I have always wanted to write a story that starts out with, “Wait until I tell you what happened next!” I’ve just never had the opportunity to do so- until now.
A month ago, I wrote a story for this column called Fat and Happy. If you did not get a chance to read it, I suggest you take the time and do so.

For now, however, I will tell you it is a story about embracing your flaws. In fact, I go out on a limb and suggest that you not only accept your flaws, but, that you should be thankful for them.

The story generated a lot of attention. People stopped me at the grocery store to tell me how much the story meant to them. People pulled up in cars with tears in their eyes to share with me how the column helped them. And, a retired police officer went out of his way just to say that the story touched him.

In the last few weeks, hundreds of good folks from Greeneville expressed their love of that particular column. It was shared on Facebook many times and people emailed it to their family and friends. Needless to say, I was very touched by the outpouring of love everyone expressed. BUT WAIT TILL I TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!

It was three in the morning and I could not sleep. I turned on my computer and got on Facebook. The first thing I saw was a post from Robbie Britton. It contained a link that said something about checking your other Facebook messages you did not know you had. I followed the instructions, and found hundreds of junk emails that had been filtered out and put in this secret place on Facebook.

At three in the morning, there is nothing better to do if you can’t sleep but read your mail, so I dove into them. I had only opened a few of them before I got to one that was very different.

It was from a casting director in Nashville who came across my column Fat and Happy. It went on to say that she was interested in talking to me. I replied to the email, giving her my phone number and laid there awake the rest of the night thinking. What on earth could a casting director from Nashville want with me?
Minutes seemed like hours and hours seemed like days, but, finally at 2:00 pm, she called.

Our conversation lasted about fifteen minutes and she told me that she was working with a major production company that is interested in casting a plus size family for their own reality television show.
She went on to say that it was going to be a program that showed a fat and happy family in a positive light. She then asked me to send her pictures of me and my family, which I did.

The next contact I got from her was an email saying that she was moving me up the line to a casting director from Los Angeles. In other words, she liked what she saw and she liked our conversation.

Within 48 hours I was on the phone with another casting director. This time she was calling from Hollywood. We talked for a good length of time as she picked my brain getting to know me. She then emailed me a seven page questionnaire to fill out and asked me to submit more photos, which I did.

The next time I would hear from her would be to discuss setting up a Skype phone call between her and my whole family. For those that are not familiar with Skype, it is a telephone call that is broadcast on your computer screen and allows you to see one another.

Last Tuesday, I got my whole family together and we gathered around our computer awaiting her phone call. 7:00 pm sharp, just like she said she would, she called. We talked and laughed with her for over an hour.

I found a lot of irony in this video phone call. After all, I have spent my whole life overweight and in that time I have done everything possible to prove to people that you should not be judged by your size. However, in this moment on that video call, me and my whole family were being judge by our weight.

Turns out we were NOT FAT ENOUGH! They are looking for a family in which everyone is overweight and in my family I am the only one with a real weight issue.
So, we’re not the right family for the television show that she is currently casting and they are still searching. If you think you are that family or you know a family like this you can contact them through the email [email protected]. Tell them I sent you.

But, that is still not the end of my story. She liked us. In fact, she liked us a lot. She now has us sending her video footage of our crazy loud family for another television project.

There are so many lessons to be learned from this event, not the least of which is to love who you are. Live authentically, and embrace your differences. Just like in my story Fat and Happy in which I credit my flaws for making me who I am, once again, one of my perceived flaws is opening doors to me that would never have been opened without it.

If someone would have told me that my column in The Greeneville Sun would have landed in the hands of a Hollywood casting director, I would have never believed them, but, life keeps reminding me to expect the unexpected. I have no idea where this will all go, if it goes anywhere. I only know one thing and that is…life is mysterious.

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