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Do you love watching TV game shows? Do you yell at the TV screen because you know all the answers? Do you always answer people in the form of a question? Do you feel like buying a vowel? If so, maybe you could win money on one of them! You could win cash, prizes, and instant fame…or, um…at least a copy of the home version for participating.
Open casting calls and auditions are held year round for TV’s most popular game shows. More and more producers choose contestants from their applications online, making getting on one of the shows even easier than ever. Each game show has its own procedures, but if you read and follow the directions carefully, present yourself with enthusiasm, and thoroughly explain why you should be the next contestant and big winner, you’ll already have a leg up on the competition.
You’ll find a number of helpful videos on YouTube, as well as plenty of articles online written by former game show contestants with their tips to help you with everything from what to wear during the audition to how to keep track of which shows you’ve sent applications to and how to be original. Producers are always looking for appealing “characters” to play on their shows, as well as personal stories that draw in an audience, so begin thinking of yours.
Audience companies such as www.hollywoodtickets.com, www.tvtickets.com and www.tvtix.com also offer easy access to studio tickets and schedules of upcoming tapings to aid in planning your visit. If you’re traveling with a large group, audience companies can be very helpful in making arrangements to view a taping and even offer fun incentives for filling multiple seats.
Here are a few tips to start working on if you’re convinced that you’re ready to put all of that useless trivia in your head to good use.
- Know the show. Producers don’t have time to teach you all the rules. Know how the game is played, how the audience reacts, and how the host works with contestants. Watch as many episodes as you can. Play the board game at home. Your lack of preparation will show.
- Producers like contestants who have traveled from out of town. Think about traveling to a game show mecca for your next vacation!
- Don’t give up. If one show turns you down, try another one. Every show’s style is different, so it may take you a few times until you find your spot.
- Dress for success. Dress to be noticed, but not too crazy.
- Practice speaking in front of people.
- Pay close attention to the application and audition requirements.
- Think about your answer to the question: “What would you do with all that money if you won?”
- Showcase the entertaining, interesting things about your personality and life.
- Be genuine and truthful.
10. Be patient. Sometimes it takes months for your application to be processed.
To find out the guidelines for getting on your favorite game or reality show where you could win cash or freebies, check out the following links:
- Minute to Win It – http://gameshows.about.com/od/perfect10/qt/minute_to_win_it_contestant.htm
- Family Feud – https://sites.google.com/a/familytryouts.com/tryouts
- Let’s Make a Deal – http://gameshows.about.com/od/beacontestant/qt/lets_make_a_deal_contestant.htm
- Wipeout! – http://abc.go.com/shows/wipeout/casting
- Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? – http://gameshows.about.com/od/beacontestant/a/apply5thgrader.htm
- Jeopardy! – http://www.jeopardy.com/beacontestant/contestantsearches
- The Price is Right – (You don’t need to audition for this one. Just get a free ticket and then be an engaging, enthusiastic audience member) http://gameshows.about.com/od/beacontestant/a/pricecontestant.htm
- Who Wants to be a Millionaire – http://www.dadt.com/millionaire/auditions/
- Deal or No Deal – http://www.nbc.com/casting/#dond
- Moment of Truth – http://gameshows.about.com/od/beacontestant/a/moment_apply.htm
- Wheel of Fortune – https://secure.sonypictures.com/tv/shows/wheel/contestants/beacontestant
- Don’t Forget the Lyrics – http://www.ehow.com/how_2143992_apply-contestant-dont-forget-lyrics.html
- 1 vs. 100 – http://www.ehow.com/how_2160523_become-contestant-vs.html
- The Sing Off – http://www.nbc.com/casting/#sing-off
- Fear Factor – http://www.fearfactorcasting.com/
- America’s Got Talent – http://www.nbc.com/americas-got-talent
- Home Transformers – http://hometransformers.tv/
- American Ninja Warrior – http://www.g4tv.com/anw/home/
- Fashion Star – http://fashionstarcasting.com
- The Voice – http://www.nbcthevoice.com
- Shark Tank – http://abc.go.com/site/casting
- MTV casting calls for shows – http://www.mtv.com/ontv/castingcall
- Say Yes to the Dress – http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/say-yes-to-the-dress/say-yes-to-the-dress-casting.htm
- What Not to Wear – http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/what-not-to-wear/what-not-to-wear-casting.htm
- Backyard Habitat – http://animal.discovery.com/features/getonshow/getonshow.html
All that glitters isn’t gold, however. We can’t all be Ken Jennings, who won $2.5 million in 74 days on “Jeopardy.” Depending on the show, you can go home with a few dollars or a few hundred thousand.
It’s unlikely you’ll land on the high end of the paycheck scale, even though prime-time game shows love to use the phrase “a million dollars.” Carrie Grosvenor, who writes “Game Shows Guide” for About.com, has been watching just about every game show there is for the past four years. During that time she’s seen fewer than 10 million-dollar winners. Still, there’s something wonderful about dreaming big. One of the most powerful words in the world is HOPE. Just don’t forget the word REALISTIC.
Here’s a quick run-down of Smart Magazine’s list of “10 Things Game Shows Won’t Tell You”:
- Could you be less boring. (Just because you think your life is interesting, your self-esteem may not be able to handle it when game show producers don’t pick you as a player.)
- You’ll pay taxes on those winnings. (If you win, you’ll owe federal and state income taxes which might push you into a higher tax bracket.)
- Winning could ruin you. (A winner of $100,000 instantly starts spending that much money, only to find that, after taxes, the prize is much less than that, resulting in disappointing debt.)
- Taping the show makes jury duty look tame. (There’s a lot of “hurry up and wait” while filming.)
- Prize values are inflated. (Non-cash prizes are given a value that is considered income. That price is often higher than what you could pay for it elsewhere.)
- Win or lose, you’ll be a target. (Expect your Facebook page and email box to fill up with wise-cracking comments or requests for money.)
- Your competition does this for a living. (Some players keep going back for more.)
- Fast reflexes trump a high IQ. (Your competition is super smart. Practice pushing that buzzer.)
- You’re lousy on camera. (What if you freak out when the camera turns on?)
10. Even if you win, you might go home empty-handed.
No matter how much you win or lose, you’ll definitely have an adventure and a great story to tell your grandkids some day! Good luck!
Trina Boice (the “fru” gal)