Sechelt actor John Conway hopes the worst audition of his life will turn into something positive when it’s viewed by millions next week on The Dragons’ Den — CBC’s hit TV show where business moguls consider investment in entrepreneurial ideas.
Conway took his character The Green Man to The Dragons’ Den stage at the end of April and the Dragons tore his pitch apart.
Conway was looking for an investment to take his mystical green, stilt walking storytelling character to thousands of students across Canada each year.
After managing to navigate a few flights of stairs and an overhead catwalk in stilts and full Green Man attire Conway, said he found no love on the Dragons’ Den stage.
“Nobody was impressed by that at all. When I got there one of them looked at me with this sort of Cheshire-like smile, like a ‘we’re gonna mess you up’ grin and I thought ‘oh lord,’” Conway said.
“It reminded me of being in a dodge ball game when you’re the last one standing and you have one dodge ball and you’re looking at people with five and they’re all smiling at you and you just hope they don’t catch on to throw them all at once.”
The insults starting coming, but Conway said he refused to break character.
“I just stayed gracious and kind because that’s who the Green Man is,” Conway said. “I got hit a couple of times where it took the wind out of me, but they were super, super nasty.”
A performer for 45 years, Conway said he’s never had such a trying and upsetting audition. Needless to say Conway didn’t get a deal from the Dragons, but he was told that about 60 seconds of his 10-minute pitch would air on the show on Oct. 23 at 8 p.m.
Conway hopes his 60 seconds on CBC will give the Green Man the exposure needed to create a demand for his services, but he’s unsure what portion of his audition will be used and how negatively he will be portrayed.
“If nothing else at least in those 60 beautiful seconds the Green Man will be seen by over two million people,” he said.
He’s thankful to the community who helped fund his trip to the Dragons’ Den audition noting some gave encouragement and their expertise as well.
“I felt so much love and support from this community it doesn’t really matter if I got a deal,” Conway said.
Watch him on the Dragons’ Den next Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. on CBC.