Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 3

As Jason and I get off the elevator, we see Danielle and she directs us to a row of chairs where we can wait.

I am just on cloud nine but somewhat concerned about what I am wearing. When we saw Danielle earlier I had asked her if I should change my outfit. I was wearing a black, casual dress and knew a bright color would look better on TV. She said I looked great and not to change. Oh well, black is supposed to be slimming, right?

As the crew was setting up, we hung out with Danielle in the hallway and I was hanging on her every word. We talked about some really great inventions that she had seen and about New York City - my favorite city in the world!

Then it was time to get the mic on. Danielle clipped it to the back of my dress and had me to a voice check. Testing, one two three, testing. But as I was finding out, Danielle has a very good sense of humor and told me to do the voice check in a mans voice to confuse the crew on the other side of the door. Being silly helped ease my nerves a bit and we were all cracking up!

I was to stand at the door, count to 5 out loud, open the door and walk in saying, "Welcome to Chicago! I'm Tracy Sanders and I invented The Everything Marinator"!

Once I did that, they stopped filming and I set up The Everything Marinator on a small table with a couple of marinades next to it. Then it was time to start rolling again. Don't be nervous, don't be nervous...

I got through the majority of my pitch but just STOPPED when I had said all I could remember to say. Stopped, just like that. And stood there. I guess I did not even complete my last sentence because Danielle asked me to "finish what I was saying". I got through my pitch in one minute thirty nine seconds.

Of course afterward I remembered ALL the other points I wanted to make like: Because of the design of The Everything Marinator, it uses less marinade! Stop wasting your money marinating your food in plastic bags that take 20 years to disintegrate in landfills! My daughter actually named The Everything Marinator! Stuff like that.

After my "stopped short" pitch, Danielle asked me a few questions off of my application. "So, you were a flight attendant and now you're afraid to fly"?! Tell us about that".
"You used to work on the Ricki Lake Show? What did you do there"?

I took it as a good sign that they asked me some personal questions. Now what I actually said is a complete mystery to me!

A touch of sadness washed over me when Danielle removed the mic from my dress. The casting call was officially over. But that was feeling was quickly replaced by relief. And excitement.

Up the elevator Jason and I went to enjoy the rest of our vacation and tucked inside my handbag was my new prized possession. My "green card".

Monday, June 29, 2009

2nd Day in Chicago

After getting a great nights sleep, Jason and I headed downstairs to find a cafe to have coffee. I was still kinda bummed about not getting a "green card" but wanted to make the best of the vacation time we had left.

I was not going to put make-up on or do my hair but I thought...maybe I should just in case I run into someone in the lobby...

We decided to check out the casting call room to see how many women were there and were surprised to see it was pretty quiet.

Danielle (the casting director) was rounding the corner so I said, "Hi Danielle"! She stopped and just looked at me (we had not met the previous day) so I continued, "I'm Tracy. I was here yesterday with the Everything Marinator".

This is my favorite part...

Danielle says, "You're Tracy?! The Everything Marinator Girl?!?! "We have been talking about you! Do you still have your marinator"?

With the biggest smile, I replied, "Yes, we're staying here at the hotel and it's in the room".

"Great"! Danielle says, "we want to hear more about it and find out how it would be made. I was going to call you and ask you questions over the phone but now we can hear about it in person. Could you come back at 10am and tell us more"?


Danielle instructs me to "wait right here" and when she returns, she HANDS ME A GREEN CARD!!!

Oh, the much sought after "green card"! Written on it was the number 1. I practically skipped up the stairs, I was so happy!

And here Jason thought we were finished talking about the casting call... :)

Jay and I head to go get coffee and go over what I will say in my 2 minute demo. We had thrown out the meat and veggies we were going to use the previous day for the demo so I did not have a "prop" but Danielle had said that was fine.

We both thought it was a good sign that they were "talking" about me and my invention the night before. I wonder if they had already started going over the tapes from that day?

I only drank a tiny bit of coffee...I did not want to be too "wired" during the demo...and we headed back to the room to get ready. Of course I took a picture of the "green card" and texted it to all of my friends. One friend thought I had borrowed it from another girl and was playing a joke on her. Ha ha!

With The Everything Marinator in hand and more make-up applied, we pressed LL in the elevator....

To be continued....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Everyone who knows me knows I love Billy Mayes so it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to a Pitchman Legend, Husband, Father and Friend to many.

I worked with Billy on HSN eleven years ago and he was a total gentleman. Funny, sweet and considerate.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

God bless.

Product X revealed! The first day of the casting call.

My Husband and I arrived in Chicago the night before the casting call and once we checked into the hotel, I went downstairs to the area that the casting call was being held.

As I was looking around, I saw a sign down the hall that said "Line starts here". It was all pretty exciting!

That night I did not sleep much but not because I was nervous but because I was so excited to get this underway!

From what I had read from other women that attended previous casting calls, you could get in line early so I was ready to go at 7am. The casting call was slotted to begin at 9am.

Once we went downstairs I was bummed to see a sign that read "We will open the doors at 9am". Please wait in the lobby". Now it did not matter how early you got there...

Jason and I had over an hour so we went into the hotel restaurant to have breakfast and I was in much need of some coffee. Just as we placed our order, I noticed all the ladies in the lobby getting up and going downstairs! But it was not 9am! It was 8am!

I bolted out of my chair and joined the wave of inventors streaming down the stairs. There was about 30 women and when they entered the main room, they all just stopped. Not me...I knew that around the corner was the sign that read "line starts here". So I casually kept walking past everyone and became "number 1" in line. Thank goodness I did my homework and knew where to go! I wanted to get started as soon as possible so my nerves would not get the best of me.

While waiting, I met some really great people! One girl in particular, Stacey, was so sweet and had the greatest invention! I won't say what it is in case she isn't telling everyone yet but I would buy it!

The doors opened and we slowly made our way to the room where we signed in, had our picture taken with our line number and our invention then...waited some more....

The crew was really nice and made all of us feel very comfortable.

When it was time to go to the "30 second pitch room", I could barely contain myself! I was instructed to stand on the taped "T" ( T for Tracy, of course!) on the floor and "start when I was ready". Oh yes, and"look right into the camera". Luckily Jason was in the room with me so I could drill him afterward about how I did.

My pitch came easily because I just knew it by heart. It went something like this....

"Hi, my name is Tracy and I invented The Everything Marinator"! The Everything Marinator is going to revolutionize the way we marinate today! It has 8 separate chambers giving you the unique ability to marinate up to eight different types of food all at the same time, all in the same container! With eight different chambers, you can give everyone the flavor of marinade they crave! The Everything Marinator is convenient and goes where you go! Take it with you tailgating, to the block party, to the park for a cookout! It's dishwasher safe and easy to store"!

When I was finished with my pitch, one of the crew members that was filming asked me to show him The Everything Marinator and describe it further to him. Then I was told, "thanks, it'll be 8 weeks until we make our decision".

But wait! I didn't get the "green card" I had been hearing so much about! If you are given the "green card" you are able to go on and do a 2 minute demo. Of course I said to him, "But I didn't get a "green card"! He assured me that the only reason you are given a "green card" "is because you could not explain your invention well enough in the 30 second pitch and since I was able to explain what The Everything Marinator did, I did not need to go on to the 2 minute demo".

I wanted to believe him...but I walked away doubtful. It just didn't make sense..if they really liked your product, then they'd want to hear more about it, right?

I waited for the next 10 women to finish their pitch and none of them got a "green card" so maybe it was not the end of the world that I did not get one and I still had a shot. My Husband said so and that's what I wanted to believe, so I did. That is until I heard a lady in the elevator say she got a "green card". Even though I had to go UP and she was going DOWN, I jumped in to hear more about this "green card". She said she was number 20 and was the first women to get the "green card". Her product was a pet carrier.

Poor Jason, he had to listen to me analyze EVERYTHING from that day well into the night.

That was the first day...come back tomorrow to read what happens the second day! It only gets better!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Stay tuned

My Husband and I are enjoying the beautiful weather and yummy food here in Chicago and I am able to relax now that the casting call is over.

I am here typing this in the business center of the hotel so I'll keep it short and sweet...

The casting call went wonderfully and I had an absolute blast!!! Everyone was really nice and I met some great ladies!

But...you'll have to stay tuned to find out what happened...I will post more when I get back to Florida - home of HSN! :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's show time!

Product X is packed and ready to go!

I am so excited that the day is FINALLY here and I want to say a big "thanks" to everyone that supported me in this exciting journey!

Most importantly, thank you for listening to me go on and on about Product X - you have all be wonderful!

It has been fun "meeting" other women inventors via this blog and all the websites I have joined to network for Women Inventor.

This will be my last post until I return from the casting call - just typing that makes my heart pound!!!

So wish me luck, I am as ready as I could possibly be and totally excited!!!!

Until the next post, have a wonderful week!!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Slow it down

Not much longer until the casting call and I am still pitching my pitch to whomever will listen (and to some that don't have a choice)!

The last lucky guy on the receiving end of my pitch for Product X gave me some wonderful advice:


I was so focused on getting in AS MUCH info in that 30 seconds that all my "points" and "features" were being lost in the fast paced rambling.

I can actually talk really fast and at one point thought I should look into becoming an auctioneer but that's another story.

My Brother-in-law (the lucky guy who told me to Slow down) said to pick 3 key points of Product X and just go with that.

Because it was his idea, he of course had to sit and listen to my new and improved pitch over and over and I have to say, he was right! The passion I have for Product X comes through now and I can feel the excitement of the invention instead of the pressure of hitting all of my bullet points.

It may take a village to raise a child but it takes a small city to help me get Product X right!

Friday, June 19, 2009

We all have an invention

What I have learned from Blogging about Product X is that we all have an invention. It could be small and silly or something that we have put major time and effort into!

Some wonderful ladies have been leaving comments about going to the casting call and having the courage to put themselves out there - to take a risk. I am so looking forward to seeing all of their inventions!

It takes a lot of guts to say, "Look at me, I have thought of something great and I am putting my neck out and having the courage to stand up here and show you what I've got".

This may be a "competition" but I'm rooting for everyone! I hope there is room for all of us on HSN!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009


One of the requirements for auditioning for Women Inventor (or what used to be called Mom Inc) is that you have to fill out a questionnaire.

Two of the questions I am having a hard time with are "What is unique about you" and "What are three things that no one would know about you by looking at you".

We all have our sob stories like when I was 28 years old the Doctors found a mass in my left tibia and thought it was cancerous and were going to amputate my left leg. After waiting a very long two weeks to find out, the mass was/is not cancer. Hooray!

During the two week waiting period, I almost lost my job b/c I could not concentrate and that was when I actually went to work. Many days I would just sit in my dark apartment and ponder the outcome. My poor Mom was so distraught that I ended up comforting her and would act like losing a leg was no big deal. My sister insisted on coming to Florida when she really needed to stay in school. My Dad told me, "It's OK, many people live happy and productive lives with a prosthesis".

Going through that taught me SO much and it lead to my ex-boyfriend calling me to see if I was OK (he heard what was going on through a family friend). Because of all the drama, my ex-boyfriend and I got back together and he later became my Husband. Lucky guy!

Another sob story is that when I was living in New York City, I was working two jobs back to back and only had enough money to pay my bills so when my roommate went to bed, I would
quietly pluck the discarded broccoli stems out of the garbage, wash them off, microwave them and yes...eat them.

But you see, this is not the angle I am going for in this questionnaire. Life is good! I am so blessed with such a wonderful life that I only want to share that joy and not use my "sob stories" to define what is "unique" about me.

I do get a chuckle out of these stories though because if you look at the silver lining, my cancer "scare" brought me and my (now) Husband back together - Lucky Me! - and taking care of myself in NY instead of calling my parents for help (aka, money) taught me how to be strong and have the confidence to know I can take care of myself.

My children keep giving me suggestions like, "you're the worlds worst singer" (it's true!) or "you hate doing dishes" (true again!) so maybe I'll just say........

I'll have to get back to you on that! I'm stumped!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ringing in my ears

I hope this post finds all of you rested and ready for your day! As for me, I am typing this with a yawn and a strong cup of coffee at my side.

Although I was tired, I watched the new episode of Pitchmen - my new favorite show - but as I went to bed, I could not get "pitching" out of my head. I tossed and turned all night rehearsing my pitch and hearing Billy Mayes voice saying over and over, "Billy Mayes here with Mighty Putty".

There is a quote I recently heard, "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail". Wow, that speaks volumes!

So prepare I will and I am sure it'll cost me a lot of sleep but hopefully it will pay off in the long run and I'll be pitching my product on HSN!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's an investment

Product X deserves all the protection it can get however, that protection will cost a pretty penny. $2,500 to be exact. That does not include the $1,000 to secure the name I have chosen for Product X or the filing fees.

Being the dreamer I am (and a firm believer in Product X) I was ready to whip out the check book for the provisional patent and promise my Husband that I would not step foot in a mall for the rest of the year. Side note, he was not buying the "not shopping" angle.

I contacted Milojo Productions to see if the invention had to be patented and the answer was "no". My sister reminded me that on the show The Next American Inventor, the inventors that were chosen for the show were given money to secure their invention. Now, I'm uncertain if Women Inventor is going to do that but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I am reading books on how to Patent your invention yourself and protecting Product X via video and writing.

After all, it's an investment and a darn good one if I do say so myself!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Out of your comfort zone

In order to get my pitch perfect, I am practicing over and over but it's not just alone in front of my mirror. I am getting out of my comfort zone and pitching to more family and friends so I know my pitch as well as I know the Pledge of Allegiance.

I just got back from a short girls trip with a very good friend that I've known since High School. On the flight out, I promised not to talk about Product X the ENTIRE time but could she just listen to my pitch "once more?

Once home, the family headed over to my in-laws to visit with some of their friends that were in town. Luckily for me, one of those friends owns a kitchen store and I brought Product X to show her. Did you catch that? Product X is something for your kitchen. Actually, it's something for your kitchen that you won't want to live without!

But instead of just showing her Product X, I pitched it to her. Now, let me set the scene, I have my in-laws watching, the kitchen store lady and her husband watching and my husband whom I am sure is pretty tired of hearing, "My name is Tracy, a mom of two and this is Product X"!

Admittedly, the more I "pitch" the easier it gets but I still get flushed. Then I hold my breath and wait for their thoughts.

The kitchen store lady LOVED Product X and said she would most definitely purchase it for her store! Woohooo!!!! Her husband loved my pitch (he is in sales) and my in-laws are still on board with the idea. My husband...well, he just nodded and headed out to the pool to tend to the kids. I guess he has said all that he can at this point. That does not stop me from asking him what he thought and lovingly he says, "Babe, it's perfect"!

I guess the moral to the story is "the more you get yourself out of your comfort zone, the easier it gets". So far, so good!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Get protection

I have had the idea of Product X for years now but I'm getting anxious about someone else coming out with the idea so I am meeting with a Patent Attorney tomorrow morning to get Product X protected!

Another bonus, I will be able to speak freely about my invention but I'm not sure that'll be a good thing...I might just ONLY talk about Product X!

I keep doing searches for an invention like mine and hold my breath as Google searches (and patent searches on us.gov) but so far, so good...looks like I'm the only one out there so far!

Like any Momtrepreneur headed off to audition for a reality show, I have to get my outfit together. I have the shoes and bag, now all I need is a brightly colored dress/outfit. This is fun stuff! I get to shop and tell my Husband, it's ALL for the show!

And yes, of course I needed new make-up, sunglasses and jewelry...this is a one time shot after all! :)