Where do I even begin? Needless to say, these past 48 hours in Arizona have been amazing, stressful, hilarious and downright unforgettable. After coming so close to being here last year, this is a special treat for me. I wasn’t sure I’d have the chance to show off my skills in person this season, but here I am, and I’m making the most of my time!
Below, I’ll give you the run down (see what I did there?) of what we’ve been doing on the casting trip thus far. But if you haven’t yet checked out yesterday’s Tumblr photo blog, check it out HERE!
And please follow along with the journey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tout for the most up-to-date info. Better yet, like the MLB Fan Cave Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram for the MOST up-to-date info.
I was exhausted when we arrived at the hotel on Monday night, but we all went out to eat at the made-famous-last-year Jerry’s Diner next door. After meeting most of the Top 30, I finished up some work in the hotel room and crashed, because Tuesday was the first big day of the competition.
First thing Tuesday morning, we hopped on the infamous MLB Fan Cave bus and rode (in style) over to Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. They were still rolling out the sod for the upcoming World Baseball Classic games that were going to be held there, but we essentially had the whole place to ourselves! After a quick pep talk from some of the executives who run the Fan Cave, we were off to start the audition process.
I’ve gotten to know a lot of the people who actually make the Cave tick behind the scenes, and everyone has been amazingly supportive and helpful so far. The fact that I’m a Dodgers fan living in San Francisco and the “Fan Cave Couple” story line definitely struck a chord with some of them, and I ended up having a lot of really good talks early in the day.
After that, I was chosen to go down to the D’Backs dugout and do a camera test with MLB Network’s own Greg Amsinger through the Ballpark Cam. They hooked me up to all sorts of wires and ear plugs, handed me a mic, and let Greg fire a round of questions my way. I think it went very well, especially because I was first in line and had to set the precedent for the rest of the group. Greg and I ended up laughing a lot about how Kelsey and I manage to watch games together, my wardrobe choices, and many other baseball-related activities.
We finished that up and went straight to the part of the week I was dreading the most: the elevator pitch. Essentially, they gave us one minute to sell ourselves to the MLB Fan Cave staff and prove that we are someone they want in the Fan Cave. I’d rehearsed my pitch a million times and nailed everything, emerging out of it with a very good, but not perfect feeling about it. When told I “was blessed with Brian Wilson’s beard on my chest” at the end of it, I got a hearty chuckle from the room.
Later in the day, a large group of the Top 30 took part in a lip-synced version of a parody created by the Fan Cave. I won’t reveal which song, because I don’t want to ruin the epic-ness (that just became a word) of it all before it’s released. I can tell you that I found myself with a five-second starring role in the middle, simply by virtue of having my Clayton Kershaw jersey on at the right time.
To finish the first day, we ended up enjoying an amazing spread of food in the Diamond Club above right-center field and took part in a round of trivia. It was another chance to get to know some of the other finalists and executives I hadn’t chatted with yet.
My team (cleverly named “Dr. Fart,” might I add) was in second place with 25 points (two teams had 27) entering the final round, where we wagered 24 of those points. Unfortunately we barely missed on which four teams don’t have mascots (the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs and Angels are mascot-less) and ended up losing the challenge.
Nobody could be down for losing trivia, because we jumped immediately into a couple of hours of karaoke, which started off with a bang when Bryan Mapes, Travis Miller, Ally Williams, Kelsey and myself nailed a rendition of “It’s Gonna Be Me” by N’Sync. Kelsey and I also had to cheese it up a little bit and do a “Summer Nights” duet. It was a ton of fun, even if I failed miserably at singing (but really, what’s new?).
After some last-minute karaoke team bonding and a long chat in the hot tub before bed, day one came to a close and I knocked out a few bits of work before hopping in bed to rest up for today. I still have half a day here before the competition officially ends, and I am looking forward to slaying a panel interview in about an hour, before taking on my fellow contestants in some fancy bowling at Lucky Strike to end the night.
Look for another blog in the next couple days detailing the second half of my Fan Cave journey, and keep it tuned to me on social media for the most current updates. Thanks for reading, and hopefully I’ll come home with some good news this weekend!
Tags: Arizona, Arizona Diamondbacks, Baxter, Facebook, finalists, Greg Amsinger, Instagram, Jeremy Dorn, karaoke, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB Fan Cave, MLB Network, parody, Spring Training, Top 30, Tout, trivia, Twitter