of our homes.  (So there is a little shout out if any of y’all are looking for a great yoga studio.)  After we agreed that Angela (the owner of the aforementioned yoga studio) and her team of yogis were the best in Dallas, we got down to business and the lights & the camera were turned ON.  

By this point, I was feeling comfortable with Jim.  After all, I had just visualized him all bendy & stretchy at the yoga studio and he wasn’t nearly as scary in that frame of reference as he was when I thought of him as a PRODUCER FOR HGTV.  Jim asked me a series of questions, such as how I got into staging, and some other softballs I don’t even remember…that moment was so surreal.  I do recall that somewhere in this conversation he said they were looking for a staging character similar to the character on “Super Nanny”.  I’m sure that is when my face went completely blank because I had never seen an episode…all I could think of were those screaming kids on the previews and her British accent.  My mind raced and wondered is Super Nanny mean?  Maybe she’s sarcastic?  Is she demeaning to the parents for being so non-parental they had to call her in to get their little snotty booger children in line?  Sigh.  I was clueless.  But I WAS sure that if Super Nanny was anything like this drama that I was imagining in my head, I had no desire to portray myself or my company as mean, sarcastic or demeaning.  So I shrugged my shoulders, told Jim I’d never seen an episode and that he was stuck with me as me.  I think I used those exact words.  Poor Jim….

Once I took the pressure off of myself to be a character I wasn’t, then everything went great if I do say so myself:  I was witty, firm, knowledgeable, told a personal story that was applicable to a point I was making about staging, diplomatic and all while just telling it like it is.  In a nutshell, I was myself.  Oh, AND I was wearing some smoking hot platform wedges that I had bought just for this audition – so I had a little extra ‘tude that I’m hopeful came across on camera.  (Confidence is key on television, or so I’m told.)  Jim even said he liked some of my suggestions enough that he may give them a try even though they aren’t selling their house.  But I’ll bet he said that to all the stagers….

Overall, it was a great experience and I’m grateful for having been considered.  They auditioned 8-10 stagers over the course of 2 days and I know one of them (she would be totally awesome in this role) but I don’t know who any of the others were.  So I figure that if this is the direction God has for me & my company, then you may see me on HGTV soon…I’m kicking it up a notch at boot camp, and cutting down on the carb intake – just in case.  Jim said that they will have a decision made in about a month and the next step would be to produce a Pilot episode.  So regardless of the outcome, I’ll hopefully lose some of this weight I’ve been trying to shed AND I have a cool story to tell.   And I may have to suck it up and watch some bratty kids on television to figure out who this Super Nanny is…really, what IS her character like?

 

See my initial reaction to the HGTV call HERE.

 

You’re Calling from WHERE? HGTV? Reeeeaaalllllyyy?

That was my response the other day when I got a call from a local production company representing HGTV.  Well, I didn’t actually say that out loud, but it was definitely on the tip of my tongue before I caught myself and played it cool.  Or at least I sounded cool in my own head.  

It wasn’t actually HGTV directly, but a local production firm representing them and they were scheduling casting calls for a show they’re producing on real estate staging here in the Dallas area to be shown on HGTV…and yes, they called me.  Which really shouldn’t be too surprising since we are Dallas’ Premier Resource for Home Staging (yes, that was intentionally & sarcastically tauntingly pompous) but it’s not every day you get a casting call out of the blue for HGTV.  Here is how it went down:

It was just another ordinary day  (actually I was in the office and not on a project so I was at least sitting down) when I answered my phone and spoke with Stephanie, the local producer.  It turns out that a client of mine had mentioned me to a real estate agent, who in turn shared my contact information with this production company (who also produces Donna Decorates Dallas and Interiors, INC).  Stephanie told me that this client described me to the agent as “smart, fearless and attractive” so they gave me a call.  (Now really, who was I to argue about that description?)  According to Stephanie, whom by now I’m referring to as if she is my BFF, they are looking for a stager with “style & authority”.  I didn’t tell her that I could definitely mange the authority portion, since I have been called bossy on multiple occasions, as  I wouldn’t want her to think that I was going to bring DRAMA (or maybe I should have?  after all it would be a reality show).  As for style, well I may need to break out the high heels that I ditched for my flats, and coordinate some accessories that look good on camera….  Hmmm.  I may need to go shopping.  I wonder if I can expense it?  

Seriously though, I know they are meeting with multiple stagers in the area, one of whom is a good friend of mine via the Real Estate Staging Association chapter here in Dallas, so I’m keeping my expectations realistic.  But nonetheless, I am pretty humbled and excited to have even been invited.  I’ll let you know how it goes, but weren’t we just talking Street Cred in yesterdays blog post?  I think that regardless of the outcome, this is definitely some Staging to SELL Street Cred, don’t you?

Next post:  See what happened at the audition by clicking HERE.