It has been a very crazy, busy week for me, but I won't even get into that. Actually, that has been great because I didn't have time to dwell or get nervous about the interview tomorrow.
A couple weeks ago, after I was informed that I made it to this level, I began receiving contacts left and right by people from the TV company. There were phone calls and emails like crazy. It made me wonder if I was a famous person already and didn't even know it....just kidding, but I feel like I understood maybe a bit of what it was like to be a star. The only difference is, stars have someone who handles all of their business for them, they don't take care of these things themselves.
Once I chose my first and second choice of days to fly to LA, I was contacted by the casting director. She needed some information so airline tickets could be purchased. She also wanted to know if I could I fly out early in the morning? Did I want to spend the night in LA with any friends/relatives, or fly back home the same day? Yes, an early morning flight was fine and I chose to fly back home. Off she was to book my flight!
A bit later I received an email from her asking about airports and would I fly out of San Jose instead of Oakland airport as the only direct flight was out of San Jose. No problem! Each airport was about the same distance from where I live.
It wasn't much later that I received confirmation of my flight. I had been wondering how "early" she would book my flight, as I really am not a morning person. Of course at this point I would leave at 1:00 am if they wanted me to! I peaked at the time...what an angel, I wasn't leaving until 9:00am! Not early at all! Anything between about 4 and 7am would have been early to me.
Soon the casting director emailed me again and wanted me to send her some "good" pictures of myself, as they were setting up my portfolio for the interview. She wanted me to give her more information regarding my Swedish heritage also.
This was something I didn't feel I had very many of, good pictures. I admit I am extremely hard on myself when it comes to a good picture. It wasn't like I was prepared for this and had gone and done a photo shoot or anything. Thankfully, most of my photos are on my laptop, set up in Picassa so that I could easily go look at all the pictures of myself. It didn't take as long as I expected to choose three or four photos, I think those was all I really liked anyway.
Next, a person that was working with the TV company asked for contact information of any living relatives that I was aware of in Sweden, along with a report detailing what I knew about my ancestors from their country. Before I completed this I emailed my cousin Janne, and asked permission to list him as a contact. Janne is so wonderful! He said he would do anything the company or I needed and proceeded to give me all the information I requested.
I promptly started putting a little report together, "what I knew" of my Swedish ancestors. This was a bit difficult as you can imagine. Being the family historian I could have easily gotten carried away giving them an overload of info. Do I send them ancestor charts? Do I give complete history and dates of everyone? Pictures? Stories of their lives? I decided I had better read the message again and try to narrow down these choices. An excerpt from the email the gal in Sweden sent me reads as follows ~
"It would be great if you could send me some more information about you Swedish heritage, names, years and locations, anything is helpful.
You also mentioned a distant cousin in Sweden; do you have some information about him?
The part that gets me is where it says " anything is helpful." I decided to give basic information from my ggrandmother forward including when my grandfather came to this country. I am not super confident yet about who my gggrandmother or gggrandfather were, so that made it an easy place to work from. I also told them that my cousin Janne has all the info from his direct line and the connection to my ggrandmother. The biggest brick wall is that no one knows who my grandfather's father was, his name is not given anywhere, not on my grandfather's birth certificate, baptism records, nothing. So I really wanted to make that point to them. Finally I let them know that I would be more than happy to give any further information I have, just wasn't sure at this point how much they wanted. I sent my report to the casting director and also to the person who was working with the TV company.
The casting director was wonderful. She answered any and all questions I had. She reassured me everything was being paid for as far as flying to LA and the transportation to and from the airport. She confirmed that at this stage there were 40 people being interviewed and that 10 would be ultimately chosen. She confirmed also that the final call back interviews were being held in LA and New York City.
There was still more to cover before my flight and the casting director was so busy that another gal from the company in Sweden was calling me and making sure all of the final touches were taken care of and that I didn't have any further questions.
She emailed me the final information which stated that I would be meeting at 12:00 pm tomorrow with her, the casting director and the director for about 45 minutes at a hotel in LA. All of the travel and transport information to and from LA was explained along with a map of where I was going and their phones numbers if needed. It was also said that they were going to do a bit of filming during the interview, to again see how we look on camera.
A section of this information had a greeting which stated...
Happy to see you!
We never expected that so many would want to participate in The Great Swedish Adventure, we have had over 1000 applicants and interviewed over 100 people to finally get to the final 40, so you should feel special, no matter how things go.
So sweet, I do feel pretty special! Everyone involved with this company has been so wonderful!
They would like for me to bring my passport or a copy of my passport, which thank goodness is current! When I arrive I will be given a packet of paperwork, about the show, per diem, insurance, etc. There will also be a health declaration form for me to fill out. More statements from this information says...
It looks like we will start recording the show in Sweden around the first of June,
if you are selected you could be in Sweden between 8-30 days.
As mentioned before we will of course pay for your flight to and from Sweden and accommodation during the recording time.
Everybody that has made it this far, will be notified by us if you get selected or not, probably and hopefully by the 21st of April.
They really covered everything! They are very welcoming and wish us all good luck. The only thing they wouldn't do, darn it, is...
Since this is a competition, we will not tell you what the challenges are, but you probably understand that.
Well, I wish they would at least give me a hint...
Ok, with this very long post everyone is fully updated. I apologize for such a long post, but I wanted everything documented and caught up to date at this point. (Do I see a chapter in a book about myself here?) I am thinking I need to set up those candles and the Swedish Fish shrine as Heather Wilkinson Rojo suggested. Bummer though, the prince and princess ate all the Swedish Fish so I will have to go buy some more...For now though, I really must go figure out my wardrobe for tomorrow...do I need to go shopping? Nothing like waiting until the last minute. Maybe I should borrow Sheri Fenley's genie outfit, rub a little lamp and just make dream come true...
Thanks for stopping by!
Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!
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