At the CBS Studios, standing at the corner of Mary Tyler Moore Ave. and Newhart St.
When I got there, there were already people standing in line filling out paperwork. In total, there were about 50 of us. They herded us into a large room, and we were introduced to one of the producers of the show. He gave us a bit of a pep talk, and encouraged us to be cheerful and energetic. No problem for me!!
We were then divided into four groups, with each group surrounding a table to practice the "Stack Attack" game. We cheered and encouraged each other, as each had their turn. Oh man, everyone performed pretty terribly. Even me, who had practiced at home the night before! You get up there, and it's noisy, and you're excited, the adrenaline is pumping, and inevitably, your hands are doing the shakes!!
Meanwhile, the producer and casting crew circulated the room and talked to each of us for about a minute or so. This was our first opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression. I was all smiles! The producer just so happened to be the one who pulled me aside, and I told him about getting out of grad school, and what I'm doing now with OFT and clinical psych research. He loved the vintage owl necklace I had on. In part, I think that owl helped me today!!
Afterwards, we all sat down again, and they dismissed about half the group. Bye, bye...now down to about 25 people!! I was ecstatic because I had made the first cut. Woohoo!
Next, they said that they were going to call each of us up and film us separately. We had to say our name, age, hometown, and occupation. It was funny because the producer mentioned that he knew there were a lot of actors and models, but he wanted to know what people did to pay the bills. Heh, it is L.A. afterall. One woman said that her occupation was "actress and my husband." Heh, when asked to elaborate, she said she acted and that her husband took care of the rest.
This time around I was prepared. I had a chance to calm down a little, so my hands were much steadier. I was one of the few to finish the task quickly and without dropping the cups. It was good, but more importantly, I hoped that my personality had come through. That was what was most important.
So, once everyone finished, they called about ten names and told those people to stick around a bit longer because they had some more questions to ask them, and also hinted that they might have to play another game, in some cases because they sucked balls at the last one. I wasn't in that group.
I was a bit disappointed, but I still had a good time, and was about to get up to leave. However, there's a little twist here. They said they wanted a second group to follow one of the casting agents into another room. Guess what?? That's right, my name was called!! One of five people.
The next step was to take pictures, and then the five of us followed the casting agent to another part of the lot. She said that we were now going to get an opportunity to film a 5-10 minute interview where we'd be asked questions, etc. I was dying at this point. So happy and excited :)
While waiting for the interview, we filled out an extended application with a bunch of questions. Many of the responses to these questions were used as prompts for additional follow-up questions in the interview. Ooh, it was rapid fire questions from start to finish. Let me tell you, I feel really good about it. I was myself, having a good time, and I think that came through. The casting agent was laughing at some of my jokes/blunders, and I somehow trapped myself into making up a rap on the spot. The worst thing ever!! I think I was ten shades of red. She asked what I meant by, "I can sing really well (in my head)." I had listed that as a random skill. Hah, I told her that meant I was really bad, but nevertheless, very enthusiastic and loud about singing. I also talked about how I met my boyfriend, my crazy circus skills (e.g., riding a unicycle), "which will come in handy if I find myself destitute or if this game show thing doesn't work out," I said. For an embarrassing moment, I told her about how I split my pants in front of my boyfriend and his mother. Nice. She laughed.
We had a good rapport, and when it was done, she thanked me and said I had done a great job. I chose to believe her. She also complimented me on my smile and my owl necklace. How nice!! See, the owl again. She told me that these video interviews will be cut down to about 2.5 minutes for the show's producers to view and make their final picks. Crossing my fingers!! Mortified and laughing, I told her I hope my rap doesn't make the final cut. She said, "No way, it's definitely staying in." Oh, the torture.
On my way out, I met one of the other contestants who had been a part of the other final group (i.e., the ten others). He asked me what I did, and he confirmed that he had also taken part in a taped interview. However, before they were allowed to do that, they were asked to play another game ("Speed Eraser"). Apparently, these individuals had performed badly on the previous task, but they were still being considered. Therefore, they were given another chance to prove that they could complete a game. After that, those ten individuals were cut down to about five. Whew, so happy I didn't have to go through that extra step! According to that contestant though, "Speed Eraser" is not as hard as it seems.
That wraps up my long-winded play-by-play!! They'll be making their primary casting decisions in the next three weeks, and of course this was only one casting call of who knows how many. People are also sending in videos and applications, so the competition is stiff. The great thing about this show is the producers go through all the games with you and you have a chance to practice before you compete. That is such a comfort. Pick me!!!
P.S. | I commend you, if you've made it to the end of this post.