Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Show business? or Monkey Business?

Recently I received an email from a reality TV show!  They wanted to talk about me being on their show! A cooking competition reality show!  OK! I'll bite! 

Marcia gave them a call. She spoke with one of the producers of the show. They had watched my video on YouTube of Marcia and me in the kitchen making a salad and thought it was very good.

Marcia had never watched this reality cooking show, named MasterChef, but she had heard of it. They discussed the idea of a "home video" of  us in the kitchen. Something to incorporate into the regular show. They wanted Marcia to come to Dallas for an interview and talk some more!  Marcia loves food and loves to cook! AND they were interest in ME!  What a perfect opportunity to talk about parrot nutrition, cooking for parrots, and parrot safety in the kitchen! (i.e. Teflon fumes, etc.) She was being invited to an open call audition with VIP status! WOW!  Let's Goooo! Weeeeeeee!

Marcia was required to bring a dish that best represented us. She prepared a Quinoa and Apple Salad with Curry Dressing.  It's sweet, nutty, and a little spicy! Just like us! Perfect!

Quinoa and Apple Salad with Curry Dressing
Recipe adapted from here.

1 cup white or red quinoa, cooked according to package. Let cool.
Add the following:
1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped (may substitute any favorite nut, or hulled pumpkin seed or sunflower seed).
2 T. dried currants or raisins.
1 small apple, sliced into 1/8" wedges.
1/4 cup mint or arugula leaves, coarsely chopped.
For the dressing, combine:
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
1 T. finely chopped shallot
1 tsp. curry powder
2 T. lemon juice
Fresh ground pepper
Whisk in 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Toss into Quinoa mixture and stir.

Taste Tested and Approved!
Served on a Wing Plate!

Off to Dallas! 

Marcia arrived, salad packed and with an 11-page application in hand. She plated her dish along with about 40 other applicants all competing to get on the show.  A couple of people walked around the room tasting the dishes and asking questions. The two people who talked with Marcia seemed to be more interested in ME, than Marcia's cooking.  Then the interviewers made their decision. Marcia and only 4 other people were asked to stay and have a second interview! Everyone else in the room was sent home.  WOW!  YAY! Great Job Marcia!!!!!

The Second Interview

Marcia had to stand in front of 2 more interviewers and answer questions about food, and more questions about me were asked! Questions like, "What kind of food do you like to cook?" "Does Einstein always cook with you?" "Does Einstein learn words easily?" "What is your style of cooking?" "What does Einstein say?" "What does Einstein say about your cooking?"  She was dismissed and was told to wait for a decision in the hallway. The interviewer entered and told Marcia to come back the next day for an "on camera" interview! At this point, Marcia became very curious and decided to play along. Yes! She will do the camera interview!

Lights! Camera!
The on-camera interview went well.  Marcia was asked some food and cooking questions, and A Lot More questions about ME!!!  They told her she did a great job and were interested in her doing the next assignment.  They gave Marcia instructions to do the "home video".
BINGO! Great, she thought! Finally getting down to business!  But then... were we? It seems this was just another part of the "casting" process. Others who came that day for camera interviews were given the same assignment. Marcia was excited but confused? Something didn't seem quite right. This bothered her and she thought about it most of the night.

The next morning
Marcia and I decided to get on the internet and do some investigating.  She found this show's website and discovered they had some of their episodes on YouTube.  We began to watch. The first episode involved a lot of people preparing special dishes for a panel of judges. Based on how much the judges liked their food determined if they would move on to compete in the show that season.

As we watched, it quickly became clear that there were some amazing people! Some of them cooked amazing dishes, some of them had amazingly inspirational stories, some of them had quirky and bazaar behaviors or "props".

Mmmmmm, interesting we thought! Suddenly it all became very clear! They were interested in Marcia and me, but only as a gimmick! This is not what Marcia and I are about! It's bad enough that parrots are so misunderstood as companion animals. This doesn't represent who we ARE at ALL!!!

My mission statement
"To entertain and bring joy, to foster the human-parrot bond, and to convey that parrots are deserving of immeasurable amounts of patience, nurturing, and companionship."

Perhaps the first part "to entertain and bring joy" is fitting, but at what expense? We decided that nothing of value would really come of this experience. We sent them a nice email thanking them for their time and gracefully took our bow.

All in all, it was a fun and exciting experience, and one that reminded us of several life lessons.

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
Trust your gut and that little voice inside of you!
To thy own self be true!

1 comment:

Angie Simonsen said...

Einstein, you are one smart parrot and Marcia was very brave to go through such a process! I applaud your decision not to let yourself become a sideshow - you are so much more than an accessory! We love you and cannot WAIT to try that fantastic looking salad!