Game show contestancy

I’m shortly to have the opportunity to audition for a game show. I may or may not pass the knowledge part, but I think I have a reasonable shot. Does anyone have any tips for passing the interview portion? That is for impressing the producers enough to get on air?

If I win big I’ll … think of you fondly.

When they ask you what you’d spend the money on, don’t say “hookers and blow”.

Yeah, pick one or the other. They like decisive contestants.

Wouldn’t telling us which game show help us a lot more?

If you’re going on Wheel of Fortune, they will want people that are comfortable with being loud obnoxious dumb asses. If this does not describe your personality, you’re going to have to convince them you’ll be fun to watch. And judging from the times I’ve watched that show, being illiterate will increase your chances of appearing on the show more than anything else.

That’s all I got.

I would say really, just be yourself. I think they want people comfortable in their own skin. Contestant coordinators see people all day and can spot someone “acting” like someone else really easily.

The CCs I’ve spoken to have said the big factors are personality and likability. Do people like you as a matter of course, or do they perceive you as stuck up? Will people cheer for you to win? That’s what they’re looking for. When I was on Jeopardy! they talked about a contestant who was a cab driver from Brooklyn. Most unassuming guy, had an accent… but was a brilliant guy, had a hardscrabble way about him, and the CCs and viewers loved him.

Of course most people who are working humble jobs aren’t trivia whizzes. But if they find one, paydirt!

Make sure you have some kind of crazy, wacky, or just plain interesting story.

Met a celebrity in an interesting way, got lost at sea, had a first date that ended in the ER…something!
Oh, but don’t take “got attacked by a bear.” That’s my story, and you can’t have it!

I have been on two game shows (0-2, and no I won’t tell you which ones, because one of them still airs on GSN, and I get the “hey I just saw you on…and you sucked!” phone calls).

I agree with everyone. Be yourself. Know the rules. Do what you’re told. Interact with the other contestants. You may be facing them in the final round.

One more thing: bring a piece of chocolate to the actual taping. It will ease your mind.

And if you DO get on thanks to your Doper pals, wear a “D” on your person when you go on.

We’ve had a number of folks here who have been on Jeopardy!, FYI.

A long, long time ago I spent a couple of years as a Contestant Coordinator for The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game. Some things may have changed but I think much remains the same – and some shows, like Jeopardy, may have some somewhat different priorities.

The first thing that got scribbled on an interviewee’s form was TL or P/TL or N/TL. Those codes represent The Look, Partly The Look, and Not The Look.

Those who were NT/L had to immediately show themselves to be extraordinary (not just good) in other ways to have any chance at all of being considered for the show. Generally, they were thanked and shown to the door as quickly as possible.

Those with PT/L had a chance of doing the show. They were used when there was a shortage of TL applicants and often asked to come to tapings on a stand-by basis to be used in case of no-shows, etc. Stand-bys didn’t get on often, but they did sometimes.

The second scribble codes were Ax and S/Ax, for Reacts and Slightly Reacts. The more animated people rose to the top of the pile, the shy, quiet types had little or no chance.

So: Watch the show and learn its Look. Be T/L. If the men on the show almost always wear a jacket and tie and someone without one or the other appears out of place (or even just ‘noticeable’) to you, wear a jacket and tie. If you’ve never seen a guy with long hair or facial hair or visible tattoos on the show, it’s just not their Look.

Smile a lot and at everybody. Be animated; interact with the other contestants. Some shows want over-the-top animation; real people don’t jump up and down and cheer and do group hugs when one of them answers a trivia question. Watch the show and act like the people you see, even if it’s phony; if you don’t do it, you won’t get on that show.

Have a few personal stories ready; nothing blatantly sexual (for most shows) and nothing relating to being drunk – mildly embarrassing is a big plus. Keep them short and easy to explain. Keep up your smiling and outgoing act while talking with the researcher who is taking your story.

Mostly, it comes down to – do whatever you can to look like and act like the people you’ve seen on the show. They are the best examples of what the producer is looking for.