This Week's Contestant
|Hometown:||Colorado Springs, CO|
I was three years old, standing in front of my television, posing, turning letters and quietly clapping just like Vanna. Fast-forward twenty-five years and I was taking the first step to being on Wheel of Fortune and cultivating a quarter-century old curiosity. You could say that Wheel is an obsession of mine and I blame the three generations before me. Some of the fondest memories of my childhood were spent watching Wheel with my Mom, Grandmas and Great-Grandma. We have now passed that family tradition onto my daughter. You could say that I love this game, but that would be a gross understatement.
When I heard that the Wheelmobile was coming to a town near me I started making plans immediately. I was going to be there for the first round even if I had to camp out overnight.
Two friends and I drove an hour or so to see the Wheelmobile on the day that it arrived. I was intent on being on-site three hours early, they, on the other hand, thought I was nuts and we compromised on arriving an hour and a half early. We stood in line and received our yellow applications. I believe I reviewed my information ten times before I felt it was the best snapshot of me. This was my one chance and I certainly wasn't going to take any chances. We moved into the audition room to place our applications into a bin. I gave my application a good luck kiss before it left my hands. There must have been at least 500 other people in that room. With music playing, I began to dance and sing. I initially did this to calm my nerves, but then felt that it may help me to get noticed.
The emcee came on stage and began explaining the process. As he was speaking my friend looked at me and prophetically said "Round 5."
As the applications were being called for the fifth round, the third one pulled was mine. I heard 'Kear..." called into the microphone and began screaming like a little girl. I began bombing towards the stage. I gave my on-stage introduction and played a game with four others. It was explained to us that if we were selected, we would hear something in a few months.
Four weeks to the day afterwards, in typical fashion, I came home from work and checked my email. I scanned through my inbox to delete the junk mail. While doing such I noticed one email that had WOF in the subject line. My initial thought was that it had something to do wrestling, but then it dawned on me - this was it! I opened it immediately and read that they wanted me to return for an additional audition in one week. I was there!
I arrived to the second audition with about ninety others, including my friend! We made it through the first cut and then played a simulated game. I followed the directions given by the Wheel representatives. I spun the wheel, called out clear letters and made logical decisions. I needed to make an impression because the other players were really good!
On my way back to work I called my Mom to tell her how things went. I was excited that there was a possibility they could choose someone to tape the following week. I told her that there were other potential contestants that were better than me but, "Mom, I am so proud of myself for making it this far. If nothing else happens, I can say that I did this for me and followed a dream that I had held on to since I was three years old and masquerading as Vanna."
When I arrived back to my office and logged into my computer, I saw a meeting request for 2:00PM that afternoon. I didn't think much of it and went to the meeting room with the rest of my staff. I was fielding questions about the audition when the door opened up and a reporter, with a television crew, began shouting my name. There were cheers, balloons and people everywhere. I was thinking "I didn't sign up for Publishers Clearing House." Then it dawned on me - I had been selected for Wheel of Fortune. All I could say to the camera was "thank you."
I was asked to tape the following week. I immediately called my Mom back and told her that my dream had come true. A week later, three generations of my family - me, my Mom and two of my Grandmothers were headed to Los Angeles. I can't wait to write more and continue my journey.
On September 8, 2010, join me as I will be watching my show with friends and family. I am so excited to share this with the people I love the most; proof lies in the homemade invitations I made - each one in the shape of the big wheel. The food being served will all be in the shape of wedges and wheels also.