Hi, I was applicant/contestant number 1060 Russ Chadwell. I got to the Los Angeles American Inventor auditions well before call time (8:00am) March 18, 2007, and was close to the front of the line.
Some problems occured that I think the American Inventor team should consider.
One, these are people with prototypes of inventions - some of which may be delicate or fragile. The constant call to "pack 'em in tighter" forcing people to become closer and closer was a very bad idea. Ever seen the movie Titanic? Anyway, if someone is holding a carefully constructed hand-made prototype, the last thing they want is to be butt to stomach with a bunch of strangers who are in direct competition with each other. Give em some space next time, okay?! When I asked to not be packed in so tightly to one of the crew, he just said rudely "If you don't like it, you can stand way out there somewhere"...
Anyway, we really are not a bunch of starry-eyed actor want-to-bees, if someone came off that rude to me and I was holding something of value I would protect the item of value and give the bloke a mouth-full.
On to the next big no-no. After packing in everyone into the front, the camera crew starts firing up the crowd. Understandable, it is a TV show, and got to get that shot afterall. Problem is, with everyone packed in tight, again the situation where prototypes are in danger of being broken. Honestly, I felt like a mother hen trying to protect a delicate egg in the middle of a stampeed!! Then to make matters worse, the crew began telling the tightly packed people to move up some, now move back, make room to this and that. "Okay, now cheer real big! Big energy, big energy" All I could do was fight to protect my work.
And lastly, the hour had arrived - 08:00am and the doors to the Los Angeles Convention Center opened. And what happened? The fired up crowd ignored all rulles of descency and two or three rows of people just pushed for the open door!!!!
I was less than please with that animal-like, circus environment. And they wanted a shot of me being happy while my prototype was being crushed?
ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK:
"IS ANYONE HOLDING ANYTHING FRAGILE? WE NEED TO MOVE YOU ALL IN TIGHT TOGETHER AND HAVE YOU PARTICIPATE IN SOME NECESSARY TAPING, BUT IF YOU ARE CONCERNED YOUR STUFF MIGHT GET DAMAGED, RAISE YOUR HAND AND WE'LL TEMPORARILY PULL YOU ASIDE - OKAY"
There, that wasn't so difficult now was it? Oh, I'm sure I'll get a lot of "hey, it's a show, buck up or get out", but I don't think it would have hurt anyone or anything to simply be certain that everyone wanted to participate in all that 'action' ahead of time. Now, I'm sure they've got plenty of video of good 'ol contestant number 1060 looking real upset and confused - and now you know why.
Incidently, I feel that my experiences ultimately contributed to the show's judges and crew feeling that I was not suitable for television - well I was trying to protect something that was home-made and of high value to me personally, okayt??? A much better unit could probably be made professionally, I was hoping to get help with that, but now, no doubt, the show merely wrote me off as a bad-attitude.
My invention dealt with helping clean up the environment with improved packaging of fluids and gels - that's a multi-trillion dollar-per-year industry globally (that's trillion, with a T ). Pretty foolish to write it all off on account of the fact that I didn't do very well during the cheer session outside that threatened to destroy my prototype.
Thanks, great memories.
Russ Chadwell #1060.