About a month or so ago, we were contacted by a television production company based in London and California called TwoFour Productions that was looking for 3 families to follow as they abandon modern city life and start on their off grid journey for a show called Risking It All (working title) scheduled to air next year on TLC. Crazy, right?! I quickly called my hubby and Marg and told them about the email I had just received. Okay, we were excited. A little apprehensive about the possibility of having television cameras follow us as we branch out on this new adventure (with hardly any experience under our belts), but still very excited. I mean, NONE of us has any building experience, and we planned to build our other tiny structures, besides The Bumbleshack which is being constructed by Tennessee Tiny Homes, by ourselves. They also said something about wanting “strong Moms who were leading their families off grid”. Translation: we will make you look CRAZY on TV. But we decided to check it out anyway. It might be worth it if they paid well, and the PR would be good for our future little bed and breakfast and possibly my art career. Artists are supposed to be crazy, right? I have never claimed to be normal anyway.
So I emailed back and forth with Cecilia from TwoFour Productions a little bit, and then she asked that we give her a call to discuss the details. I am a total freak about talking to strange people on the phone. DON’T like it. Don’t like the phone at all really. Something about not being able to see the other person’s face and tell what they are thinking. I have gotten worse with age too. So I talked Marg into calling her, hehe!
It turns out that they wanted to start filming in 2 months! Our initial reaction was hell no! We weren’t planning on making the move off grid for at least a year, maybe two. Then she mentioned that the “fee” would pay for our land. Fee? Marg had to clarify that they didn’t mean WE pay THEM. You see, Cecilia is British. Fee means OUR pay, but we weren’t sure! It’s possible that people would pay to be on TV, I guess. Okay, so that would be awesome!!! Our initial hell no reaction turned into a maybe. They said they wanted to film us for 10 weeks, yikes. 10 weeks of camera crews in our faces. We would have scheduled breaks and time away from the cameras, but wow. Still worth it? Hmmm…
The next step was to make a casting tape via Skype with Cecilia. So we got all of us together at our house one evening…hubby, Adelaide, Marg, Scott, me and even little Miss Hazy. We all sat around our dining room table with a laptop in front of us. She asked us to be funny and animated, and to act like we were having a good time, so we busted out some wine and beer to relax. We interviewed with our glasses and bottles in plain sight.
She asked us lots of questions, but the main question she seemed to want a good answer to was, “What is your biggest fear in going off grid?” Good question. Honestly, I am not really afraid. I am excited. And I will be relieved when we are in our own little mortgage free homes on our own mortgage free land. My biggest fear is living in a tiny space with my family of four! But even that won’t last long because we plan to expand to two tiny houses, one for my oldest daughter and one for hubby, Hazy and me. We also plan to have a separate tiny house for a kitchen at some point, or possibly even a covered outdoor kitchen. I got the impression they were looking for people going to Alaska or some other crazy remote place. We will be within an hour of a major city. If we need to go into town to buy supplies, we can.
At the end of our interview, she thanked us and told us that they would let us know in about a week if we were chosen. That way we could get moving on buying some land!
Soooo…almost two weeks go by, and within that time frame I was contacted again by another television show! This time it was Discovery Channel doing a special on tiny home builders and the people who live in them, sort of like a dream builders show. It turns out they wanted to start filming in 3 weeks! What is up with these TV people and their super short time frames?! We considered it. We thought maybe we could do the dream build here on our property in Tampa, but we ended up turning it down. Too short of a time frame, too much stress. We would have ended up with a super awesome Mack Daddy tiny house, but we are already pretty happy with The Bumbleshack anyway. She’s a beaut. 🙂
But before we decided not to do the Discovery Channel show, I contacted Cecilia at TwoFour to see what was up. I told her that we might have another offer in the same time frame and needed to know their decision. She told me that we had been chosen as the first backup! That means if one of the 3 families they chose (I think one or two families live off grid on a boat – yup, that beats us out hands down!) has to back out for some reason, we are up! She said they would give us an extra month to prepare once they give us notice. One month to find land. Can we do it?
What’s going to happen? No clue! Stay tuned to THIS channel to find out!! 🙂