Monday, January 25, 2010

My sanity's in Jeopardy

Tomorrow night, I will make my sixth attempt to win a spot as a contestant on a game show. At this point, steely determination has been replaced by weary resignation, but I am still maintaining a tiny shred of hope. You won’t find me blogging, Facebooking, or checking email at 8:00 p.m, like I do most weekday evenings. Instead, I will be sweatily staring at my laptop screen, trying to make the dogs leave-me-alone-already-for-goodness-sake-don’t-you-have-toys-or-something?, and searching every corner of my poor wee brain for information about South American lakes and the name of President Hoover’s dog.

As far back as I can remember, I have wanted to compete on a game show. When I was a little girl, I used beg my grandmother to let me be on The Price is Right. (I was not mollified by her explanation that it was filmed in California, and we were in Kentucky, and I was not, at four, really the appropriate age to be a contestant.) As a trivia-loving nerd, I’ve always wanted to have the chance to embarrass myself on Jeopardy, but Kentucky is not very high on the list of audition sites for most game shows. So, I resigned myself to watching (and yelling answers at the TV) at home.

But then Who Wants to be a Millionaire exploded, and suddenly game show audition opportunities were popping up everywhere. Like Louisville, which is a very doable hour-long drive from where I live! The Weakest Link was holding tryouts, and my aunt K and I decided to head on over and check it out. (Unfortunately, we got stuck in traffic and were running late, so she ended up parking the car instead of going into the audition. I felt terrible.) After an exhausting, day-long tryout process, I was told that I had passed all of the tests, including the mock game, and that I might receive a call to compete in the next six months. About two months later, the show was canceled. So much for my shot at being publicly humiliated by Anne Robinson! (In retrospect, it was for the best, since I probably would have burst into tears when she yelled at me.) A couple of years later, K and I were delighted to hear that the Jeopardy folks would be making a stop in Lexington…and we could take the test! We waited in a loooooong line in a car-dealership parking lot, and took turns assuring each other that—really!-- we would be perfectly fine if only one of us passed the test. When the moment of truth arrived, we learned that we had both failed. Yet another disappointment for the game-show wannabees.

In recent years, Jeopardy got smart, and realized that they could increase their contestant pool exponentially if they would offer online tests. I have participated in the past four test cycles, spending the nerve-wracking, hive-inducing half-hour test time blanking on answers in all of the categories I know the least about (Geography, Art, Sports, and US Presidents, in case anyone is interested). To prevent cheating, you don’t find out how many questions you answered correctly—you only receive notification if you pass the test, and are chosen at random to attend an audition. I kept track of my answers last time, though, and I know I missed at least 25. Out of 50. People, this test is a killer. So, you can see why I’m not getting my hopes up too much. But maybe, just maybe, the test categories will fall my way. Maybe I’ll be dealing with questions about pop culture, 80s music, food, celebrities, fashion, TV, shoes…you know, the things I actually know something about. Wish me luck! You’ll be the first to hear if I get called to Chicago to film an audition.

The little Whammy guy came from here.


Anonymous said...

I hope your dream comes true!

The Bilslands said...

oh, i would soooo love to be on Jeopardy (although I would def. lose), my hubby and I watch it every night!! maybe we will see you on there, Good LUCK!!


absepa said...

suzicate: Thanks! All fingers are crossed.

The Bilslands: Thanks so much, and thanks for commenting, too!

Kathy said...

How did it go? How did it go!!!???

My husband and I had our own little game show right in our kitchen the other night. He forgot to pick up the receipt after grocery shopping and so in order to know what to record (roughly) in the checkbook, he held up each item and I had to guess what it cost. I cheated a little and looked some up online. FYI, a 48oz container of Welch's grape juice is $3.99.

I'm curious when we get the bank statement how close I got to the right prices.

Annnnnyway.... let us know how you did. You're my hero for even trying out.

Aunt K said...

Too fun! I remember both those trips, by the way. I thought we were both going to be on Jeopardy! No way they could pass us up.

Good luck with the testing....I've always wanted to try "Who Wants to Be A Millionheir?" I think on the testing for that one, however, you'd have to dumb it down a bit...if you're too smart, they might think you'd win too easily.

absepa said...

Kathy: Sorry...WAY late on responding to your comment. I don't know exactly how I did, but I think it was better than last year. If I get called to Chicago to audition, everyone will hear about it!

You guys played the home version of The Price is Right! If you got close on the prices, you should take a shot at the show. You could meet Drew Carey.

absepa said...

Aunt K: I was so glad we went to those tryouts together! It wouldn't have been nearly as much fun by myself.

I think you would be great on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, but I would kill myself in the fast finger portion. My digits don't work that fast.