Sunday, February 27, 2005

Ron Shore wants to be Donald Trump's next apprentice. He's traveled to four cities in his quest to land a spot on the hit NBC show. Today, he's lining up with an expected 400 others at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma to make his case again, at the last open casting call for the fourth season of "The Apprentice."
"I want to be on the show because it's the American dream. Donald Trump is the epitome and realization of the American dream," said Shore, a Canadian citizen who lives in Vancouver and Bellingham.
For today's casting session, Shore, an entrepreneur who owns a telecommunications company, has created his own DVD and is stacking his odds by bringing about 10 of his friends to sing his praises. "They're going to be saying my name as many times as they can," he said.
"I've gone in my military uniform. I've gone in a cowboy outfit. I've been in a business suit," he said.
He certainly seems like Trump's kind of guy. But little of that showmanship was in evidence at an under-the-radar "Apprentice" casting call yesterday at the University of Washington.
No begging, no histrionics, not even a tap dance. If the 30 or so applicants were type A uber competitors, it wasn't obvious.
This time, applicants have double the opportunity to get on TV -- the show is casting 18 people for the original version with The Donald, as well as a new "The Apprentice Martha Stewart" with the domestic diva.
Ultimately, before they can impress Donald and Martha, they have to catch the interest of casting agents Kara Udell and Lauren Vaughan, who've seen "Apprentice" candidates beg, flirt and proffer flowers or truffles. Vaughan once saw a lawyer dress up in a clown suit as a stunt for the show.
"People show up for Martha and they bring their doilies and their cookies with them," Udell said. "They're not necessarily what we're looking for."

Yesterday, Regina Lindquist, 22, did neither, but she probably held appeal as a sorority sister and former pastry chef who's studying communications while interning for a PR company. Plus, she sews and likes to plan special events. The fact that she's telegenic and dresses fashionably can't hurt either.
"I'm very competitive, but I don't like to burn any bridges," she said.
To start off every interview, the friendly agents always had an opening line: "Looking sharp, my friend." "Where's your suit, dude? Just kidding!" or "Love the earrings."
Applicants bantered back. One man, a human resources manager and part-time MBA student named Tom, even included a photo of himself superimposed with Donald Trump's ultra-famous coiffure. "I do a lot of hiring and not so much firing. I haven't used the cobra yet," he joked. "Actually, I've never pointed at anyone."
But, what are they looking for?
"You definitely want to find someone who's aggressive and assertive and holds to the conviction of their beliefs," said Udell.
Personality and energy, added Vaughan.
And, how do they know when they find it? Hard to describe. They just know. In fact, the agents rarely discussed candidates after they left the room. Nor did they take notes. The only sign of interest was to discreetly slide an application, face down, into another pile. It appeared that only two applicants yesterday had earned that distinction.
Casting can go down some pretty tangential roads. When Udell asked applicant Michael Brandt, a junior who works two jobs, how many pairs of shoes he owns, he replied "a lot." When pressed, he elucidated: "About 40 pairs. It's embarrassing. I don't like to tell people that."
One woman, whom we'll call Carly because her finance company doesn't know she's applying, said "The Apprentice" is her favorite show.
And, what would she bring to the table? "I definitely have a positive attitude. I'm a hard worker." Carly says candidates who are mediators rather than just combatants ultimately seem to win the job with Trump.
One steadfast rule, as a persistent 17-year-old named Alex found out, is that you must be 21 or older to apply to the show. "Even if your parents say it's OK and you sign the form?" he pressed.
Alex, a college junior who plans to pursue an a medical degree and an MBA, asked them to interview him anyway, and walked away with a business card.
Sometimes applicants were full of candor.
One woman, Jinyoung Lee, 21, admitted that she'd never watched the show, found out about the casting call 20 minutes before and didn't know who Trump was. "I just recently found out that he's this awesome businessman who got married to a younger woman. That's all I know."
A word of wisdom to applicants: The most common response to the question of why you want to be on the show seems to be, "It just seems like a great experience." That's probably not going to help you stand out or show fire in your belly.
And, if your phone doesn't ring soon, well, there's next season.
"If you haven't heard anything within a week, it's probably a no-go," Udell said.
Ron Shore already knows that. He was a finalist for the show last season. But, he says his quest is about the journey, not the destination.
"I'm having the time of my life," he said. "I honestly don't think I'm going to make it. If I do, great. If not, I tried my best."
It's not too late to show up today to the last open casting call for "The Apprentice 4." Download an application at and fill it out, then take it to the Emerald Queen Casino, 2024 E. 29th St. in Tacoma. Wristbands, which you must have to get an interview, will be distributed starting at 10 a.m. today. Interviews start at 11 a.m.


Post a Comment

<< Home