...Let the spinning wheel spin.
What a great day I've had.
Up, promptly at 6:00, started the coffee, showered (even shaved my legs), woke Zac and finished getting dressed. I wore my new black pants with my hot pink collared shirt. My make up was great, as was my hair, I might add.
I took Zac to school. We were on time. Then I headed in to Baton Rouge for the auditions.
I arrived at the Sheraton around 8:00 and valet parked. I didn't want to fool with trying to find a parking spot on a work-week downtown. I met my new best friend, Sherrie, in the restaurant at the Sheraton about 8:05. We had coffee and breakfast. I had a delicious omelet with fruit; Sherrie had the buffet with eggs, bacon, grits, and biscuits. We got caught up and walked over to the ballroom where the auditions were being held.
There were about 50 people there. I recognized some. Our friend, Carla, was not there. Some of the people I didn't think would get chosen were there too. But for the most part, all of the truly engaging people were called back.
We filed in and sat in the chairs they had for us and began filling out the contestant application. The producers and scouts (I guess that's who they were) started giving instructions on completing the ap: if you're in the military, a teacher, a pet lover, or here with your friend, add those things in the margins of the ap. One producer had everyone go one-by-one and say their name loudly so she could fill in her seating chart and get name pronunciations. When that was finished, the other 2 producers let everyone know that they're looking for enthusiasm, loud voices, and logical letter calling. They reminded us of the importance of buying vowels, and showed us how they would run the game. They randomly called names off the seating chart.
First name called: Jana.
I jumped up with a "woo-hoo!" and the producer spun the wheel. I called a letter and directed her to spin again. I called another letter, and spun again, called another letter and bought a vowel, then spun again. The final spin landed on lose a turn and my turn was finished.
That's pretty much how it went for everyone in the room. You could really tell who was excited and interesting and who they wanted to see again. The real trick was to buy a vowel so your exposure time would be a little longer. After everyone had a turn we played again, only select players were called.
They called me after about the 3rd or 4th player. The puzzle on the board was "Show Biz." When the puzzle got to me it showed: J_W-D_ _ _ _I_G _ _ _ I_ _ _ _ _ _ _. I called an 'N' and bought an 'A,' then asked to solve the puzzle: JAW-DROPPING ACTION SCENE.
It was awesome. We were all clapping for each other and cheering each other on. The producer gave me a tote bag and I sat down. Sherrie got called a few minutes later. Honestly, I can't remember exactly how she did, but she did well.
When they got a look at everyone they needed again, they passed out a test. It was a page full of hang-man-type of puzzles with some of the letters filled in. We had 5 minutes to complete as much as we could. Five minutes flew by in a flash and they took them up to grade them. We were dismissed for a bathroom/water break. While they were out with our tests, they played clips from old Wheel of Fortune shows with funny contestants knocking down Pat or picking him up or saying crazy things. It was funny. We got to see Vanna's audition tape and a taped message from Pat and Vanna congratulating us on how far we'd come.
When they came back in, they let us know that while they're looking for great game players, etc., etc., the cut-off point is at the puzzle test. They congratulated us for making it this far and encouraged us to continue watching Wheel, then began calling the last 10 people they wanted to see again.
Alas, Sherrie was called, but not me.
Everyone else was dismissed. I went over to George's office and we went out to lunch. I wasn't hungry since I'd just had that huge omelet, but George had a hamburger.
It was a great day, even if I didn't get chosen. I figure that for me to make it to the final 20 or so out of a pool of approximately 2000 over the 2-day initial open auditions was very special.