Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our Journey With ... The Show

Exactly one year ago, today, I began
corresponding with a production company
by sending in their arduous questionaire
as the requirement to clear the hurdle
of their "second screening" phase.

I had responded to a production teaser
(aka the first hurdle/screening)
that they had released 
for a certain kind of reality show.


Here is that teaser:

"Are you trading in your cul-de-sac for a cabin? Or tossing the kids' toys as you plan to downsize from a McMansion to a farmhouse? A prominent television production company is developing a series to profile a family opting to trade in their status quo lifestyle for something more adventurous and environmentally sound. The story of a family on the verge of a decision that doesn't seem logical to many, but is nonetheless in line with their own convictions."


And here was my initial response to that teaser:
We are inheriting 80 acres of raw land (no electricity/no shelter/no water) in the rolling hills of Oklahoma's National Grasslands ... it was the original family homestead, and no one has lived on the land in over 50 years.

We are already wanting to make an unconventional move, and everyone close to us thinks we are deranged.

We plan on selling our mortgaged home (in a central location of Abilene, Texas) and moving out into the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma ... moving away from being right smack-dab in the middle of a city to being 30+  miles from the closest grocery store.

We dream of building our home by hand, with NO mortgage, and implementing earthen plasters along with other natural/old-fashioned construction modalities. We also plan on gardening and raising livestock for food.

Nothing in our past experience has prepared us for this radical lifestyle change ... we are born and raised as instant gratification-seeking, spoiled citizens ... and, so, we are relying solely upon determination and disgust to propel us forward with our revolutionary dreams.

We have already begun downsizing, and are shifting our focus toward Voluntary Simplicity, and this mindset is foreign to everyone around us but we are wanting to proceed for many reasons.

Please send me the questionaire so we can be screened as potential participants, and please send me more information detailing your production's hypothesis (assuming this is a new endeavor.)

Thank you,


----- Forwarded Message ----

To: ~mc~
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 10:08:51 AM
Subject: Re: Trading in Status Quo Lifestyle for Voluntary Simplicity

Hi Brooke,

Thank you so much for responding to our posting. I must say, your email was exactly what I was hoping we'd receive.

I am with two production companies that joined forces a few years back: Marc Summers Productions and Shooters Post & Transfer.

You might recognize Marc Summers' name; he hosted the Nickelodeon series "Double Dare" throughout the 1980s and 90s, and now hosts Food Network's "Unwrapped."

Shooters Post & Transfer is a long-standing post-production facility currently working on a number of feature films (

Together, the two companies developed and produce the hit Food Network series, "Dinner: Impossible," and have a second series that will premiere in 2010.

Our development department is currently working on a few new show concepts that are in various stages, and that we hope to pitch to networks in the near future. One of these is about a family opting to leave status quo living in favor of something different and new. 

We're looking for a few families who fit the bill and who we can ultimately use as examples when we pitch the series to the network.

You've already told me a good bit about yourselves. Could you also answer the following questions within the attachment, and return them to me with a photo of your family? At that point, we'll set up a phone call if our interest grows.

Thanks so much, Brooke. I'm excited about the possibility of this being a good fit!

Producer, Marc Summers Productions/Shooters Post & Transfer


Our Journey With The Show
will be continued .....
Stay Tuned.



  1. OMG (not a term I throw around loosely), this is so exciting!!! The word "deranged," from your initial response, is the perfect one to describe this process. (And I feel that way as I'm taking 5 days of vacation to sort through my obscenely full storeroom, sell things I thought I could never part with, help my daughters do the same to prepare to move back to their hometown. More to come.) Our dearest friends not understanding, thinking we were deranged, too, is exactly why we left "our mortgaged home (in a central location of Abilene, Texas)." (Of course, we did a 6 year layover in Houston, but we thought we were going to save a passel of money to prepare us for our return to the country. Instead, we again joined the consumer train and drank from the bucket of gotta-have-it-all koolaid until we came to our senses and moved to our tiny west Texas town.)

    I have goosebumps... you know, the kind you get when you realize that somebody "gets" you. How did I miss meeting you when I probably lived not more than stone's throw away for ten years(first, on Oak Street, then on CR 656 past Lemon's Gap, then on CR 150 just off the back road to the town where the High School is - trying to be vague here)?

    We had some fun with TV for a while, too. We were on a summer-long CNN documentary about ordinary folks who quit smoking and lose weight without medical intervention. There were two planned hour-long shows, one at the beginning and one at the end, plus weekly updates by telephone. The first show aired several times but the second one got pre-empted by the rescue of the Pennsylvania Coal Miners.

    Whatever happens, I really hope you guys end up doing something. I would be a loyal viewer. I guess I'm more voyeuristic than I realized. :-)

  2. I know Lemon's Gap very well, and I graduated from that high school :)

    My father was BORN in the gas station at Buffalo Gap ... and my great-grandfather was mayor of Buffalo Gap for over 20 years.

    I am smiling from head-to-toe right now ... YES, you know, that feeling you get when somebody "gets" you?

    (( hug ))

  3. Hey, Brooke. You are so busy with your blog and writing! I plan to buy your Snapshots when I figure out how to download it to my PC.

    I'm enjoying following you on fb, and it is so good to know you are writing. You are amazing!

  4. I am? You made me blush and scratch my head, Sarah ... thank you :)

    I am so glad you found me! I've often wondered about you. This is sooo neato :)

  5. I can't forget your writing and how you were willing to befriend a nerdy traditional college student.

    Saw your house plans. Love reading your blog in verse. Voice is so strong it is like you are talking to me. What a dream. I hope you get closer to achieving it everyday.

    I can't believe your older girls are almost-college age! Is it Lindsey who is going? Where to?

  6. Yes, Lindsey is almost 19 now, and she is going to Hardin Simmons University. Laura just turned 15, and she will be a sophomore. Little Nani will be five in November.

    Thank you, Sarah!

    (Uh ... I was the one out of place there ... heehee ... so WHO befriended WHOM? And you were NOT nerdy!!!!)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...