I was completely trashed by Sunday. I could feel the fever coming on and the muscle relaxers had created... undesirable... digestive problems, but still, I soldiered on. Today was the day I'd get my Dharma Initiative test. It was now or never. Besides, my flight didn't leave until 7pm. I got up early, scoped the place out, asked dozens of people the same questions about the fastest way to get in (there was a bit of a secret to it), and raced to the booth.
"Congratualtions," said the blonde-haired Australian woman I had harangued all weekend. "You're just in time!" I felt ill, yet thrilled. I didn't know a whole lot about the tests, but I did know (from having walked by the booth a million times) that you were videotaped during the interview. I had also heard that there was a live feed of said video on the internets somewhere. I wasn't exactly happy that I was going to be recorded and broadcast in a state of fever and bloatedness, but, eh. I put on a little lip gloss and got over it! I was just happy to get in (by my calculations, only 400-500 people out of over 100,000 got to take this test there... unless, of course, they were able to use their time travel mojo to fit more people into the time slots).
I had to sign a doozy of a disclaimer, signing away the rights to my likeness and whatnot. I even had to sign away the rights to my signing voice. I don't think I've ever signed anything with my voice before! ;) Still, all of this wording was kind of feeding my original suspicion: the winner of this "recruitment" program might get to be an extra on the show (or something like that, anyway- total speculation).
The test was... interesting. Despite my theories, I have NO idea what this is going to end up being about. I found it interesting, though, that the tests were given names and that you could choose which one you were going to take. Maybe that in and of itself is not interesting, but I thought it was very cool that they were all named after moons of Jupiter- most notably, the Galilean Satellites- my most ambitious experimental liquid crystal film project to date! How serendipitous! I chose "Callisto."
I was hoping that the name of the test meant that we'd be quizzed on our knowledge of said moon/mythological figure. I would have swept it! Alas, it was more of a psychological test. Needless to say, my psyche wasn't in the best condition, but I sucked it up and put on a happy Dharma face.
I was ushered into a booth by a hot guy (no pics, sorry). There was another cute guy in the booth. Forgive me for being shallow for a moment, but Comic-Con isn't exactly filled with smiling male hotness, so it kind of stands out. To be fair, the Dharma women were also very beautiful, as you can (kind of ) see in the pic. Fantastic. Two hot guys and a potential "audition" taping of sorts and I feel like crap!
They were very friendly, though. I tried not to be nervous. I sat down... in the wrong chair. D'oh! I sat down again. Okay. First objective met: sit! Before I even started answering questions, guy #2 observed and took notes (I shall call him "The Silent One" because he said almost nothing the whole time). Guy #1 explained how everything was going to go down.
I was given a set of headphones and told to watch a television screen. A female voice spoke to me. I was told to hold a number up to the camera and state my full name, looking into the camera. I noticed that the camera I was told to speak to was NOT the one doing the recording- there were two other cameras on either side. If this had been an actual interview, I'd have freaked out completely. Who was on the other side of those cameras?
A countdown commenced. I was asked to say the word "continuum" three times, louder with each iteration. I was asked how I felt. The test continued with other questions ("If anything is possible, is nothing also possible?") and a series of images for which I had to say the first word that came to mind. The test ended by asking me what peace sounded like. I think it was peace, anyway. Something tranquil. "Water" was my answer. Most of this test is available online at www.dharmawantsyou.com for anyone who wants to play along. The only real difference is the pressure. The online test is multiple choice and NOT videotaped. Also, I think there is only one test.
I passed! Okay, I haven't heard of anyone not passing, but I was told that they liked that I seemed confident in most of my answers. Yay me! I was given a card with a number and a bar code. I was told I was not to show anyone the card or the number, and that if I did, I would be disqualified. I have used the number so far to register on the site, but the bar code has not come in handy yet.
I had decided to head to the airport immediately after my test so that I could try to get on an earlier flight, or, failing that, at least sit still and watch some videos for a while. I ended up sitting at the terminal for several hours and finally arriving in Denver at midnight. By the time I got home, I felt awful. I basically slept for the next three days. Oh, and I made an origami crane out of the Dharma flyers from Comic-Con (instructions for doing so were printed on the back):
(For those who don't watch "Lost," the Dharma Initiative is a group that is associated with that show and this is part of an ARG/viral marketing campaign for the next season.)