Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No Lucy, You Can't Be In The Show

So I decided to try and cross a few things off my bucket list, and I've always wanted to be on a game show. But not just any game show. I have no interest in any show where I have to jump up and down, mindlessly applaud myself or fall on the floor when I'm offered a car. I want to be a contestant and hopefully win some money, but escape with my dignity, or the illusion that I have some, intact.

So I arranged for an audition to be a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. By arranged, I mean you go to the Millionaire website and find the link for contestant auditions. Basically , since I live in NYC where the show is taped, all I had to do was request a couple of days for an audition when I was available and they answered within 24 hrs via e-mail.

So Monday evening at 6:30 was my audition date and time. And I got lost. In NYC. Where I've lived for 20+ years.

The ABC studios are located on W 66th street. And I've absolutely walked by there on many occasions. But I didn't really "know" know where the studio was located? Y'know? So when I got on the subway I was planning on getting out at 57th and 7th, which would have put me about 9 blocks and 15 minutes away from where and when my audition was. But at the last minute I second-guessed and stayed on the train until 59th & 5th. And when I got off the train I was outside Central Park. Somehow I ended up heading west instead of north, and when I started to panic at the thought of being late, I tried to cut through the park and found myself completely opposite where I needed to be, on the east side of Central Park. I finally had my bearings but realized I was screwed.

So I ended up running and walking up 5th avenue to 66th street and then across the park to the west side. By the time I arrived at the ABC studios I was sweating like a pig, gasping for breath ... and late for my audition time. I was put 1st in line for standby at the 7:00 audition. Which was actually a blessing as it took the full 1/2 hour before I stopped sweating buckets and my shirt was reasonably dried out.

I got in with the 7:00 group of auditioners, about 30 people in all. And the audition is actually a test. You are handed a souvenir magnet, a manila envelope with the test inside, and a scan-able answer card with a No. 2 pencil. The test is 30 multiple choice questions, and you have 10 minutes to answer them. It goes by fast.

I thought I did well on the test, which is a mix of pop culture questions just like on the show. I only struggled with about 7 or so out of the 30. By my reckoning, I got about 22-23 out of 30 questions correct. But I guess that's not good enough, as right after the time is up they collect the scan cards and feed them in to a computer. About 2 minutes later they are announcing by number who has passed and will go on to a taped interview with a producer, and who has failed. About 3 minutes later you are out on the sidewalk where you started.

Or rather, I was.

You are, of course free to take the test another day, and as many times as you like. I overheard one gentleman talking on the phone that this was his fourth attempt, And his fourth failure. I suppose I might someday, as I abhor being told I can't do something. I at least would like to pass the test, even if I get rejected at the interview. I don't like feeling too dumb to be on Millionaire. It makes watching the show and screaming out the answers infuriating instead of fun.

I threw out the souvenir magnet.

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