We continue our exclusive Q & A series with Top Design contestant John Gray.
1. How did you hear about the show?
I heard about the show from a Chicago casting company, a year prior a really good friend of mine who is an actress saw that they were having auditions for "Design on a Dime" in Chicago and e-mailed them about me. So to make a long story shorter she contacted them and they contacted me to come in for an audition and I did. I got a phone call from the casting (O'Conner casting) saying they remembered me and thought I would be great for this new show they were casting for and wanted to know if I was interested, my first instinct was no until I heard that is was for Bravo. Once I heard that, I was all in.
2. Where did you audition?
I auditioned in Chicago I think twice then they flew the top 24 out to L.A. for final auditions and then they had to cut that down to 12. It was a long process and they are very thorough, from intense background checks, credit checks and physiological evaluations. I remember several other people from Chicago that I was convinced were going to make the show, but they didn't end up on it. I found the process to be fascinating.
3. What is unique about you? What do you bring to the show that no one else can? What are you really good at?
The biggest thing I promised myself was that I was only worried about what my friends and family would think. Since they know the real me and love me unconditionally, I really didn't want them watching the show and turning to me and saying "Who is that?" or "You didn't act like yourself, Why?" I felt like not only would I have lost some respect for myself but they would have possibly. I told the producers and casting who I was and what I was all about they cast me for that it would have been very dishonest or inappropriate to be anything other than myself.
What a great opportunity to be able to watch myself and look at how others perceive me and be able to critique myself and better myself. Really look at how I treat other people and interact. I really hope that this experience will help me on much bigger level to be a better person, I know that sounds very cliché' but it's the truth. Let’s face it who is going to remember this a year or so from now? It will fade eventually it is truly 15 if not 10 minutes of small fame. I have that in perspective. I don't mean that to take away from the excitement or the fun of it all I embraced every minute; it was once in a lifetime experience.
4. How did you learn that you made it onto "Top Design"?
I learned I made the show on a Friday afternoon around 2:00p.m.. I was standing outside a Starbucks in Andersonville and when Kat told me I was invited out to do the show I screamed so loud a car alarm was set off right next to me, besides being very exciting it was a tad bit embarassing. There were people sitting outside at the cafe tables with their dogs.
So I kind of just smiled and bowed and walked away smiling ear to ear as they laughed with me, well probably more at me. Nonetheless we all were smiling!! Is how I look at it.
5. Where will you be watching the show?
I will be watching the show at home in Zion with 2 of my sisters and family about 5 or 6 of us, a lot of friends want to throw parties and are inviting me to come over but the last thing I am gonna do is watch this in a room of gay men. NO SIRREE!!! I know nothing I will do or say will shock my sisters they'll just laugh and be positive about it, my gay peeps and friends may tend to give me a complex about things. Trust me I'm hard enough on myself.
Thanks so much, John; we're going to look forward to talking with you about what it was like to watch yourself on television and about the things you learned from the experience.