If I had been recruited by an "America's Got Talent" Casting Agent who had seen my YouTube video earlier this year I might have decided "what the hell?" and made the trip to Navy Pier in Chicago a few weeks ago to be among what may or may not have been 30,000 people we may or may not have been told who auditioned in a dozen cities around the nation and/or sent in a DVD of their work for a chance to gain a spot in the third season of the hit reality television series.
I may or may not have driven the seven hours from Minneapolis to stand in line outdoors in the late winter Chicago wind for two hours, eventually being herded into a holding pen along with over a thousand other people until my 1:30 p.m. audition took place at around 7:30 that evening. I might have done that.
Had that initial 90 second appearance in front of one producer led to a second opportunity before a table full of producers in an adjoining room culminating in my hearing: "We're sending you to L.A.", the return drive to Minneapolis getting me in at 4:15 in the morning probably wouldn't have seemed like too much of a price to pay.
Since I usually simply add travel and lodging expenses onto the contract of any professional performance engagement I book, being offered a flight on Northwest Airlines and a couple of nights lodging in the Welshire Grand Hotel wouldn't in and of itself have been enough incentive.
A $50.00 cash per diem for a 48 hour stay out of town might have covered one room service breakfast costing forty two dollars and twenty three cents including service charge, tax and the included 18% gratuity, so eating may or may not have been an option for the other five meals, had I decided to go.
I may or may not have seen Minneapolis' own "Fancy Ray McCloney - The Best Lookin' Man in Comedy" in all his self-indulgent, yet irrepressively engaging "Little Richard-esque" splendor prancing about the waiting area backstage for the cameras before his appointed stage time followed by his swearing, stomping return with trailing rumors of an onstage near fight with judge David Hasselhoff after "Fancy Ray" refused to exit following receiving his three "X's".
While I would have been waiting to perform I could have seen four grown men in ten foot blow-up sports mascot suits after jumping and stomping, wiggling their little arms and butting heads with each other for their allotted 90 seconds onstage to the delight of their youthful audience being moved on to the next round despite Sharon Osbourne's vociferous objections.
I could have had the opportunity to step in front of a bloodthirsty crowd salaciously antagonized into a piranhaic feeding frenzy as only that faustian master of schadenfreude himself, host and national domestic violence inspirer Jerry Springer could lustily arouse in them.
Maybe Sharon Osbourne would have buzzed me simply for my introducing myself as a mime. Maybe the audience of around a thousand teens and "20-somethings" well into their fourth hour of free attendance would have taken her artistic bigotry lead and adopted a hackneyed anti-mime grudge before I even started.
I do know for certain that if I had endured such an abusive experience of being publicly deemed "not Las Vegas material" by a cast of "judges" whose careers were built upon respectively:
(a) gratuitous bouncing breasts semi-restrained in scanty red bikinis
(b) being married to and enabling a drug addicted rock-n-roller who bit the heads off of live bats
(c) most successfully panderering as apprentice to Donald Trump
...it would have been best for me to simply set the microphone down on the stage, walk into the wings, politely decline any and all videotaped wrap up interviews and catch the shuttle back to the hotel - no matter how hurt I may or may not have been to see my life's work treated so shabbily nor how tempted I may have been to question NBC owner General Electric's major role in the diabolical military industrial complex keeping America 'at war' eternally for profit.
It would have been best to keep quiet.
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