Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Jeopardy! Journey - Getting the Call

The audition is done, and now I wait.  The coordinators told us that if we’re lucky enough to get called, it would be sometime in the next eighteen months.  EIGHTEEN MONTHS.   I might have to wait around until December 2012.  That would be no good for my nerves.

Even getting the call is slim.  Over 100,000 people take the online test each year.  Out of those 100,000, around 3,000 are invited for an in-person audition.  That’s 3%, people.  Out of those 3,000 people, around 400 are selected to be on the show.  In summary, 400 out of 100,000 people who try get on the show each year.   That’s 0.4%.  Not even 1%.  Plus, this is my first time in the pool.  Why should they select me now?  The odds were certainly stacked against me…until October 5th.

I’m sitting in my office organizing my Outlook calendar when the phone rings. I knew if I ever got the call from Jeopardy!, it would probably be from the 310 area code.  That’s the area code that was used when I got the call from Wheel of Fortune.  I remember weird things like that.  Lo and behold, I look down at my phone, and it’s a 310 number.  I jump up, shut my office door, and take the call.

Corina from Jeopardy! asks me to verify the information that I submitted on my initial paperwork.  She doesn’t invite me to be on the show when we first start talking, but at this point, I’m pretty sure it’s coming. I read online that they like to do the “fakeout” before they actually extend you an invitation to tape.  Well, I answered her questions, and then she asked me to tape in November.  I was freaking out in my mind, but I did a good job of keeping composure while on the phone with her.  I find out I’m expected in L.A. for tapings on November 8th and 9th.  That’s one month away.

One more thing is interesting about the timing of this call.  That morning, as I was getting ready for work, I randomly thought, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if Jeopardy! called me tomorrow, so I could get the call before my 30th birthday?”  Little did I know I wouldn’t have to wait until “tomorrow” for the call, because I was going to get it “today.”

With one short month before I’m expected to answer trivia questions on national TV, I start a study regimen.  My friend Robert sent me a large collection of Jeopardy! episodes he had collected and recorded.  I owe a big debt of gratitude to him for this.  I watched A LOT of those episodes.  I also pored over lists about presidents, capitals, Shakespeare, science, literature, and read some books about U.S. history.  I was very realistic with myself – I couldn’t learn EVERYTHING, so why not study enough so that I feel confident when I go on stage, knowing I did what I could do with the time I had. 

As expected, October was the quickest month I’ve ever experienced.  November 7th rolls around, it’s 5:00pm, and I find myself sitting in a hotel room in L.A. waiting on my friend Kay to get there so we could go to dinner.  After dinner, she spends some time using one of my books to ask me questions about comic strips, bodies of water, etc.  After this, I go to bed and try to sleep.  You want to guess how well I was able to sleep?

Other Posts:

Part 1 - The Online Test

Part 2 - Preparing for the Audition

Part 3 - The Audition

1 comment:

  1. I got my call on October 24th, from Glenn! Since I work nights I had been sleeping all day. When I woke up I saw I'd missed a call from "310" and knew.
    I slept well the night before, luckily!