18th February 2008

Auditioning for TV’s “Deal or No Deal” and “1 vs. 100″

As discussed in yesterday’s blog, my buddy Rob Chatlin and I sold vintage toys at the L.A. Comic Book and SciFi Con this past Sunday. During the show, an adorable young woman approached our tables and thumbed through my book, Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! She was very sweet and we chatted for a little while.

About 20 minutes later, she returned to our table and asked whether I was aware of TV’s “Deal or No Deal” or “1 vs. 100.” I confessed being a fan of both shows, and she introduced herself as a casting agent for the production company responsible for the shows. Kindly offering that she ‘liked my personality,’ she asked whether I would be interested in auditioning to appear on either show.

“The top prize is a million bucks, right?” I asked.

She nodded.

“On both shows, if I’m not mistaken” I stated, with inquisitive intonation.

“Yep, that’s right,” she confirmed.

“Uhhh, yeah. I’m in.”

I was told to call her this morning to set up the audition, which I did. Around 11am, I got the official Email inviting me to audition for both shows, at the production company’s offices inside Culver Studios in Culver City, CA. I had to be there promptly at 5pm, which is no small feat, given that I had to work today, my starting location of Burbank, and typical L.A. traffic (heavy even on this holiday Monday).

I arrived and filled out the requisite paperwork (an application and preliminary contract). Looking around the waiting room, I realized it was a “cattle call” audition. I asked around and discovered that most people were there to audition for a future game show revolving around Movie Trivia… NOT “D.O.N.D. or “1 vs. 100.” I also learned that many people had responded to an advert on CraigsList.org. I thought this was a good sign, since I was actually invited to audition.

Eventually, the entire lot of us was called into a conference room, where we were instructed to ‘go around the room’ and introduce ourselves, talk about our interests, vocation, etc. Because the audition included the as-yet unnamed Movie Trivia game show, we were also asked to state our Top Three favorite films.

I was appalled that every potential contestant — one after another — cited “Star Wars” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy as two of their three favorites! I like “Star Wars” as much as the next guy (though I loathe “Lord of the Rings”), but how about a little originality, people?! The room was essentially a herd of nerd lemmings.

When it came around to me, I introduced myself as an Art Director who recently published a book about the ‘World’s Greatest Toy line’ from the 1970s. “Which,” I mockingly announced to the room, “is NOT Star Wars.”

Oooooh. BIG groan from the room. I probably shouldn’t have taken a dig at my fellow contestant wannabes, but, oh man. I enjoyed it immensely.

Anyway, copping to the fact that I wasn’t a film buff there to compete on a Movie Trivia show, I cited “Bladerunner,” “Raising Arizona” and “Somewhere in Time” as my top three. I could just as easily have said “Alien” or “Aliens,” not to mention “Contact” or “American Beauty.” But my choices were irrelevant. I’m no film nerd, and I’d probably get my butt handed to me on a Movie Trivia show.

Once everyone had spoken, the two casting agents excused themselves from the room to discuss… well, I have no idea what they discussed. Who the cutest guy was, for all I know. They returned about five minutes later, expressing how much they enjoyed everyone in the room. And that was that. We submitted our applications and we were on our way, right off the lot. But not before giving my casting agent friend a copy of the book! If I’ve learned anything while promoting this book, it’s the fact that every office seems to have an employee who knows and loves Mego. Hopefully, my book will make the rounds in the game show production offices.

Who knows if I’ll ever get a call-back? I probably won’t, but it sure was a fun experience. I figure, as long as I live in Southern California, I should take advantage of such opportunities.

“When in Rome,” and all that.

I’ll post more here if anything ever comes of it.

posted in Book Status, Collectible Toy Shows, Contests, Game Shows, Mego Corporation, Modern Toys, Random Musings, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

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