Sunday, January 23, 2011


It has been approximately 1 month and 3 weeks since The Big 1 came into my life. Since the very first phone call it has been challenge holding back the excitement and keeping the details from you. Now that the results are 100% confirmed you all should brace yourself. I will now reveal The Big 1. Following this post, I will also reveal The Big 1 & 2 very soon after.

Phase 1 

It all started on December 3, 2010 the first time I mentioned that amazing phone call I received. At the time I was borrowing my roommates car and returning from 3 exciting auditions during one of the most productive weeks of my quest. At approximately 6:00pm my phone rang as I was cruising on the interstate. The basis of the conversation was exactly like this.

"This is Motown speaking how can I help you?"

"Hey, Motown, this is _____ do you remember me, from Oprah's Your Own Show Contest? I was the casting director that worked with you."

"Of course I remember you. How are you doing?"

"I'm doing great. I'm calling you because, I'm casting for a new reality show on ABC called

"Its tie between Survivor & Amazing Race and it takes place in an international country for 5 weeks during the month of April. We're looking for exiting people with great personalities and I remembered your great personality from the Oprah contest video submission. I was wondering if you would be interested in this opportunity?"

Without any hesitation I said, "Of course I would be interested."

She then shared more basic information. She also told me what I assumed at the time was a catch. She told me it was a team competition. Meaning I had to recruit 2 other people. Uncertain on who I would recruit at the immediate moment she told me we all don't have to live in the same place. Our conversation continued and I began to tell her about my quest. She had no clue I was in LA which is probably the same area she resides in. The momentous phone call continued some more and then she told she'll email more information shortly.

As I said, week 11 was already exiting but this was just the icing on the cake. I even titled that post
"Full Circle Just like I Said...Wow!! - Unbelievable." Meaning everything comes around full circle. We all know how important it is to make a memorable impression, well its a 100 times that important in the entertainment industry. Its been over 5/6 months since I was a running candidate for Oprah's Your Own Show contest and who would of every thought they would of remembered me for a big problem project like this. 

Phase 2 

Moreover, in about 30mins (more or less) I mentally selected my two teammates. I officially confirmed my teammates in a couple days but upon each call they verbally confirmed with excitement. First I chose my long time friend high school Marissa Hammonds. I pulled her in the same day. Then the following day my comparably recent friend Kimberly Webb called me back and joined the team. 

Now, the first thing we had to do was establish a team name and put together a video. That may appear challenging since I'm in LA, Marissa's in Chicago and Kimberly's in Tampa. It was actually a very cool creative process. By the end of the weekend we came up with a team name and began working on our video. Without any further a due there is the premiere of the video we submitted. 

Kimberly Webb, Motown Maurice & Marissa Hammonds first team picture for ABC's Expedition Impossible audition process.
Phase 3

We worked very well together considering that we were located completely across the country. I figured out an efficient system and I Fedx the applications and video on Monday, December 13, 2010. While at Fedx I realized how close the office was and probably could off dropped it off in person. Moreover, the immediate next day my team was contacted by email. This is what the email said. 

"My name is ______ and I work in the casting department for Expedition Impossible. I just wanted to let you know that we received your application and audition video and the Supervising Casting Producer has watched your tape and is excited to pitch your team so here's what we need - more pictures of your team. Please email me some additional photos, of all of you together (team pic) or individual shots of you guys doing various adventure stuff, races, marathons etc... and/or pics of you guys at work or out an about or any fun shots. We use these photos to create a pitch packet so the better the pictures the better we can make your team look. I understand that you may not all live in the same city so send us what you can. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR TEAM NAME IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF THE EMAIL." 

Phase 4

I then realized that our original team picture was too cute for an adventure show. The picture below was one of the new pictures we sent. 

Kimberly Webb, Motown Maurice & Marissa Hammonds second team picture for ABC's Expedition Impossible audition process. 
Phase 5

From this point on, all we could do is be positive and wait. Since Marissa and Kimberly never met we decided to leave it like that. We figured that would make an organic and interesting experience for the show and our team. From time to time my team mates and I spoke individually and allowed our imagination to run wild.

Phase 6 

Finally on Tuesday, January 4, 2010 upon arriving back to LA from Tampa we received another phone call followed by a email. This is what the email said:


Congratulations on making it past another cut for “Expedition Impossible!”  We've shown your tape to the producers, they like what they've seen and want to keep you in consideration to be on the show!  So it doesn't mean you've made it on the show but you're currently at the best spot you can be in for the time being.  Be advised that many documents may be coming your way over the next few weeks if you make it past more cuts including a Participant Background Questionnaire Form, a Medical History Form and an Applicant Agreement but for now we just want to make sure you have all of the necessary dates.
If you are chosen as a Finalist, you will need to be available for Finals Week in Los Angeles , Wednesday, January 26th through Saturday, January 29th.  NO EXCEPTIONS!!!  While you are in Los Angeles you will be able to maintain contact with home and work through the telephone and/or Internet ONLY. And if you are chosen as a cast member for this season it will be up to a five (5) week commitment from the end of March through April.  Finals is a 4 day commitment in LA - if your team is chosen we'd fly you out, put you up in a hotel and during that time you'd be doing interviews with executives, producers, going through psychological testing to make sure you're not crazy, medical testing to make sure you're healthy and not going to croak on the course etc.  Once finals is complete, you will have an idea if you've been chosen to be on the show, that way you can return home for about 4 -5 weeks and continue to train and prepare for the shoot. 

A note about finals:  In a perfect world I would be able to tell you 2 weeks before if you're coming out - but the reality is I could call as little as 4-5 days before finals and say they've made their decision and we're going to fly you out.  So that's why I tell you about the dates now so you can keep them in the back of your head as time gets closer.

Also - from here on out your status in this process should be very hush hush.  Don't facebook, blog, tweet, etc about it - if you do you'll be disqualified and we DON'T want that to happen!

As you can see, if chosen, you’ve got about 3 months until you start racing so I would recommend you start training now.  We don’t expect you to come in ready to climb Mt. Everest but it would be wise to start getting in the best shape you can over the next 3 months.  Most importantly is developing stamina.  We want to make sure you have the endurance to tackle this race so you don’t end up quitting - which is the worst thing that can happen because you’ll always be labeled a quitter and you don’t want to be the reason your team had to leave the competition.

Once again, more information will follow over the next month and if you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to contact me.  Please make sure your teammates received this information as well!

Phase 7

This contest and email probably specifically explains why I started working on out on day 108. Things couldn't look at better at this point. In the very beginning I didn't really think about the contest very much. I had some much other stuff going on it wasn't even a focus for me. Then as the days drew closer I started to battle to keep my energy a float. Slowly but surely I started to adopt this weary feeling. As we got closer to the date of the finals I began becoming agitated and restless. We know that they could contact us 4 to 5 days before but something didn't seem right. I needed some answers. 

Throughout the whole process, one of my only sources for answers where to visit the pages of the teams created on Facebook. It was interesting to see some of our potential competition, at the same time they started to have some updates I wasn't aware of towards the end. Then finally one team on Facebook posted that they got word that if the teams are not informed by Tuesday, January 18, 2011 your not about of the show.  

Tuesday morning I woke up remembering a good dream about Expedition Impossible. Nevertheless, my observations of my previous dreams have always predicted the opposite results. I soon started to reach my breaking point. I was trying to do what every it took to get Expedition Impossible off of my mind. The day before someone was passing out free tickets on Hollywood Blvd for a Dr. Phil showing and I took one to occupy part of my Tuesday. The live taping of Dr. Phil cleared my mind momentarily but once it was all over that negative feeling returned. Now I'm back to checking my phone for emails, missed calls and messages. Of course there was nothing there. 

Finally, around 3pm, I sent out an email to the casting directors trying to find out my teams status during my theater rehearsal. My email read like this: 

Greetings _____,

I hope all is well. I'm sure you are busy working on the logistics of the show. However, I was wondering if you had a status update or closer for my team. I also know you may contact teams 4 or 5 days before but if you had any info it would be greatly appreciated. I've been in the state of limbo
before and its not always the most exciting place to be in.

Once again if you can share anything it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Have a great day.


No response was received. Last week I was casted to be apart of a play and started rehearsing this week. My rehearsal helped free my mind for two hours but when it was over I was on the hunt again. On the hunt for answers of course. After rehearsal I went home to viewed the Facebook pages and almost all the teams mentioned that they didn't advance. Before this, I was already sure that those teams wasn't going to advance for a few reasons. One reason was because they didn't know a lot of info I knew. Nevertheless, my team was still in limbo. I absolutely hate being in limbo. At this point I couldn't take it anymore. At 6pm, I called one of the casting directors and she provided me the closer I was looking for. She told all the teams that advanced were informed on Friday, January 14, 2011. I responded by saying thank you, good bye.

Once I got off the phone I took a deep breath. Simultaneously, the feeling for relief and disappointment came upon me. Relief because I was no longer in limbo. As far as my team not advancing, I think we gained the respect to at least be informed that we didn't make it. 

I was disappointed because...I mean who wouldn't be disappointed. A part of me wanted to shed a tear but it never happened. I laid down and fell asleep for about an hour.

I woke up and I decided to email the very first casting director who contacted me. 
Subject: Closer Received No Response Needed

______ confirmed the results early today.

In the past I would of probably asked another question asking "why" but by now  I'm sure the answer won't be any different from all my other disappointing results.

Such as...

*My team has done nothing wrong...sometimes these things don't  work out.

*Things didn't fit together as we would of hoped.

*The s process is not a  comment on our talent or ambition and of course, I know... we can try again next year.

I know the responses by heart now.

Moreover, it was fun while it lasted and I'm at the least grateful that you remembered me and thought of me for such a great opportunity.
I wish you the best throughout 2011.

As I said, you don't have to respond.
Take care


That email partly mirrored the email she sent me in July 2010, when I was declined from Oprah's Your Own Show Contest. So I will admit I was partly trying to be a smarty pants. Here is how she responded.


I will continue to remember you for future shows, but I truly hope you can stop
taking it so personally if you are not chosen.  Everything takes time. Be proud
that we remembered you - We certainly don't remember everyone!

I wish you so much luck in the future. I think you are unique and talented:)

Of course I had to clarify that I wasn't taking it personal at all. Here is my response.

My email must of read wrong. I honestly never take anything personal. Business is business.

If i intend on being apart of the business I have to respect the business and I do respect it.

In the end, it is what it is.

With all sincerity from my heart.

Thank you for the opportunity. 

All the best.


How does this disappointment like this make me feel you ask? I'll tell you...

Let me first answer that question by first sharing this quote: "The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness." I'm sure their is a better physiological explanation but according to my mom my late grandfather would say, "Every disappointment builds a foundation." I never met my grandfather (Or any grandparent period) but I have definitely adopted some of his wisdom.

My life is laced with disappointment which explains why I am such a firmly grounded person today. I am generally immune to disappointment after all these years. I've been there done that. Something I will never learn to deal with is the state of "limbo." If I or my team makes it so far and advances let me know so we can move forward accordingly. With Oprah's your own show contest my biggest challenge was not knowing. I also felt relief back in July after harassing them for the results I deserved.

What's Next? 

I was still spreading all my egg into various baskets but the Expedition Impossible basket started to feel like the best one at the time. So when the results came in, the primary question that premeditated my mind was "What's next?"

To find out full details on what's next on The Quest of a Late Night Talk Show host tune into into Week 18's Review post. 

As the Quest Continues

     The Future of Late Night

     Motown Maurice


  1. Ok, first copy and paste last weeks comment here lol. And to piggyback off of what your late grandfather's quote, add this:
    "There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heart break, every loss, contains its own seed. Its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time!" - Og Mandino.

    and lastly: "when God doesnt give you what you want its because its not what you need!"

    (I have been the queen of quotes for the past 2 weeks)

  2. Ok, probably good you are being remembered by producers, totally sucks you weren't picked. Hang in there. Real quick, I am taking a chance that by in limo you meant "limbo". If you were in a limo at least I hope you enjoyed the ride.


  3. Radames Alvarado JrJanuary 23, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Wow Motown you are on such an exciting journey with many ups and downs but your dedication will see you through all the downs and your heart will keep you humble through the highs. I wish all the best and can't wait to see you achieve your dream. Best of luck!

  4. OMG that video is hilarious every time I watch it! No worries. The best is yet to come! :-)
    Complex Unit 4 Life!

  5. The entertainment industry is a tough business to succeed in. Even those that achieve their goals are not guaranteed sustained success (one hit wonders, Oscar winners etc...) It takes time, timing, preparation and luck to succeed in this business. Someone told me once that the entertainment business should be called the rejection business. Tough skin is needed in order to persevere.

    It appears to me that you are getting closer and closer to achieving your goals. That is a good sign.

  6. Motown! It is obvious that you have laid a foundation that is firm and well built as you pursue your dreams and continue to do the foot work required in order for you to reach your goal. I think that it is wonderful that The casting Director remembered you which ensures that you will always be a thought in her mind for future shows. The Video with Team Complex Unit was outstanding and so funny! I Loved it! With disappointment comes lessons and more determination to prove that you can and will do it! Just imagine all the people who are going to be so sorry that they did not cast you when you Make it big and you will make it Big. You are already Famous, The World Just doesn't know it Yet! Keep Reaching High for the Stars!
    Your Stalker Fan

  7. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming ...." -Dory "Finding Nemo"

  8. Just another step on the road to greatness. Eventually they'll figure out what they've been missing. Keep the faith.

  9. hi motown... just want to encourage you a bit.. do you know that colonel sanders pitched the idea of his now famous kentucky fried chicken recipe.. and guess what he heard 1009 no's before he even realize the reason god allowed him all those no's..again you got a fan for life...keep up the good do have the potential .... and your purpose has already met your destiny... it is just a matter of time before you walk in it..


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