My grandparents had an open den and dining area before open spaces were cool (their formal living and dining area were also combined). When I’d go over in the evenings when I was younger, we’d all sit down to supper while Wheel of Fortune was on TV. It would usually linger over into Jeopardy! as well, but I wasn’t very into that. I remember many evenings sitting and watching Wheel from the backside of the table; I always wanted to sit on that side so I could see. I almost always had a guess for the puzzles–Before and After is my favorite.
I had no idea then how people got to go on Wheel of Fortune. My guess was that they lived near by and just showed up for a taping with Pat and Vanna. It sure looked fun.
I still don’t know how any of that worked back then, but I do know that nowadays, you just show up where the #WheelMobile is, drop your name in a bucket, and hope you get picked. Some get picked for an on-stage audition, others get chosen by random lottery for a final audition. How do I know, you ask? Well, I went to a #WheelMobile audition, of course!
I learned a few lessons from the ol’ #WheelMobile:
+ If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again! The very last contestant of the day had been there all six shows of the weekend. She was chosen dead last–the very last name out of the hat. Persistence pays off. If you want it, go for it.
+ Ask a trusted loved one to give you honest feedback before you tell anyone you’re good at something. If they’re not a good enough friend to be honest, find a new friend. (You know in your gut whether or not they’re being truthful.) The singing portion of these auditions (yeah, people were singing, performing poems, dancing–you name it) could be likened to the funny audition outtakes from American Idol.
+ Think before you speak. Even if you only have three seconds, think–at least a little–before shouting something out.
+ Sometimes it really just comes down to the luck of the draw. Sometimes no skill is involved; it’s really just a lottery. Take your chances, show up, see what happens. You might get lucky.