Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm making a career out of this nonsense

A couple of the commenters from my previous post seem to have gotten the impression that I was already booked as a contestant on Merv Griffin's Crosswords. This is not so. I was only going down today to audition to be a contestant.

I am now booked as a contestant on Tuesday.

HOLY CATFISH, PEOPLE! I'm going to be on another game show!

I went in with certain expectations, stemming from my 1 Vs. 100 experience, but this was a much smaller and, frankly, more casual and friendly operation. There were thousands of hopefuls for either 1 Vs. 100 or Deal Or No Deal on my first tryout for that show. Today, for Crosswords, there were 20 people. Yeah, much smaller scale.

First up, we took a test. Three tests, actually, with about 30 questions each. At the front of the test room, a crossword clue was projected, along with the number of letters in the answer. The question was read aloud twice, and then we moved right on to the next question. The pace was swift, and I have to tell you, the questions were pretty darn hard. A lot harder for me, anyway, than the 1 Vs. 100 test.

An easy example: "Plain tuckered out." Five letters. A difficult example: "Historic event from 1337 to 1453." Fifteen letters. I'll let you try to come up with the answers in the comments.

Talking about it afterward, the other hopefuls and I couldn't come up with some answers at all. One was something like, "A flower's protective leaves." Five letters. Anybody?

Anywho. After the tests were graded, nine names were called out to remain, and your buddy Tom was one of them. From there, we went on to the camera test interview.

If you recall from my 1 Vs. 100 saga, the camera test was where I chunked it before. I have stage fright. I get nervous in front of strangers, especially strangers with cameras. (Or candy.) But I have to give credit to the staff of this show: everybody was so friendly and open, it relaxed me completely, and I was very cool and charming and funny during the interview. I talked about comics and my two degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon and I did my Kermit the Frog impression, and in maybe three minutes it was over. And immediately afterward my interviewers said, "We'd like you to come back and be on the show. How's Tuesday?"

Tuesday is very, very good, it turns out. That's unusual, by the way: these things are usually scheduled much farther in advance. But they had openings every day of next week, and I said I was available for each day, so: I'm in!

I'm sorry I didn't get picked for Monday, though: on Monday, one of the potential contestants is going to be picked at random to be followed around by a camera crew from The Ellen DeGeneres Show. That would've been pretty sweet. I even emphasized the fact that I'm from Ojai: "home of Ellen DeGeneres," I noted, "for a short while." Didn't work. Oh well.

I have to note here: there is still no guarantee I will actually get on the show on Tuesday, or ever. They always book extra contestants, just in case, and I might be one of those sent home without a shot. But I kind of doubt it. I think I'm getting in, and I think I'm going to kick some ass.

Now I just have to watch the show, to see how it's played. That's right, I haven't even seen the show yet! It only began airing last week. I caught the last five minutes of one episode, and it looked pretty easy to me, but who knows? I hope I can figure out enough strategery from Monday's show to prep me for Tuesday.

I'll let you know how it goes after the taping. Wish me luck!

Interesting (to me) side note: Blogger's spellchecker includes the word "DeGeneres," but not the word "internet." That seems wrong to me.

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