By now, most of you have probably heard about the car-overheating-turned-bomb-threat-turned-stampede that broke out at America’s Next Top Model Open Call Auditions in Manhattan on Saturday.
If you somehow missed it, read this.
To anyone who knew I was there and may be worried or wondering, I left before any violence or chaos broke out. I was however a part of the massive disorganization and must say I am incredibly disappointed with how both the Park Central Hotel and the NYPD handled the entire situation.
Young women who had arrived at the location of the auditions the previous night, hoping to stake a place in line and be one of the first runway hopefuls to enter the open call, were somehow mixed in with latecomers in the back of the line. Hotel staff had not expected such a large crowd (have they never heard of Tyra Banks?) and the NYPD apparently had not been notified the event was occurring at all, said one officer monitoring the barricades around 2:30 pm.
Each time a group of auditionees were allowed into the hotel, the line surged ahead, with no regard for anyone’s place in line, or anyone’s personal space. I have never felt so much like a herded animal. While lucky enough to be surrounded by very civil and relatively cordial participants, not far behind us girls were yelling, threatening, and fighting. After 8 hours in line (let me repeat, 8 hours in line!), my just-for-fun attempt at becoming a model was no longer fun.
Back aching, knees quivering, stomach rumbling, and utterly exhausted from spending 8 hours with someone’s bony elbow in my ribs, I slid through the opening in the barricade. Stepping out of the herd onto 55th St., I heard jeers of “Oooh, giving up?” from bystanders, police officers, and other model wannabees.
I don’t like to think of it as giving up, especially because I never assumed I was pretty, thin, or interesting enough to be chosen for a reality television program. It was more that I was giving into higher thinking that was telling me to stop wasting my time. Sadly, as the animal-like herding, juvenile yelling and threatening, and superficial beauty critiquing gave way to chaos and violence, it seemed like very few other contestants could say they possess such reason.
Tyra has expressed her concern over the event, and reportedly is trying to find a way to see all the hopefuls who were not seen at the open calls. I for one won’t be going back. Sorry Tyra, but you lost your chance to see my fabulous runway walk.