Cupcake Wars and Careers – It’s Funny Where Life Takes You

cupcake-wars-logoBy Amanda Connor

I assume you read this blog because you are serious about being a freelance writer. I try (humbly) to write each post for an audience of serious freelancers, such as yourself. However, we here at FZ have lives that extend beyond the realm of freelancing. We all have families, and colorful personalities, and hobbies (like turntabling!)

Everyone needs to fly their freak flag. My freak flag comes in the form of wedding planning. I am a hard-nosed editor at heart, but by day, I wear a cape of a different color. I own a wedding planning business, but this by no means makes me silly girl who loves unicorns and sparkles. I take my career(s) very seriously.

Two months ago, I was invited by a friend to audition for a Food Network Show called Cupcake Wars. While I have no professional baking background, lucky for me, neither did my friend, who chose to open her cupcake business on a total whim.

“Let’s try out for the show,” she said. “We’ll make total fools of ourselves! It will be fun!”

I don’t need an excuse to let my freak flag fly. I helped her make our audition tape with the understanding that if I was to do the show, it would be on my own terms. I would wear big NJ-inspired hair extensions (I can say that because it’s my home state,) I would fake tan to within an inch of my life, and I would be the big, loud, obnoxious girl that I was, in all of my glory. Hollywood wasn’t going to change THIS girl.

“No problem,” she said.

Flash forward to last Tuesday. I’m standing in a lovely bar in Boston, surrounded by my friends and loved ones, yelling at my crowd to “please shut up because I’M ON TV!”

We made it onto the show! And to top it all off, two girls with absolutely no professional baking experience WON Cupcake Wars! Merry Christmas to me! And to top things off, I chose the ridiculous outfits we wore and was responsible for coming up with the theme cupcakes we used in round two. No one loves a theme party more than me.

Why exactly did we win? Well, aside from the fact that the cupcakes were tasty, we lived and breathed the theme challenge, we came up with a great idea for our cupcake stand and frankly, we made for good TV. We were the loud pink girls in black and white tutus. If nothing else, we were memorable.

What have I learned from this experience? To remain open to wild opportunities that may pop up at any moment. To stay flexible and versatile in the challenges I’m willing to undertake, even if they do seem totally outside my comfort zone, and that I sound slightly more man-ish on TV than I do in real life.

What did America learn from our episode? Not to judge a book by its tutu cover. We may have looked ridiculous, but if you’ve ever met me (a feisty New Jersey girl) or my counterpart (a feisty British girl,) you’d know that we take our careers extremely seriously, despite what our clothing choices say about us.

In case you missed our Cupcake Wars season 2 episode, it aired 12/21 on the Food Network and was titled “L.A. Kings.”

Amanda Smyth Connor is a SEMPO-certified SEO specialist, has managed online communities and nationwide marketing campaigns for several start-up and  Fortune 500 companies, and has been an editor for more years than she can remember. She also runs her own wedding planning company, Hummingbird Bridal and Events, throughout the northeast.