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November 1, 2005-D.J.
My new burgundy Mitsubishi Galante was in cruise control zipping down I-95 towards Miami. I used my knees to steer he car while rolling the third blunt of my short road trip from Okechobee. An instrumental version of Cypress Hill’s Insane in the Membrane chimed out on my cell phone. I looked a he caller ID. I read Black. He was one of my friends from Okechobee. I turned down my classical music to answer the phone.
“Yo, Black. What’s poppin’?” I asked.
“Hey, DJ. Wassup? I stopped by your place earlier, but you wasn’t there,” Black said.
“I told you last week I’d be outta town in Miami for a couple days on the firs of the month. Black, you smoke too much homes.”
“Word, but you’re one to talk. I be you’re burnin’ right now.”
“Ha ha. Of course.”
“What you got going on in the MIA? You hittin’ up a party?”
“Bad, I might hit a few clubs as well, but I’m really here for that casting call they’re doing for the new season of the Real World. I sent in an audition tape, and they called back.”
“Bad, say word? You’d be perfect for that show. You’re quite an interesting character. You might be too real for the show though.”
“I called ‘cause I was hopin’ to cop some reefer, but you ain’t around so….”
“Well, you can call Doc. He’s usually holdin’.”
“Man, his shit is garbage. I can’t smoke that Bobby Brown. It gives me a headache.”
“I guess you’ll have to make due. Try C-Money. His green is aiight even though his sacks always weigh out light.”
“Bad, you’re right.”
“Imma let you go. I’m a little behind schedule. I gotta get to this hotel before they close auditions.”
“Okay, I’ll holla. Peace.”
I arrived at the Holiday Inn near South Beach in the nick of time. I introduced myself to Bruce Copeland and Nicole Bush, two of the show’s producers. They escorted me to a conference room where a camera crew was waiting to film my interview. I sat in a comfortable chair in front of the camera. Bruce and Nicole gave me my cues.
“Okay, we’re rolling,” Nicole said. “Don’t be nervous. Speak clearly, and look into the camera. Don’t worry about making mistakes. We can edit the footage later.”
“Start by introducing yourself and telling us a bit about yourself,” Bruce said.
“My name is Dewaun Jenkins, and I’m eighteen years old,” I said. “I’m from Okechobee, Florida. It’s a small town, but I ain’t your typical small town guy. I’m kind of a modern-day transcendentalist. Don’t let the big word fool ya. That’s just a little something I picked up in a humanities class I took in high school. I’m a real nonconformist, but I can relate and mingle with folks from all walks of life.”
“Very interesting. What do you do for a living?” Nicole asked.
“I, uhhh…..” I hesitated. Drug dealer didn’t seem like a plausible answer. “I’m currently unemployed.”
“That’s fine. Just tell us an ideal career you invision for someone like yourself,” Nicole said.
“Okay, I’ve always been intrigued by the private investigation profession,” I admitted. “I think that’d be cool, but……”
“But what?” Nicole asked.
“I’m a real thrill seeker. I’d want to do it on a grander scale,” I answered.
“What do you mean?” questioned Bruce.
“You’re going to think I’m a silly goon, but I was really into James Bond movies as a kid,” I started to explain. “I always thought it’d be cool to somehow combine private investigation with the field of espionage. It could be like a spies-for-hire firm that handles controversial cases the other Alphabet Boys won’t touch.”
“That’s a unique idea,” Bruce commented.
“I think it’s a stupid idea, but a boy can dream, right?” I added.
“That’s true,” Nicole agreed. “Dewaun, why don’t you share one of your most embarrassing experiences with us?”
“Sure. I actually spent some time in a mental hospital recently,” I told them.
“Really? How did that happen? Are you crazy?” Nicole inquired.
“Do I look crazy?” I laughed. “It’s a long story. To make is short, my big brother had me committed. The doctors tried to analyze me and mentioned something about a chemical imbalance in my brain, but there were not enough symptoms for a legitimate diagnosis. I was released with a fairly clean bill of mental health.”
“Alrighty then. One more question, Mr. Jenkins. Why do you think we should pick you to be on the Real World?” Bruce asked.
“I’ll keep it short,” I promised. “I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m the shit. Enough said.”
“Okay, we have all we need, Mr. Jenkins. Now, we need you to sign a release form. Even if we don’t pick you, we might use footage of you for a casting special that will air before the season premier,” Bruce explained.
“That’s fine,” I consented.
I left the audition feeling relatively confident. When meeting someone new, I was always mindful of the last first impression. That basically means you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.