We interrupt this blog with some exciting news!! A couple of weeks ago I filled out an online application to be a contestant on the next season of Hollywood Game Night on NBC. Last Wednesday when my family and I were all in the car on the way to baseball practice, THEY CALLED ME! I did a phone interview where they asked me questions about myself, why I wanted to be on the show, etc. Then they said, “Okay now we are going to test your knowledge of Pop Culture.” The first question they asked was “Who is the current Vice President of the United States?” Okay I was so nervous that I completely blanked. Like nothing came into my mind. Luckily my husband whispered “Joe Biden” after I repeated the question out loud, so I was able to get that right. I then missed a question about what insurance company is “Flo” the spokesperson for….I said Geico, even though I know they have the dumb lizard. I know you are all screaming, “Progressive, you idiot.” I then missed the NEXT question. I was so stressed at this point, that I don’t even remember what that question was. So then I say to the girl, “Listen, I know you think I am an idiot. I promise I am not an idiot. I will do better.” After that I started nailing questions like, “Name the Kardashian sisters in order from oldest to youngest. What former supermodel is now a judge on America’s Got Talent?” and so on. At the end of the interview the girl said she liked me and wanted to schedule a follow up SKYPE interview for Friday. In between this time I had to complete a 14 page questionnaire full of essay questions and submit ten pictures and a copy of my driver’s licenses.
Friday I was on a girl’s trip at the beach, but was up and ready with makeup done, appropriate clothes and accessories and my laptop placed in a prominent position to maximize lighting and minimize double chins. I had tested my Skype with my friend Barkley. I had downed to Dirty Shirleys between 10:30 and 11:30 to help calm my nerves and encourage me to be as animated as possible. I was ready, Hollywood Game Night Skyped me at exactly 11:30. And then, disaster. My SKYPE was frozen. I could see the interviewer, but she could not see me. We tried her calling me back, we tried me calling her back, nothing worked. She had other interviews to get to so she suggested rescheduling for Tuesday. I.WAS.DEVASTATED. I was so hyped up and just wanted it to be over with and now 4 more days of waiting.
After a brief pity party I rallied (a much improvement over the me of the past) and went on to enjoy an excellent weekend with great friends. And Tuesday was here before you know it. This time I was going to be extra prepared. I went up to my old office (at a technology company and plugged into their T-1 line) an hour before the interview was supposed to start. I downed a Starbucks Venti Chocolate Chai Tea Latte (try one, it is new and yummy) ad 3 20 oz Coke Zeros for oomph and 1 1/2 anxiety pills so that I wouldn’t hyperventilate and my nerves wouldn’t cause my mind to be jumbled. I removed the deer head from the wall of the person’s office I was using, touched up my makeup, checked Sype with Barkley, had a notebook with Joe Biden’s name written down, checked Twitter and my latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. I was as ready as I could be. About five minutes passed our scheduled time the interviewer chatted on Skype to let me know she was running a few minutes behind. I said a quick prayer and then it was Showtime. Except it wasn’t My stupid Skpe was frozen again. She tried calling me again, I tried calling her again – nothing. We decided I would restart my computer and call her back. I felt like the door was closing; I was starting to panic. I grabbed the laptop of the friend whose office I was using, plugged it in and logged into my Skype on his pc. I called back. Now she could see me, but I was pixelated and distorted. She said it wouldn’t work. I told her I was at a technology company with a bunch of IT guys and to let me see what I could do. She said that she had an hour before her next interview and if I could SKYPE her back by then we could still do the interview. I ran over to the IT department and BEGGED for help (keep in mind I don’t even work at this place anymore). They determined that the issue was due to a international video conference that was being held in the conference room. My nice friend D. said some of the staff had recently moved into a building down the street and the Internet connection there should be better. He agreed to take me there. I ran back, grabbed both laptops and the Fishes of Alabama book (side note: I typeset the index of this book when I was a college intern at Southern Progress) I was using to prop up my laptop on so that the camera would be at eye level and would reduce the appearance of double chins, hopped in D’s car and headed to the other office. I asked him to please drive faster. We got there, parked ran in the building and up two flights of stairs. D got me plugged in and I immediately tried to Skype the casting the director. At this point, no consideration was given to my lighting, my background or my makeup. Desperate times, desperate measures and all that.
Anyway, guess what. She could see me clearly. Hurray!!!!!! So she starts with the basic, “why do you want to be on the show?” type questions and then quickly moves into the simulation round. The first thing she did was Celebrity Name Game. I feel like this is my strongest area of Hollywood Game Night. She would hold up a celebrity’s name on a card and I just had to describe that celebrity to get her to guess. The first was Alec Baldwin and I think I said something like, has a daughter Ireland that he famously got into a big fight with, on 30 Rock, lots of brothers. We probably did about 10 of those and I felt like I was pretty strong.( I did pass on Tyler Perry b/c after I said “he did all those Madea movies I didn’t know anything else about him.
The next thing was How Do You Do? In this round she gives a song title and I am supposed to hum part of the song using only the word “Do”. This would definitely be my weakest area. I cannot carry a tune to save my life, nor is music my area of expertise. I got songs like We Didn’t Start The Fire and YMCA. There were a couple I had to pass on because I didn’t know them. I have a strategy for this though. On the show, I don’t have to actually go hum the songs. One person on your team starts humming and whoever guesses it on the couch goes up to hum the next song. If I know a song I will just tell it to someone on the couch with me so that they yell it out and can go up and hum.
After those two rounds she had me pretend like I was introducing myself on t.v. and then give a pitch about why I should be chosen. And then it was over. She said that she will take our interview, condense it down into a 30 second clip and send it over to NBC. If NBC decides to cast me they will notify me by the end of the month. Otherwise, that is the last I will hear from these peeps. There will be no contact if I don’t make it.
And if I don’t make it, I still am excited that I got this far. As MF says, if you don’t make it here, there’s always Chain Reaction. If I wouldn’t have been able to interview and missed out due to technical difficulties it would have been a hard pill to swallow. But I did and I gave it my all and that’s really all I can do since I live in Alabama and am not a Hollywood insider. I do know this would truly be a lifelong dream come true!
Want to know more about the games they play on Hollywood Game Night? Read the Wiki here.