Embarking on a new adventure: The SharkTank casting call


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The SharkTank Casting Call in Des Moines


Embarking on a new adventure: The SharkTank casting call

I think we have a choice when it comes to mourning. I’m facing that now with our beautiful, money-pit of a home. I can stay and create a costly shrine and tribute to our life, or I can make a clean cut change and begin anew in a less creepy, smaller, affordable domicile, sans the leaky basement. This concept affects all areas of our lives that Kevin was a part of. Do you move forward or look backward?

I say we move forward.

It’s tearful, don’t get me wrong. But tears will happen anyway. We may as well forge ahead and try to get excited about the future.

As I tell the kids, my – our – relationship with Kevin has changed from physical to spiritual. And while we don’t yet speak the language of spirit well yet, when we focus on the missing physical form we all get very sad, and feel cheated. I think this is one of the reasons I cry when I see his photo. I feel robbed.  I tell them when I focus on the spiritual and  learning a new way to be with Kevin or think of him, I’m much better. This, I think, is the means to moving on with our own lives. We have to move forward and take new roads. Nothing in nature intentionally preserves. It’s all about moving, changing and evolving. We should be no different.

So, in my effort to do something new, I decided to go to the SharkTank casting call.

It was a fun day. A two-hour drive, and a step in the right direction. I was attempting to move forward into a new life keeping Kevin’s memory, while working in my own new challenges.

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About 130 inventors and business people who were listening to the producer explain how we were to pitch our product ideas. One minute only, no video, and 46,000 other applicants per year to get on the show.

Kevin knew this was one of the only shows I enjoyed watching. While he didn’t like the show, I wondered whether he had a hand in me accidentally stumbling on the Facebook post announcing the auditions in nearby Des Moines last Monday. I was one of 130 applicants who came to offer a one-minute pitch on our product idea or business. I had actually filled out the form one year prior, but never mailed it in – I chickened out.

I think for a 1 minute pitch it did fairly well. But the waiting in line was the fun part. There were some very great ideas around when I spoke to others in line. Some very nervous people as well, who looked as tho they might need an adult diaper just to do their pitch. I’m not sure why some people get so nervous. I kept telling one woman “those people are no different than you, except that they will be completely exhausted having to hear hundreds of business ideas all day.” There were also some really lame ideas too, like dried flowers in a bottle – really?

I was in my element with other inventors. It was a line of constant brainstorming and interesting chatter. I offered a few suggestions about possible ideas to improve marketing or production since most were not self-employed – and several were outsourcing to similar services as we offered at the shop. People also offered great, positive reinforcement for me. There was a lot of camaraderie. Other local investors worked the crowd as well, handing out business cards and telling us they offered much better terms than the moguls on SharkTank.

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On my way to Des Moines for the casting call with business stuff and a folding lawn chair in tow!

Until the very last minute I debated on whether to audition with our portable walls idea, or the StickerSkinz idea. Which would better serve us? Which was the better tribute? Should it even be tributary? Was it wrong to go with my idea instead? It sucks being a Libra. Not only does indecision annoy everyone else, it annoys ME!

I created a new web site for the walls: TNKportablewalls.com yesterday, to move forward on the concept. But, I was told I could only pitch ONE idea, so the very second before I took a breath to speak to one of the producers, I decided on StickerSkinz. This was Kevin-like: Unplanned and spontaneous.

I figured that unlike walls, StickerSkinz had a bit more immediate sex appeal for people trying to grasp a concept in one minute. Plus, applicants weren’t allowed to use videos for our pitch, which is crucial for understanding how the walls work. StickerSkinz are colorful and I had samples in tow. There are 46,000 applicants to the show annually, so I highly doubt I will get a call back, but it was still fun to do, and a very interesting experience.

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Iowa scenery never gets old to me. Billowing clouds and an ocean of green corn where a salty sea used to be during the Devonian period.

I met an 87-year-old widower who wrote the most charming books. He was mourning the death of his wife five years later, so we had a lot to talk about, and laugh as well, and shared photos – his tattered in his wallet, and mine from my phone. You never meet people accidentally. I was mostly surrounded by men in line, and another old man (85 – although he looked 20 years younger) was jealous. He said, “Hey, I’m his age too!”. Then we all talked and joked as we waited in line for about 4 hours.

I have to say.. during all of my life I’ve always been a hit with geriatric men. And by ‘older men’ I mean WWII vets – which these guys were. I have no idea why. And it’s rather inconvenient to meet an interesting soul that’s 80. My former boss (whom I do not consider old at all) says old guys are like dogs chasing a car: once they catch the car, what are they going to do? Nothing – because obviously dogs can’t drive cars, but they can chase them very well!. I’ve wondered if it’s simply something in my personality that strikes a chord with the era of older guys. But I admit the attention from two old guys and three younger guys was pretty flattering. Men are so funny.

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Treating myself to a nice lunch and a martini at a breezy outdoor bistro in downtown Des Moines.

Of course, I still feel married and wear my wedding ring. I chat with men as though I’m spoken for, and may always do so. “Till death do us part” is quite ironic, because as a divorced person I was willing to start again, but as a widow I cling to our marriage. Unlike a divorcee I still feel married.

I proudly told them all about Kevin and showed photos of him from my phone. Kevin became devastatingly handsome the more at peace he became. He was stunning. How can someone look so beautiful and be so ill? The last couple of days he looked bad, but until that point he looked like an angel. I sneaked photos of him as he slept because it was so amazing. Even others noted that as well.

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Cheers to Kevin! I miss you and love you, and hope you were there right with me in spirit the whole time.

So, I decided to complete my afternoon and celebrate my little foray into TV auditions. I stopped by a cute bistro in downtown Des Moines and ordered a dirty gin martini with three olives, and liked it rather well. The first martini I ever drank was with Kevin, and this was my first without him – although I hope he was there in spirit. I got happily tipsy, enjoyed a very good salad, checked my email, and ordered a large lemonade for the drive home. I set out on the 2-hour drive back to Cedar Rapids, happy to enjoy the gorgeous weather with the windows down and music on.

But it was bittersweet. As I started the van to head back home, the first person I wanted to call was Kevin.

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