Here’s a random list of things I learned about my trip to The Price is Right.
#1 It’s so clear that I’ve found a new tribe of people in the San Diego Tweet-up. Had a lot of fun and useful conversations who think about things I think about.
#2 If you ever go to be a contestant, try to get a group. With a group of 15 or more you get guaranteed seating. That really means you don’t have to arrive around 5:00 AM to get into the taping at 12:30 PM. Instead you just all have to be there and check-in by 9. (8:30 would be better) Also, one person from your group is guaranteed to get called to “come on down!” If you’re in SoCal and want to get a group together please let me know. I definitely want to go again.
#3 Getting qualified to be on the show is super simple. You just have to bring a picture ID, not work for Viacom, and be willing to show proof of your SSN if you win.
#4 There will be lots of lines. There is a line-up to get into the line. Then there is a line where you just wait to fill out paperwork and get your magic nametag. Then a line to get your picture taken. Then a line to do your 10 second interview with the producer. Then a line to go through security. Then a line to go into the studio. Then after the taping, a line to get your cell phone back.
#5 Read the instructions on the website. Everything will happen exactly as they say. There will be no exceptions. And they are very strict on the rules, in general. Polite and nice but firm. Park where they want you to park. Wear what they tell you to wear. On and on… just follow the rules!
#6 They say you have to be obnoxious to get called down. I just think you need to be yourself. If you’re excited, be excited. If you are faking it “over the top” you won’t get called. The most obnoxious people in our audience did not get called.
#7 The woman next to me got called to “Come on Down!” That was a ton of fun… from the moment she heard her name called to the moment she bid on her showcase. In her interview she talked about doing fundraising for AIDS research, I wonder if that helped?
#8 The studio isn’t that big. There are only a few hundred seats in the audience. The set is actually no where near as big as they make it seem on TV. It’s about the same size as a typical high school stage. Just with WAY more rigging in the ceiling and lots and lots of space behind and on the sides for moving stuff around.
#9 The crew was amazing. I know they shoot this show twice a day and that they’ve done it for 30+ years. But the whole show was pretty much shot in “real time” and there was plenty of theatrical stuff going on. Such as, when they revealed the prizes, the audience had no idea what it would be. How they move a car into an a set completely silently is beyond me.
#10 I grossly underestimated the showcase showdown. I think everyone did. There was a vacation in there that must have been 3x’s what everyone thought. Oops.
#11 It’s loud during the taping! There is so much excitement and noise that it’s no wonder people make such bad bids. You can’t think straight and I’m pretty sure that is part of the psychological advantage.
#12 Drew Carey is way cooler in person than I had thought he would be. He was a master of working the audience in a genuine and non-Hollywood kind of way. I didn’t hang around but the group we came with went out to eat. It turns out Drew was having lunch at the same spot. He came over and was very generous with his time. Rumor has it he was exceedingly generous with his tip as well! The only thing that really cracked me up was that he referred to himself as a celebrity. I am pretty sure no one has ever said that in front of me. “I’m a celebrity.” True statement, just funny to say. Made me wonder if he put that on his tax return.
#13 I am only a little disappointed I didn’t get picked. I think I now know what I need to do for next time to get picked. But over all, it was a 9 out of 10 trip. Have I mentioned I want to do it again yet?
#14 They shoot about 2 months in advance. So my show will air February 10th.
#15 If you win, you fill out the paperwork on the spot. Like literally, you win, they go to commercial, and you start filling out paperwork as soon as they seat you.
#16 CBS Pages are a unique breed of people. They wear these unsexy red jackets and walk you through the whole process of getting on the show. They are a lot like people who work at amusement parks. Permagrins, tired jokes, ugly outfits, and likely underpaid for what they do.
#17 Drew Carey is up on his social media. Our group kind of hijacked the show with a twitter reference at the beginning. The contestant from our group, Peggy, who got on stage told him her shirt was her Twitter name. Then Drew explained what Twitter was to the camera. Then in the break he went on and on about Twitter. He asked Peggy what her favorite webapp was of the moment. (Addicto-o-matic… Not Twitter!) Then he mentioned it a few more times like “are you going to Tweet this?” Seriously, Peggy is going to have about 25,000 followers for being the first person to get Twitter mentioned on The Price is Right.
#18 Not really a Price is Right comment. But this trip made me think it would be fun to go to LA for a week and just go to various TV show tapings. Did I mention the whole thing was free? Other than the cup of coffee and a snack I bought on the way home I didn’t spend a dime!
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