Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 17 in L.A. (I have a Map, Hints & Clues but Where is the Treasure?)


Do you ever wondered if your life is predestined? Or ever wonder if a coincidence probably wasn’t a coincidence because it was fate putting you in the right place and the right time?  Then when it all happens,  you’re thinking to yourself “This is it! This is my big chance! This is my opportunity because God has me here for a reason.” Finally when the opportunity passes, you’re left standing alone asking yourself, "What just happened?" That somewhat happened to me today. Then I realized that my quest is like a treasure map. Everyday I think I’m getting closer and closer to the treasure but in reality each adventure provides me with more hints and clues to futrther my journey. When will I finally discover the treasure? That’s a question no seeker can answer. Only God knows...

As I stated on day 16, I had an audition today and I wasn’t prepared. On day 9 I was trying to walk into a book store and I accidentally started to walk into an audition. Later on day 10, my college friend Moon, told me I should of crashed the audition. Instead, I did some research and found the casting director the next day. I was told there were no more auditions, but I could send in my "stuff" through email.  I sent him a video as requested and then a day or two later I randomly sent another email with one of my demos on YouTube.

Finally on day 15, I received a no subject email inviting me to their last audition today. I explained what they asked for in day 16. I really struggled figuring out how to prepare and what to showcase. I’m excellent at video parodies but live sketch comedy is new to me. I wasn’t beating myself up about it, but I probably punched myself in the face once (not literally). Finally, I decided I’m going to arrive with high energy and I’m going to be truthful and honest. I have nothing to lose. At this point in my life I can only gain. Here is a pre-recording of myself a few minutes before the audition.

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                                                                          Pre- Audition
There were about 5 people ahead of me. A few was nervous and asked questions to actors who were on their way out. That’s where I learned most of the information about the showcase. When it was my turn, the casting directors speny the first minute talking about how cool my name was. Immediately afterwards, I began to tell them about my quest and how the universe brought me here. They asked a few questions, mentioned that they were going to look me up and as I was leaving the lady said, “You never know what could happen. Thank you for coming.” I left with a smile on my face and they have plenty of my promotional material. Here is my video response to the audition.


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Post-Audition

Now the plot thickens at this point. As I’m on the bus I’m communicating with an old high school and college friend Jermaine, who is in town on a business trip. He called me on Monday (day 15) and when he arrived, he called and asked me if I'd be interested in attending The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Wednesday. His client offered him some tickets. I said, "You better believe I want to go." I’m on a quest to be a late night talk show host and I’ve never been to a live taping of a show before. 

As I’m riding the bus, I’m debating if I should visit my agent or start heading to the Jay Leno show. We were told to arrive at 2:45pm and it was just going on 1:00pm. I wasn’t even sure how to get to the show from there at that point. Before you know it, my bus driver completely missed my stop. He just drove right by it. By default, I had to wait, get off on the next stop, cross the street and wait on another bus. The next bus dropped me off at the right stop and this time I’ve added another crossroads to my thoughts. I stood in one place and debated, “Should I go to my agent or grab a slice of pizza from my favorite pizza shop across the street. Most times when I’m in the area I got a slice of pizza from this one particular shop. The debate was easily won by hunger and I made my way towards the shop.

Their pizza slices are huge!!!!
I walked in and there were 3 guys ahead of me. One of them realized the other was an old friend and they hugged and started talking. One guy asked the other how he was doing. Then the other began to let it loose. He was talking about this new talk show he’s producing and few other networks like VH1 he’s working with. My eyes and ears took the “Wide aWoke” formation.

When they received their food, I basically followed them to their table and introduced myself.  Of course, I excused, introduced myself and told them I couldn’t help but over hear their conversation. I also gave them some of my promotional information. They responded very positivity. The main person even said that’s what you have to do. He mentioned a show he’s working on with B.E.T and that he's keep me in mind. As he was looking at my bookmark he said he liked my look.

I left their table to pick up my slice of pizza. I received the pizza in a to-go box, because I was stilling thinking about going to see my agent. Then I decided I’ll check out my agent another time. I wasn’t even sure if she was there because I called and didn’t get an answer. Instead, I decided to eat-in and sit far, but not too far away from those Producers. I sat with enough distance for them to see me if they wanted my attention. My strategic plan worked. I was probably on my last 3 bites when he called out my name and asked another question. He asked where he can see my videos and I gave him the locations. I even gave him a DVD demo and a few fliers I printed at CVS earlier this morning. 

As I was leaving, I told him I was on my way to The Tonight Show taping and again he responded well. Our interaction was really positive. Now, there is no telling if anything will transpire from this meeting, but at the least he’s familiar with my name. Even more obvious, that connection would have never happened if, (1) I  didn’t audition earlier. (2) If my bus driver didn’t miss my stop and (3) If my agent answered her phone. Once again, I’m not going overly excited but sometimes it’s about being at the right place at the right time. 

My quest continued on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The nice pizza clerk printed out directions for me which made my traveling experience easy. Here is a video of me at the bus stop.

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                                                              I'm at the bus stop.


First visit to The Tonight Show


 As I arrived at NBC Studios in Burbank, California... I couldn’t help but wonder if I will be able to make a connection with someone who works there or maybe get to meet Jay himself. At the entrance,  there was a fast moving line of people entering the show. I didn’t have any tickets. All I had was a name to mention at the gate. That name apparently was important because it brought me into an exclusive VIP green room. It was nice, plus there was food. Check it out.
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We were allowed to take pictures in the room but were notified several times not to take pictures during the show. Soon after my friend Jermaine, who made this all possible, joined me in the room and we were later escorted to our seats. The set was nice. I think Dave Letterman has a much bigger set but it was detailed and designed well. Security and staff was on every corner making sure there were no threats or people using their cell phones and/or cameras. The audience was entertained the whole time.  First they captured our attention with a series of videos from previous musical guests on the big screens. Then a guy named Brain came out and talked about his role and all the social sites The Tonight Show has. Then a really animated comedian came out and entertained the crown. He was really good. What made him great was his ability to hype the crowd and raise our energy to a maximum level. 

Jay Leno even came out and spoke to the crowd in his normal clothes for a while to prep the crowd on what to expect. Toward the end he asked the crowd if they had any questions and someone asked if they could take a picture with him. Jay said "sure." Everyone wanted to do the same after that. They couldn’t use their own camera but someone with a polaroid came out, took the picture and gave it to the fan. Jay even interviewed them for a few, asking questions like "where are you from?" Each time he was comical. By the time I started putting up my hand, it was time for Jay to get dressed. 

The comedian came back again hyping the crowd with skits and cool ways to interact with the audience. Before you knew it, the show’s theme came on and we all roared with plenty of applause and “yeahhhhhs.” So for the record if, you watched The Tonight Show on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 I was in attendance. Unfortunately, my friend and I didn’t have the best seats for camera shots, but we were there. The show’s guests were Shawn White, Florence Henderson and Toby Keith. 

As I’m enjoying myself and the awesome experience, I’m of course looking at the things that could have made show better earlier this year. I pointed out about 5 things that I wish I did or wish I had. 

  1. The showcasing of musical videos before the show was a nice touch. 
  2. Audience gift give a-ways before and during the commercial breaks, (Of course I had this idea but  there was no budget for that at the time).
  3. I love the way Jay came out and spoke to the crowd in normal clothes before the show. I wish I did that.
  4. Jay’s Producers assisted with his questions during the interview by holding up additional questions from 15 or 20 feet away.
  5. Lastly, the energy of his crowd was priceless. My show’s energy was good at times but not even as close.
These are just 5 basic things. Other than that, The Motown Maurice Show was on point. Considering the fact I never attended a late night talk show before and it was supported by 50 volunteers, credit cards and one sponsor (The Law Offices of Pamela Y. Robinson). The first season of the Motown Maurice Show was a stellar accomplishment. 

After I was done viewing the show from a technical stand point, I started to strategize on how I’m going to infiltrate and meet Jay. Then I took a lesson from day 13 with Chris Brown. I learned that I’m better off getting close to the star’s associate, instead of approaching the star himself.  As a result, I narrowed down two draft picks. The comedian and the guy named Brian. When the show was over, there was no chance of getting close to the stage. Each seated row left in a single line. Security was literally everywhere. While outside, I looked for any potential familiar faces. After a few minutes my friend and I noticed a band member. He was nice enough to listen to me and I gave him my fliers. I told him about myself/my quest and asked him how I can get involved with The Tonight Show. I got the usual “Fill out an application" response. I don’t want no fill out the application response.

I asked a security guard and I got the same response. Then I noticed the comedian I was looking for but this guy had fire in his feet. He was moving fast. I paced myself behind him and briefly got his attention but he kept it moving. I said to my friend Jermine, "These guys have already made it and they are not trying help anybody." It’s all good anyway. Readers, if you are thinking about moving to Hollywood you have to understand that these gates are heavily guarded. They make it nearly impossible to get inside and even if you meet someone on the outside, they are going to keep the gate guarded because they don’t want to make it easy for anyone. Most people who have so-called "made it," want to keep it hard for everyone else. I respect and understand how it is. 

I honestly don’t want to get into the gates the way I was approaching it, but I had to take advantage of the opportunity. NBC wouldn’t even be my first choice to host my own late night show but I wouldn’t turn it down either. If I received the chance to met Jay, I would have asked him to be my mentor. Yeah right! I could be wrong but my observations tell me that Jay is very competitive. Recap the whole Jay and Conan situation. Why would he want to mentor me and bring in more competition? 

Again, I’m aware of all this, but I was hoping to leave with something substantial towards my quest. Little did I know, as I was leaving the grounds. someone was giving out tickets to 3 other shows. This reveals another hint of my quest that will lead me to my next predestined destination. I left feeling good about my visit to the show after receiving those tickets. Jermaine and I then took a picture by the NBC sign and we headed to Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles.

Motown Maurice & Jermaine Smith

First Visit to Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles

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               Jermaine Smith is the first out of town visitor to join join me on my quest.
               Who will be next? 

What a day! This quest really is like a treasure hunt/television show. A few people told me that read it like soap opera or a television sitcom. Thank you all very much. I really appreciate all my readers. I really never know what tomorrow is going to bring in this quest. Please don’t forget to leave a comment. 

As the quest continues…

Motown Maurice

3 comments:

  1. Another great and productive day. Thank God for the bus driver's daydream that caused him/her to miss your stop :-)...those 5 points will come into play with the bigger and better that will be coming your way

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  2. This is so fun that you are blogging all about your quest! I love it! GO MOTOWN, GO MOTOWN, GO!!! :)

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  3. WOW what a journey!!! I really like how u added these videos. It was good to be able to SEE you and my other buddy Jermaine. He is always all over the place traveling! Keep it coming! I admire your courage and KUDOS for breaking thru ur barriers!

    No matter the path you are destined to be Great! ;-)

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