This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Get Out Of Town|
As I sit down after a long day's work and turn on the TV, I always hope I'm in time to catch those first three words: WHEEL OF FORTUNE! Although I'm still fairly new to the 9-5 world, switching the TV to the Wheel and Jeopardy! isn't a new occurrence for me. Like many Americans my age, I've been watching these programs for years! Growing up, I can remember thinking how amazing Vanna's dresses were (it was the 80s!), and how it was so cool that her name changed depending on what color she was wearing. Vanna Blue! Vanna Pink! Vanna White! To this day, I have to believe it was my grandfather that convinced me this was the case and that he was just trying to help me learn my colors.
I have always wondered how people made it on to game shows or reality programs, although I never actually investigated the process. One day while watching the show, my boyfriend mentioned that one of our co-workers had been trying to get on the show for years. I thought to myself, "How hard could it be?" so I went to the website and signed up. Having no idea about how the selection process works or how many people enter every year, I did not know what to expect. How long will it take? Years. Will they contact me even if they don't want me? Probably not. Quickly, I forgot I had even signed up, never thinking I'd be contacted. I went on watching the Wheel and Jeopardy!, just as I always had.
It wasn't until months later that I was invited to attend an audition in New York. Things were very busy at my office around that time, and the drive to New York alone was going to take up an entire workday. It wasn't until the week before the audition that I was convinced I should go. My boyfriend asked which I would regret more, going or not going? I realized it was a no-brainer - this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
So my dad picked me up early that June morning, and we drove the 4 hours to the city that never sleeps for my chance to live the dream. Since there were strictly no guests allowed, my dad was ready, book in hand, to wait in the lobby until the auditions were done. Before being called back for the second round, I really didn't think I had a chance. In fact, I met with my dad during a break to see if he'd want to head a few blocks away to wait in line for tickets to see a taping of a show since I wouldn't be much longer. I'm glad I was wrong! I made it through to the second round and finally felt good about my chances of making it onto the show.
Next, I was waiting for a letter in the mail. One week goes by, no letter. Two weeks, three weeksnothing. Did I put down the right address? Was my TV career over before it had even started? Oh well, it was fun while it lasted and trying out would always be a great story to tell. Week four to the day, my phone rangI had made it!!! ButI had to turn down the offer to tape in mid-August. My family had planned a vacation to Italy, and since it was only two weeks away, it was unlikely any plans could be changed. The contestant staff said they'd keep me in mind for the next round of tapings, which would be at the end of the month.
The next offer came while we were in our villa in Tuscany, enjoying a fabulous glass of wine overlooking San Gimignano. I was available this time around, and as soon as we were back from Italy, I headed to LA for a taping. My main problem was who would come with me! My mom was understandably not excited about getting back on a plane so soon, my boyfriend was going to be in Europe on business, and my dad was unsure about his work schedule; the timing didn't look good for anyone else. In the end, my mom, dad and aunt were able to scramble for flights and we were all ready and eager to hit the city of angels.
Needless to say, everyone was very excited. Everyone knows about the Wheel. Well, everyone but one friend who asked if I was going on the game show where you guess the price of things. Oh, dear. Everyone wanted to know the story of how I had made it this far. Find out how my story continues on Thursday October 21 when I spin to win on Wheel of Fortune.