Friday, July 9, 2010

Lights, Camera, Action!

As many of you already know, the past two weeks have been very exciting for the Tough Warrior Princesses!  As I said in my last blog, both Patty and I submitted our stories to the New Balance casting call.  After the creative team reviewed them, they decided that they needed to know more information about this fabulous group of women.   I was given a phone number and a time to call in for my interview.  You all know how much I like to talk, especially about the 3Day, but for this I was really nervous.  I think I do much better face to face.  I don't think I could ever have a job where I had to make conference calls.  Plus, when I wrote my initial response to their questions, I wrote over two pages.  They knew my story.  What else was there to say?  Patty's interview was at 9:30 and I was scheduled to call in at 10:30.  Around 10:05 my phone rings and it is New Balance telling me that they are ready for my call.  I grab my notes, announce to my family that there should be no interruptions, and head to my room where I close the door behind me. 

When the phone is answered there are several people on the other line.  I was so nervous, I don't remember exactly how many, but I think it was around 6?  They all seemed very pleased with what Patty had told them, and they asked me to expand on a few things, like how we got our name.  I told them the story of how my cousin Kimm and her friend Suzanne came over shortly after I was diagnosed.  Suzanne had a shirt from her friend Jen who created the company Emotional Armor.  The shirt was black and in hot pink letters it said, "tough warrior princess."  That shirt said it all.  That was what I was.  It didn't matter that I had lost my breast. It didn't matter that I was going to be bald.  I was fighting a battle with cancer and I was going to win.  So when I first decided to do the 3Day, what better name was there for our team.  They also asked me to talk about each of the amazing women who will be joining me on this journey.  After a few more questions, they told me that they would be in touch with us.  I hung up the phone feeling confident with my conversation.

My conference call took place on a Tuesday.  On Thursday we each received phone calls from New Balance asking us to go to Element Productions on the following Tuesday to conduct an on-camera interview.  Seriously!?!  We never thought that we would make it this far. I immediately began to panic.  I had to lose weight, get my hair highlighted and figure out what I was going to wear.  I knew that at least I would be able to do 2 of those things, so I got on it.  Tuesday morning Patty had to work in Boston, so we agreed to meet at Element.  After trying on clothes for at least an hour, I chose a simple brown skirt, white t-shirt, and of course a pink linen jacket.  As I walked out of my air-conditioned house I thought I was going to melt, but I felt that I looked the best I was going to, so I went with it.

When Patty and I arrived, we were brought into a room with a camera, a large screen, and four chairs.  The chairs were in pairs and were facing each other--Patty and I on one side, the interviewers on the other.  It didn't seem too intimidating until they told us that the creative team would be behind the screen watching us on monitors and taking notes.  We were then outfitted with mics and sat down to wait.  Our interviewers told us that if we were chosen, today would be the most difficult part of the entire process.  As we sat there, they asked us to tell our stories again.  They had questions about what brought us together, and how we are different.  We just sat there and talked.  After a few moments we forgot that the camera was even there.  The interview lasted a little under an hour.  We actually enjoyed ourselves, and we thought that the creative team did too.  They told us that they had one more interview, and they would be in touch soon.  As Patty and I walked out, we thought we nailed it.  It seemed like everyone genuinely enjoyed themselves, and the people from New Balance and Element were moved by our story.  Now it was time to sit and wait again, with fingers crossed of course.

We hurried home and changed into our Tough Warrior Princess shirts to head up to Flatbread for our fundraiser that evening.  We are so fortunate to have a business in our community that offers such a fabulous fundraising opportunity.  The community came out in droves, despite the soaring temperatures.  We sold pink ribbons to honor those who have battled cancer.  We will be carrying these ribbons during our entire 60 miles.  The restaurant was packed, and some people had to wait a while to receive their order--the sign of a successful night.  We packed up at around 9:30, happy with the day.

The following morning I continually watched the clock.  Were they interviewing today, or did they complete it yesterday?  I felt in my heart that we would know that day.  I thought about what it would mean if we were chosen.  Would we have to wear all New Balance attire?  Sneakers too?  I love my sneakers, but they are not New Balance.  What does the rest of the team think of this?  Patty and I never even discussed it with each other when we submitted applications, never mind the rest of the team.  If we were selected it was going to change the entire walk.  Didn't I want everyone to experience the 3Day the way that I did?  I was so excited, but also slightly ambivalent.  That ambivalence didn't stop me from constantly checking my email and voicemail.

At around 3:00 I once again checked my email--nothing.  I was going back to the pool resigned to the fact that we probably didn't get chosen.  While swimming around my father says, "I think some of your friends are here."  Huh?  Who was stopping by?  I look up and see Patty, Cheryl, and Patty's daughter Katie getting out of the car.  OMG!  Did we get it?  OMG again!  Yes, we did!  Holy Cow!  I had to go inside and check out the email from NB.

I found out that they would be outfitting the entire team from head to toe.  As I said earlier, many of us don't generally wear NB sneakers which makes us nervous.  Walking 60 miles is one thing, but walking 60 miles in sneakers that you haven't broken in is another.  They have shipped us Flip cameras to film some of our training walks.  I also found out that they would be attending our team pool party at Patty's house.   They would like to film us making signs and preparing for our tent decorating, which we will DEFINITELY win this year.  I hope that NB will understand, but there is no way that I will be filmed in a bathing suit unless it is from the neck up.  They may also be meeting us at Cheryl's house on the morning of the walk.  We are all gathering there and taking a party bus to Framingham for Opening Ceremonies.  After reading all of the details it was still surreal to me.  I decided it was time to take a break from the computer and call some friends to share my news.  Of course one of the first people I called was Tracy.  She was absolutely thrilled for us.  She is a TWP at heart.

Later that afternoon I was still flying high.  I didn't think the day could get any better, then I checked my email again.  I had received a message from Meredith, the Field Coordinator for the Boston 3Day, and in it she asked if I would like to be a flag bearer in the Survivor Circle at Opening and Closing Ceremonies.  If you read my blog last year, you are aware that this is something that I have always wanted.  I was honored, but it was bittersweet.  All I have thought about this year is that I will have 3 amazing women by my side in the Survivor Circle.  Being a flag bearer means I will be with 7 other women up on a platform, not with my team; however, there was no way I could pass up this opportunity.  Of course I would be a flag bearer.

So the last few days have been filled with the craziness that goes along with being chosen.  Patty and I drove up to the New Balance Outlet to try on sneakers and apparel yesterday.  If we are going to be on camera, we have to look our best.  I have had numerous emails and phone calls with New Balance giving sizes, and discussing details about shipping.  New Balance has graciously offered to make us our team t-shirts!  We are absolutely thrilled!  One of our main concerns was that we did not want the Princess to get lost in all of this.

In the meantime, this weekend a few of us will be part of the 3Day Street Team where we go around to businesses along the route and ask them to place signs in their windows supporting the 3Day.  The exciting thing is that we get to see where we are walking.  Shhh!  We can't tell!  It is a secret!

I'm sure I will have lots to share over the next two weeks.  I have to say again, thank you to everyone for your support.  The Tough Warrior Princesses would not be where they are without all of you!  XO

Royally yours,

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