Yesterday I auditioned for my first ever game show. It was actually my first audition ever with the exception of my improv days in Cambridge, MA. What an experience to say the least.
I showed up at the address I was emailed. I phoned one of the casting agents a few days prior. I was given the casting agent's phone number through a friend. When I arrived there were about 60 people already waiting outside the building. Some were silent while in line, while others seemed to be talking to friends. I walked up to the end of the line and there was a big, Paul Bunyan like fellow at the end. I asked him, "I take it you're in line for the game show audition?" he replied with, "I don't know, I just saw everyone in line and assumed it was."
I thought he was an idiot for saying that. It was pretty clear this was the line for the audition, however, when people just get in line and don't ask questions, it really drives me crazy.
After a few minutes of waiting, we were greeted by one of the producers. She confirmed the game show and asked us to check in with Ryan, the gentleman who was going down the line with the roster of attendees.
When everyone was checked in, we were ushered through the building. We were told to not stray off the path we were being guided. Our group went down some stairs and through a few corridors. We finally were led to a room in the basement of the building. The room could comfortably fit maybe 30 people. About half of us need to stand where there was open space, I was one of them. We were told to fill out a piece of paper that asked for some basic information: Age, occupation, gender, email address etc. Once everyone filled out their papers they were collected and we were broken up into groups of about 10 people per group. I was in the second group to then be led to a smaller room where we shared a 30 second story about ourselves. We were strongly encouraged to be animated and happy and interesting. I chose what I normally choose and that was to be myself.
Everyone gave their own personal reprise of who they were. Most people talked about the city they were from, the sports teams they like and their occupation. I chose to talk about how the book Siddhartha inspired me to live in different cities and try different things. I also talked about my love for wine. I dropped a specific white wine one can find from Burgundy- Chassagne Montrachet. No one had any clue what I was talking about.
When everyone finished, the producers who led our smaller groups exited the room and deliberated for a few minutes. I could feel the uncertain energy in the room. When they came back they listed off four names and asked if your name was not called that your ride on this little adventure had come to its end. My name was one of the four names called and I went back to the original bigger room.
Here we were asked to take a trivia quiz. The quiz's questions ranged from pop culture to geography. The questions were relatively easy. Out of 25 questions I'm confident I got only 3 wrong. Once we completed the quizzes, our scores were tallied and we were called upon to then answer one of the questions at random by the group leader. At this point, we didn't know which questions we got right and which ones we got wrong. I was amazed at some of the responses. I distinctly remember an older gentleman answering the question, "In which state does the Grand Canyon primarily reside in?" He was instructed to talk out his reasoning for his answer. He didn't know for sure which state, and he narrowed his options down to three- Utah, New Mexico and Nevada. After a moment of deliberation he answered with New Mexico. I couldn't believe this man, roughly 50 years old, didn't know where the Grand Canyon was! The obvious answer is Arizona for any half brained readers there might be.
After hearing this response I knew I was at an audition with idiots. When I was called upon my question was, "What human body part is also known as the 'windpipe?'" While I wasn't 100% sure of the answer I knew it was either the esophagus or the trachea. With about 85% certainty I chose the trachea and answered correctly.
After everyone answered their question a list of names was again called out. This time, my name wasn't called and I was asked to leave. The producer did say that 100% we would receive a call from the casting department to get another audition. Whether that is true or not, I don't mind. I am thankful for the experience. I am glad I went into a situation that mildly frightened me. I am a bit disappointed in how clearly dumb some of the people I share this community with are however.