Hundreds of would-be Donald Trumps and wannabe Martha Stewarts stood in sleet and rain just a block and a dream away from Wall Street Friday, hoping to be chosen for the real estate tycoon’s hit reality TV show or the imprisoned lifestyle mogul’s upcoming spinoff.
Trump showed up to greet them in the street and plug his hit NBC show, “The Apprentice,” and the Stewart spinoff, for which he is an executive producer.
He fulfilled successive television news crews’ requests that he say “Martha Stewart, you’re hired” -- a play on the catch-phrase “You’re fired” that he delivers to hopefuls who don’t quite win an executive post in one of his companies.
Stewart could not be present. Her five-month prison term for lying to investigators about a stock sale ends next month.
“I think Martha’s hotter now than she was two or three years ago,” Trump said. “She’s an amazing woman, she’s shown tremendous courage.”
Thousands of candidates for the fourth edition of ”Apprentice” and for “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” will be seen in 28 casting calls around the country this month, producer Scott Salyers said.
“I’m looking for strong, smart people that don’t give up, don’t know what the word give up is all about,” Trump said.
A line of applicants up to five deep stretched more than two blocks long, starting at the back door of the Trump Building which fronts on Wall Street.
First on line was 31-year-old options trader Sean Grant, who arrived at 4:15 p.m. the previous afternoon and waited for more than 17 hours for his “apprentice” audition.
“I want to go wire to wire,” he said. “First on line and first at the end.”
Third in line was 35-year-old Yvette Diaz, who works in luxury apparel sales. “I’m here for Martha Stewart,” she said. ”What qualifies me is my interest and knack for entrepreneurial business.”
Trump said the main thing he enjoyed about his TV show was that it was a success while others had failed. But he hesitated before suggesting why this might be.
“Because people dig me, OK?” Trump told Reuters.