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How To Get On A Game Show

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If you don’t get the gig, don’t beat yourself up. There will always be another game show.

Christian Carrion is also not just only a BuzzerBlog writer, but also the epitome of excitement and passion for game shows. And it shows: he keeps getting on them! He’s won a sofa on the Price is Right, made #TeamMeowMeow a household hashtag on the Chase, almost stole Merideth Viera’s job on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. In this essay, Christian discusses his various hits and misses in the world of signing up for game shows.

“While proper gamesmanship and general knowledge no doubt have a place in the tryout process for some shows, you will not have a successful audition if you come into it solely having prepared to play the game. A socially inept applicant who knows exactly how much to wager on any given Daily Double will not make the cut. Game show auditions are mainly about personality. What the casting director sees in those precious few moments is who you are to them. Never mind the fact that you’re always a happy person, or that all of your friends say you should have your own TV show, or that you’re the life of the party every other day. Your audition is your chance to become the person you want to be, and to make the impression of yourself that you want to make. Arguments at home, crappy day at work, bills, insecurities…leave them all at the door. None of it matters. The people you’re auditioning for have no idea who are you or what you’re about until the second you begin talking to them. Turn the happy on.”

A socially inept applicant who knows exactly how much to wager on any given Daily Double will not make the cut.

“Game show contestants, like most humans, are round characters. They are an amalgamation of the various experiences, heartbreaks, setbacks, interests, challenges, and triumphs that make a person who they are. Television thrives on round characters. Therefore, it is important to present all of yourself to the casting director when explaining who you are. Talk about your interests, no matter how narrow or esoteric they may be. What do you collect? What do you enjoy? What got you interested in those things? How do those interests connect with what you ultimately want to do with your life? Who loves you, supports you, cheers you on at home? If they’re not family, how did you meet them? Answering these questions paints a three-dimensional picture of yourself for people who may have never met you before.”

“Perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give is this: If you don’t get the gig, don’t beat yourself up. There will always be another game show. Say that out loud: There will ALWAYS be another game show. If you’re reading this on Buzzerblog, you’re probably fortunate enough to be a game show fan. Luckily, this genre which we both love so much is one that has existed since the birth of mass communication. Networks love game shows because, compared to scripted series, they’re dirt cheap to produce and they practically pay for themselves, what with the ad revenue and all.”

:We (as well as millions of viewers around the world) love game shows because they are the most pure form of excitement, happiness, and fun that can be found on television. Their popularity has endured for the better part of a century, and that trend can only continue. More people are watching screens than at any other time in our history. The game show is a cornerstone of communication that will never, ever go away. If one game show doesn’t take you, try another. And another. And another. After a while, give that first game show a second try. Search for ‘game show’ on New York and Los Angeles Craigslist. Bookmark that search and check it every day. Send your info everywhere. Don’t say no to an opportunity.”

I’ve been on half a dozen game shows since the day I turned 18. So can you.

“One of the prevailing ideas in the game show circle as of late is the notion that game show casting is all about looks, and that a dumb attractive person has a better chance at becoming a contestant than an intelligent, less-attractive person. This is a lie. Casting directors and producers are tasked with finding genial, exciteable, attractive people who can also grasp game rules and strategies. These standards reflect those of television as a whole, going back to the earliest days of the medium. Looks are as important in the contestant selection process as they were on the most popular game shows of the 50s and 60s. That is to say, not very. I would argue that any casting company or game show producer who emphasizes the good looks or physical attraction of a contestant over his or her knowledge or gameplay skills doesn’t know what they’re doing and would be of better service to the game show industry by not existing in it.”

“A genuinely friendly person who displays excitement for the game, has a competitive yet fun-loving spirit, possesses a fair degree of general knowledge or verbal aptitude, and can relate unique or funny personal experiences to the casting directors has a better chance of making it onto a good game show than any airheaded model. I’m 240 pounds, I have a beard, a birthmark on my right foot, one of my teeth is slightly recessed, and I stutter. I’ve been on half a dozen game shows since the day I turned 18. So can you.”

If one game show doesn’t take you, try another. And another. And another. After a while, give that first game show a second try.