How To Get On A Game Show
Team games can be fun to try out for. You want to play with someone you know you can have good on-air chemistry and just have a good time with.
Bob Hagh is not only just a BuzzerBlog writer, but he’s also been key in creating a few game show formats that are getting shopped across the world. In 2006, Bob and a group of his friends tried out for and got on a new GSN original show, a revival of the classic 80s word game Chain Reaction. Here, Bob tells me about his experiences and gives his tips on how to excel at an team-based interview.
“When I was on Chain Reaction back in 2007, it wasn’t a solo effort. Throughout the entire audition process, my team was together. We took the test as a group and we played a mock game as a group. A lot of game shows today see an individual doing this process by themselves, and only they have to worry about their image to the casting team. When you are audition for a team game, the producers are looking at how all members in that team intact with each other.”
The more unique and entertaining we were, the better chances we had at making a good impression.
Chain Reaction was heading into its second season on GSN when Bob and his teammates applied. If a game show has enough staying power to earn a second season, the hurdle to getting selected may change. Now that the general audience (of which contestants generally come from) know what to expect, the audition process may expect more from you. “My two friends knew about the show, so when I told them I wanted to bring them in to try out, I told them to watch a few more episodes to understand the main game and the bonus round. This way, when we went in to take the test and play the mock game, we had a good understanding of the flow. While watching past episodes, we looked at how the teams interacted on camera and what their relationships were. The more unique and entertaining we were, the better chances we had at making a good impression.”
Bob noted that part of his success was lots of preparation. “Some folks like to walk in on an audition blind, but in our case, we used the time leading up to the interview as research and practice. Not only did that prepare us for the test portion (it was just a bunch of Speed Chains, like 50 or something we had to complete in seven minutes), but it gave us leg up on the other teams by feeling confident and thorough through the mock rounds. Also, the bond we had that time—three friends sharing the same major in college—also had a good spin to it.”
Demonstrating how you feed off others is a checkmark in the casting producer’s notebook.
In his experience, what did Bob think the casting people were looking for? “Producers want relatable, interesting people on these shows. They want contestants with a fun, entertaining story, an unusual hobby, or an unexpected life event they went through that they could talk about with the host. With teams, find a funny, interesting relationship you share. Sure, ‘best friends’ and ‘couple’ are okay tags, but what about ‘ex-lovers’ or ‘boss and employee’ or even ‘landlord and tenant’? As the audience, you just want to see the reaction from one player when the other screws up an answer. These combos make for interesting dialogue during the show and allows the host to play with those titles as he or she interacts with the contestants throughout the game.”
If you’re planning to audition for a game show that requires teams, heed Bob’s advice. “Team games can be fun to try out for. You want to play with someone you know you can have good on-air chemistry and just have a good time with. With a show that’s been around for some time, knowing just the basis of the game is a good first step in the right direction. It shows you know about the game, and that you’re ready to dive in and play. Also, show your excitement when you get there and be involved in conversation with other potential players. Personality really goes a long way in the audition process, so demonstrating how you feed off others is a checkmark in the casting producer’s notebook.”
Knowing just the basis of the game is a good first step in the right direction.