My Design Star Audition (pt.8)

So the big day finally arrived Monday, October 3, 2012! I was so nervous to be applying for HGTV Design Star.  In 2008 I sent in a tape of me walking around my Atlanta apt but I guess it didn’t peak any interest. I knew that I would have to wow the judges this time since I would have a face to face audition. I must admit I was apprehensive about attending the NYC audition. There are so many experienced design professionals and degree holding designers from PRATT, F.I.T. and many other prestigious institutions  in NYC.  I was so tempted to fly to another state for my audition because I knew the NYC casting call turn out would have the most talented and aggressive group of designers. The morning of my audition I was a frazzled mess! I made my friends Joe and Christian come to the audition with me. As I walked down the street I remember having extra clothing in my bag because I couldn’t decide if I was too casual for the audition. I must have done at least 3 set changes in the middle of the street as several businessmen looked at me undressing on the street. Hell, I didn’t care! I wanted everything to be perfect.

My audition outfit

As I went around the corner I could see a long line beginning to form in front of Sutton Place restaurant where the audition was being held. As I got closer I noticed that there were over 300+ people in the line already. I got in line and we were all herded  inside to begin filling out check in paper work. The application consisted of 27 PAGES of information that needed to be completed before you could meet with the judges and all had to be HAND WRITTEN! Luckily, I completed my packet at home and was ready to go. There were all types of people in the audition ranging from age 18-81. It’s NYC, so some people even put on creative costumes to draw attention to themselves. It looked like a casting call for the audience of Deal Or No Deal. If that wasn’t enough pressure alone, think about walking into a room with Vern, Candice and Genevieve scrutinizing your work and deciding your fate. To make myself standout, I copied my resume on pieces of sandpaper and placed them back in the original packaging (I needed the judges to know I was serious).

My resume printed on sand paper

Finally, an announcement was made from a casting director telling everyone that this interview process would be extremely quick. We would be brought up stairs in groups of 10 and were to only bring our portfolios because we would only have 2 minutes to showcase our work. When I got upstairs I was directed to go through a passage into the casting room. To my surprise, there was no Vern, Candice or Genevieve.  There were a few casting directors who viewed my portfolio quickly and ask me a few questions. As I was pouring my heart out as to why I should be on the show, the casting director stopped me mid sentence and said she didn’t need to hear any more. My heart stopped because I knew she wasn’t happy with something I must have said.  Then she reached in an envelope and passed me a call back letter for round 2 of auditions. I was so excited that I ran out of the door before she could change her mind. I couldn’t believe that I made it amongst all of these people who were standing in the line. My next couple of auditions went well and lead to the final cut. Talk about being nervous! I had watched every episode of Design Star and knew that the final audition was probably narrowed down to the top 30 candidates. I arrived with 15 minutes before my final audition an must have went into every furniture store in Chelsea to draw some last minute inspiration. I ran into Pottery Barn, West Elm, thrift stores; if they had a chair in the window I ran in that store.  Needless to say, the final audition went well and I was finally called back on Nov. 8, 2012 and told I had made it as a finalist to compete on HGTV Design Star Season 7!!!!!! I was completely overwhelmed with joy. So many people come to NYC to chase their dreams and never even make it past the phase of waiting tables or working a draining part time job. But I did it! I was so persistent and never once gave up on my dreams. I remember a conversation with my mother back in 2005 when I was trying to figure out my path in life. She told me to find something that I was passionate about and make it my career. She said you will know if it your  true passion because you’d be willing to work for free. At the time it didn’t make sense but eventually I got it. Your passion is something that is birthed inside of you by God.  When you discover your passion in life, you will notice that it was there all along. I would constantly window shop in furniture stores and flip through several design magazines in my spare time. But it never dawned on me that I could/should make a career out of it. For me, it was just something that I enjoyed to do. I am so fortunate to have found my true passion in life and want everyone to experience the same joy that I have. I believe in stepping out on faith and placing all trust in GOD.  The one thing I want everyone to take from my blog is  you only live once so stop living in fear! Live the life that GOD intended for you and you will experience joy like no other! It’s a very rock road but I can’t imagine living my life always wondering “What if I had of…”  If you want to be an actor, act! If you want to be a singer, sing! If you want to be your own boss, start a business!  BECOME YOUR DREAM!

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Read the rest of the story…
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4 thoughts on “My Design Star Audition (pt.8)

  1. I really enjoyed your blog it kept me interested. I watched you on the Steve Harvey show and you are amazing. Hope I can see more of your designs so that I can try using some of your ideas to create a warm welcoming home. I pray that God will continue to inspire you with more ideas.

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