The Start -
In October of 2011 I sent a two-page bio to a casting email. A show about nerds was looking for prime examples. After talking it over with my friends I realized I had nothing to lose and gave it a go. I received an email back in less than 24 hours asking for a video, I was given three days. I was smack dab in the middle of my mid-terms and an orbital mechanics project but I was excited to see what would come next. I finished my video and sent it off. Over the next few months I filled out questionnaires, legal papers, and did a lot of waiting. Life kept going and I looked for internships. Come March 3rd, 2012, I received an email that asked me to come to Los Angeles in the summary to be a part of the final casting selection. I was pretty excited, I had NO clue what I was getting myself into, but I wanted the adventure and I wanted the challenge. Nine days later I received a called from NASA, they offered me a once in a life time chance to come spend the summer at NASA Ames working directly with data from the Phoenix Lander! Naturally, I was going to NASA and turned down the chance to be on season 1 of King of the Nerds.
Fast forward to January 2013, everywhere I went it seemed like I was seeing adverts for KOTN and I was a little jealous. That could have been me. I turned it down. UGH! So, no, I did not watch the first season of KOTN. I tried to put it out of mind.
Early March 2013 came and I received a phone call from Allison, the lead casting director for King of the Nerds. Allison wanted to know if I would try out again for their second season. Heck YES! Lightning can strike twice! I eagerly went through the entire song and dance again, from videos, to legal papers, physicals and psych evals. The same process as everyone else, the same process I’d already completed for season 1. This time I never got a call from NASA or any other job for that matter.
July 10th, 2013 arrived and I took off on a jet plane for LA to begin the final section process. The final selection took place with all of the possible nerds in lock down at a hotel. We had three rounds of interviews. The first two were in front of a green screen talking to a camera, like we would do time and time again in our “confessionals”. The last one pitted us standing in front of network exec, casting directors, directors of the show and production big wigs. No pressure, right? I think It was the Mars rock that won them over. No really, the last thing I did in that interview was ask if they wanted to hold my Mars rock! A real life piece of Mars that was gifted to me by a mentor.
I’d know two days later that I was going to be on the show. That was when the adventure really started. We had to do our photo shoots, our formal introduction videos, and the commercial videos. We were locked away in the hotel for four days, so there was much binging on Netflix. I managed to get through Orange is the New Black while I was there. I also spent a lot of time talking with my sister and my two best girlfriends about what lay ahead of me. Thankfully, they did not take away our computers and phones until the last night of the hotel stay.
I will be honest when I say that I did not go into Nerdvana with a set plan on how to win. Of course I wanted to win. We all wanted to claim the crown. But for me, winning was not my ultimate goal. My goals were all on the private side. I did not want to lose my temper or get overly emotional. I did not want to play the game in a way that would hurt others. I wanted to prove that I could work in a team and that I could play the game being myself. Staying true to the morals that I believe in.
Once I was at Nerdvana and the show had started I stayed as fluidic as I could when it came to strategy. I reacted to what was in front of me at that moment and outweighed it’s consequences for the long term. I knew right off the bat that I did not want to be the first person to go home. Once I made it pass that mark I made the goal to make it to the half way mark, episode 4. At the end of filming Episode 5, I was the only girl left at Nerdvana, so know I knew I had to make it until the last day.
And I did.
For more information check out each episode and I will give you insights and little random facts about my time filming that episode.