It all started when I got an e-mail from my friend Esther. It was only three lines long, but I knew that it would change my life forever:

Hey, ABC and MTV are auditioning for a new Backstreet Boys-like band on Thursday. You should go out and audition for it.
There was no way in hell that I was letting this one pass me by. Even though I had less than 48 hours to turn myself from a corpulent, arrhythmic desk jockey to a gleaming, glittering hunk of teenage masculinity, I was confident and ready. With the help of some trusted friends, a little bit of luck, and a whole lot of showbiz magic, I was going to score the part and dance my way into your hearts.

Well, obviously, that didn't happen, or else I'd be somewhere in Florida snorting cocaine off the concave bellies of tan-skinned third-class models instead of writing this article. But where I failed, you may succeed. By following my advice, and learning from my examples, the next time a boy band audition comes through your town, you'll be ready and waiting to catapult yourself to stardom. Make us proud.

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