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In 2015, Heath and I were really adamant about paying off our student debt. In fact, during the first nine months of the year, we paid off over 50% (nearly 14K) of our debt.
But then October happened. October happened big. We bought a new RV and since then, we haven’t paid off a cent of our loans. (It’s fine, we’re paid ahead to 2018 anyway).
Let me back up to March though first. In March, Heath and I met the Snowmads “in real life” at a gas station in the middle of No Where, New Mexico. We’d met them online—the way most full-timers meet—and our paths were crossing somewhere in the desert. The Snow’s were on their way to LA to film an episode of a show called “Going RV” on GAC. It’s like the House Hunters of the RV world. (Cue me being internally starstruck that I knew people who were going to be on television.)
Now fast forward to September, when the Snow’s casually mentioned that the show was casting for season 2 and Franklin was kind of driving us crazy. We were sitting still in Austin, Texas, summer was sticking around for way too long and Franklin started feeling smaller and smaller. (Darn you Texas and your never ending summers!)
My husband, being the take-charge, never-say-never, RV-obsessed guy that he is, emailed the casting director of the show with a short message:
“Hey guys, the Snow’s mentioned y’all are casting…my wife and I are full-timers…blah blah blah. We aren’t looking for an RV at the time…If you guys think we might make a good fit for the show… I would love to use this opportunity as leverage to convince my wife it’s time to buy a newer RV 🙂.”
They had a simple response:
“Please use us as leverage!! :)”
You can learn a lot of lessons from this interaction.
- It’s now socially acceptable to include smiley faces in emails.
- Heath and I have very different definitions of paying off debt.
- My husband is literally obsessed with RV shopping and would do anything to make a new RV happen. (Like emailing a production company behind his wife’s back. Ahem.)
Like I said before, we were knee-deep in paying off our debt. All of our money that didn’t cover living expenses went straight to those dang Department of Education loans. We did not by any means have the cash flow to buy an RV, especially not a brand new RV like the tv show required.
This is where Heath, being the cool guy that he is, got really crafty. I won’t go into the whole story, but here you can read more about how we ended up partnering with Winnebago and financing a home on wheels with not a lot of money in the bank.
Once we secured purchasing the RV, we “auditioned” to be cast on the show. This was my second Skype-audition for a reality tv show (long story!) and it’s a lot more like being interviewing for a new job than an audition.
A friendly woman Skype called us from her home, asked us a few questions about ourselves, asked us to talk about our current RV and what we were looking for in a new one, and that was it. The whole call was a little over 30 minutes and a week later they emailed over saying the producers liked us and they would be in touch with possible filming dates.
It was that easy.
I’m pretty sure we were chosen based on the fact that we are decades younger than most RVers plus my husband’s unforgettable hair. Although, I’ll bet our past experiences with film and tv didn’t hurt.
The more I’ve worked in front of and behind the camera, I’ve learned a handful of things about film. So if you want to find yourself on reality TV one day, here’s my two cents:
- Getting cast in a TV show is really easy, as long as you’re interesting (you don’t even have to be likable, just interesting).
- Don’t be deterred when you tell your spouse that you emailed a production company about buying a new RV and then you get into a really long fight about money—they will eventually get over it and think it’s a really cool idea. 🙂
Well, that’s how it worked for us at least!
To read the short bio for our episode—which will be the season premier—check out the Going RV webpage. And mark your calendars for May 4th at 9pm/8pm CST everybody!