BY robert mckee
So here I sit once again on an airplane en route to be on a game show. (The first time was in 2002 when I was on a horrible show called Friend or Foe.. more about that later) ;) .. It is a strange feeling. Here I sit on a morning flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to cute little Long Beach airport a flight full of people on business trips and people visiting family -- and there's me.. Flying out for the sole purpose of auditioning to be on a game show. The flight was an outrageous $350 round trip -- ridiculous for a domestic flight -- but I'm looking at that solely as an investment ;) If you've ever tried to audition for a game show before, all sorts of weird doubts fly through your head when you endure this. Game show coordinators are a very picky bunch and they are looking for people with specific traits, even stereotypes, and sadly, this desire to feature flamboyant or model-quality hot and stupidly excited people trumps anyone's skill level of the game itself if you happen to not be an Aeropostale model. I really do feel I am the ultimate blackbelt zen master of this game, yet if they somehow didn't like my hair, I wouldn't get on...

From what I've seen in my many game show auditions in the past, not being a chiseled model, nor an over-the-top flamboyant gay person, nor a large boisterous African American woman, I feared the odds were against me.
I had to choose a partner to play the game with, and although I tried to recruit some of my local Dallas/Fort Worth friends to do this with me, it didn't seem like anyone was willing to risk the money it would cost to fly out for the audition, and it seemed easier anyway if I had someone who already lived out in Cali. I had to thumb through my catalog of Los Angeles area friends and came up with Heather, the twin sister of one of my best pals, Crystal... so I called and asked "would you like to perhaps win $5000 for a half-hour of standin' around?" Sold!
When we arrived at the studio to do the audition...
I was surprised to see that they were actually held in a trailer in the parking lot of the KTLA studios... Auditioning for game show in a double-wide... who knew?
The application was long and full of personality questions...
On a corkboard on the wall, they had polaroids of all the potential applicants. This was a little unsettling, since this reaffirmed my fear that they would be choosing people more based on how purty they are vs. how awesome they are at this game. Not that I'm a total train-wreck, but I certainly don't think I stand up to any of these folks that live and breathe the world of Los Angeles' celebrity culture that I saw on the wall. Hopefully, though, if they were indeed going to judge us on looks alone, I figured the adorable Heather would fill the void in that department. I also did figure it couldn't hurt that I had a freakin' website devoted to this game. We'll see if I can squeeze in a plug!
I was also pretty surprised how low-budget the audition experience was.. I didn't really expect any super-Hollywood-glamor environment, but it felt more like we were applying for jobs on a construction site. [Hollywood is wierd like that -- the year before, my pal Steve and I visited LA and while we were bumming around Hollywood, we slipped into the theater that was hosting some sort of Nickelodeon Children's awards show... People who may have been watching the show at home may have been dazzled by the glitzy interior of the auditorium they saw on TV but would never think that a mere 20 feet from the door in an empty lot next to the building there were four guys hovering over a barrel fire.] These are the monitors they had set up to show us a tape of the show, incase we've never heard of it ;)
We had to solve a mock puzzle given to us by one of the contestant coordinators on a markerboard, while being filmed by a cute lil' 8mm handheld! I had the opportunity to tell them about my hardcore history with this show, and funny enough, some of the people who worked there never even knew this show existed in Canada years before. I figured since I flew all the way out there and the audition was really quick, I needed to make a move to stick in their minds that I was real insane about this game. I needed to cement myself in these peoples' minds that I'm who they want on that show ;) .. Hell, I flew all the way out there just to audition, which I was told am the only person to do so at that point. I knew we had 'em when they let me load up my Flash Lingo website on their computer and I got to throw down a few quick rounds :]... so now they have the long-time Lingo nerd combined with the hot girl, seemingly the ultimate Lingo team. It's hard to know who is the ultimate decision-maker at these things, but one of the contestant coordinators named Bethany was very cool and seemed entertained by my Lingo antics. Hopefully we left an impression -- we'll see what happens!
It is tradition that after a game show audition one must endulge themselves with some In-N-Out Burger. They don't have these in Texas, and they seriously are the best fast-food burger anywhere.
While in LA for the one evening, I stayed with Heather and her now-husband Nicholas Gunn a platinum-selling clasically-trained flutist. Check that crazy mixer! Nick gave me a selection of his awesome music, and so on the way out back to the airport, I had the top down and had the Christmas flutin' cranked up in the middle of June.. good stuff! .. after looking through my pics apparently there is a clip ..