This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Exotic Far East|
POSTED on 3-26
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.
This was the proverbial attitude I took when deciding to venture out to the February 7th, 2012 Wheelmobile event two hours from my home to try and audition for a spot on the program that has been a household fixture in my life since before I can remember.
If not for this small phrase, "nothing ventured, nothing gained", I may still be wondering what it would be like to fulfill my dreams of spinning the wheel and racking up some of Pat Sajak's dough. Thank goodness I kept repeating this to myself the day of the Wheelmobile event. I have two very young little girls, and believe it or not, it is easier to stay home with them and care for them than to set them up for the night with a babysitter, which I almost did the night of the event. Thankfully I repeated my magic phrase or I would probably still be sulking in my living room every night that my husband and I watch the show saying to myself, "why didn't I just try".
So many of us live our lives with the attitude that "I can't", or that "I'm not that lucky", or "what are the chances they'll pick me". Well I can tell you that those will all definitely be the result if you don't get off your toushey and make your own luck. Unquestionably success will not come find you, you have to make it happen, and this was the attitude I decided on when venturing to the audition.
Upon arriving I was pleased to see that everyone in line was able to at least fill out an application and get in the door without waiting in line for half the day. The call was for 6pm, and I arrived at about 5:30pm to be on the safe side. My guess is that around 1000 people showed up to the audition. We all were able to fill out an application and at least be put into the "pool" of contestants randomly chosen to be called and brought up on stage. As the MC rallied the group and worked diligently to excite the crowd, I found myself smiling, cheering, and clapping as loud as I could. Was this excitement because I wanted to somehow get noticed by showing how enthusiastic I would be as a contestant? Maybe. But deep down, I think it was more because I felt so fulfilled that I had at least tried to make my dream come true. I had made the drive, I was there, and I was going to do whatever I could to make this happen. Well as it turns out, I didn't have much control over whether I would get selected or not...or did I? The protocol for the event was that everyone drops their application into a large drum, and randomly 5 people at a time are picked to come up on stage and play a mock game of "Wheel". The chosen few are interviewed as if they were on the show, and they are able to play one round. This went on through the night and I would estimate that 100-150 people were selected to get on stage...sadly, me not being one of them. But not to worry we were told, just because you got on stage didn't mean you would get called back for a 2nd audition, and just because you didn't get on stage didn't mean you wouldn't get a call too. It was made very clear that they would randomly select a few names from the 1000 person pool to receive an e-mail invitation for a second, more intense audition. But what were the chances that one of those "random" applications would be mine, well 1 in 1000 to be exact. "I'm not that lucky" or "what are the chances they'll pick me?" Sound familiar? Those were the exact detrimental phrases I mentioned earlier that will inevitably prevent any type of success in life. Sooooo...nothing ventured, nothing gained I said to myself. If I can somehow get noticed, hopefully my chances of getting that second email would increase exponentially. I surveyed the room to see what I could do. I happened to notice a gentleman walking through the audience who seemed to be part of the Wheelmobile event. So I stopped him and politely asked "So what are the chances of actually being selected if I don't get on stage?" The very nice gentleman reassured me that the fact that I was here at the event gave me a very good shot of at least getting a second audition. That made me feel a little better, but I pleasantly bantered and persisted with him to see if he was giving me a textbook answer, or if he was being sincere. He was very kind and did seem very sincere, he then thanked me for coming and he also asked me my name. At that point, here was my opportunity. He had told me he had nothing to do with the contestants, but if for some reason he saw something in me, I wanted to make sure he could locate my application and forward it to someone who did have something to do with the contestants. So I told him my full name, "I'm Kristin Rick". I shook his hand, smiled, and proceeded to watch the others get their names called and approach the stage. Who knew if my encounter meant anything, but hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained I thought.
As the night drew to an end I was so happy that I had made a step in the right direction to fulfilling my dream. Even if I never get that 2nd email inviting me to another audition, at least I tried, because nothing ventured, nothing gained...right??
7 days later:
As I make my first email check of the day to see the typical friend updates, coupon mailers, and other typical subject matter, I see a peculiar, out of place subject heading that says "WOF Audition". My heart skipped a quick beat, could this be it? Was I selected to come back for an audition or was this just an informative email to the effect of thanks for coming to the Casino Morongo Wheelmobile event last week? Turns out, AUDITION BABY!!! I was to show up the following Wednesday at 10am for an audition with the contestant coordinators. I had never been so stoked in my life!! I quickly called my husband to share the news, and he was so excited and supportive of me! I couldn't believe it, I would actually get a shot!!
2nd Audition Day:
Here I was with about 50 other hopeful contestants, of which 8 or so I recognized from the previous Wheelmobile event. Recognizable because they had all been called on stage!!! I think I was the only one there who hadn't been lucky enough to get on stage. I believe the others at the audition were selected from the online application option. Maybe it had worked? Maybe talking to one of the staff members got me just enough exposure to get my application selected? Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Anyway, I'll never know. But what I do know is that now I really have to shine. During this whole process it is made extremely clear that if you don't think you can bring your "A" game including playing skills, enthusiasm, and energy, then don't bother showing up. If anyone knows me, I'm a pretty happy, positive person, so this wasn't too tough for me, but the written test was. That's right, after the contestant coordinators get a look at you, they ask you to take a timed Wheel of Fortune test. You basically get 5 minutes to complete as many partially filled in puzzles as you can. Out of the approximately 20 puzzles, I think I got about 5 or 6 of them. Following the test we received a 20 minute break for the producers to grade our tests and evaluate our performance.
Turns out after a few more intense games of wheel, I did have what it took to be a contestant. At the end of the audition I was asked if I could be on the show THE VERY NEXT DAY!!! OMG!!! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Apparently they had an opening for the following morning. If I could take the feeling I had when Gary the contestant coordinator called my name for the next day's taping, and put that emotion in a bottle and sell it so that people could have that feeling at any time, I would be bajillionaire!! The recurring dreams I have had in my sleep about Pat and the wheel and being on the show were coming true before my eyes, and all because I told myself nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Now the real problem: It's 1pm on Wednesday afternoon, and I have to be at the taping on Thursday at 7:45 am, here is a phrase for you..."Who the heck can do my hair between now and 7:30 am tomorrow?" I can't go on national TV without my roots being done! And for heaven's sake, what am I going to wear. I just had a baby 3 months ago, and today was the first day I had literally worn pants with a zipper in the past 9 months. I surely didn't have an outfit that fits that would be suitable to be seen next to Vanna. (Truly, nothing is suitable to be seen next to Vanna, she is STUNNING in person, and teeny, tiny.) So a quick trip to Manhattan Beach on my way home to find a salon, and a mall. Luckily both fell into place and I made it home that night by 10:30pm with fresh highlights, and a new outfit! (At least I know the house minimum on Wheel is $1000, so I'm covered for the essential expenses!)
The combination of being far to wired to sleep and nursing my little baby girl Brenna at 3am while practicing "Wheel" on my iPad made for literally no sleep.
The next morning rolls around and I'm on no sleep and pure adrenaline at the taping... Tune in on March 27th to see if I fall asleep at the wheel, or if Pat and I go out for a celebratory dinner after the show! And if you've gotten this far with my blog, thank you, and just always remember...Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained! Apply that to everything you do in life and success will surely follow!