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We held our first public audition for television talent as part of a new campaign for Tumbleweed Restaurants and it was very enlightening! We spent two days in the restaurants personally inviting select patrons and then sent out press releases to several media outlets. We had no idea how many would come. And for two days I prayed that God would send us just the right mix–and amount–of Tumbleweed fans for our 4-8pm “cattle call.” And since we were going to be outside in a tent, I also spent a fair amount of time praying for good weather. Well, my prayers were answered. We had about 115 people come through and we never saw a drop of rain–when just north of us–storms were wreaking havoc in the form of flooding and tornadoes. Oh, the power of prayer!

I worked the “processing” portion of the operation with another employee, Danielle Carter. She and I tag-teamed on gathering the “talent’s” contact information and signed releases, processed them through a short visit with make-up and then sent them into the tent where each person gave us 2-3 minutes of why they love Tumbleweed in front of a green screen. This is where it got interesting. Some folks were just “naturals’ in front of the camera. They oozed with passion about Tumbleweed’s Monday Margaritas for 99¢, their mesquite-grilled steaks, chile con queso and “world-famous” burritos. The kids were funny because they were either “hams” and talked up our cheese pizza and chicken strips or they froze and wouldn’t utter a word. You could tell some kids were there because they had “stage” moms.. We even had some bonafide actors trying out and they brought headshots and resumes, showing up “camera-ready.”

Everything went swimmingly and we ended the night with a few pitchers of ice cold margaritas, after hearing so many people talk about them! Tumbleweed CEO, Matt Higgins and COO, Mike Higgins personally greeted and thanked many of the “fans” who came to “try out” and later commented on what a “WOW” it was to hear these loyal users talk about what they liked most at Tumbleweed.

It took about 3 business days to render all the footage and post it on Tumbleweed’s YouTube channel so that everyone who auditioned could see themselves in “action.” We’ve spent the week cutting together some :30 TV spots that will air on June 20th.

And meanwhile the viral part of our strategy seems to be working. We’ve had a few thousand views already and the footage has only been posted for three days.

I can’t wait to go to the next city and stir up some more excitement for our Tumbleweed client with our “Right on the Tip of Your Tongue” TV Tour.

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Chaney Given

Chaney is a talented and accomplished designer and illustrator, who has expanded his skill set to include motion graphics and video editing. With nearly a decade of experience, his client work includes Waterstep, Baptist Health, the Archdiocese of Louisville Catholic Schools, First Harrison Bank, and many more