What I️’ve learned from my different experiences on TV shows is the incredible amount of clapping that goes into their production. More than anything, that is what has stuck out in my mind and left a sting on my palms. To date, I️ have been in the studio audience of The View, Good Morning America and, just recently, I auditioned for Wheel of Fortune.
I️ walked into the grand Raleigh hotel meeting room where there were maybe 50 chairs lined up in rows. At the front of the room hung a big projection screen and sat a small plastic wheel, like you would see at a raffle or cheap carnival.
A couple of months ago my mother texted me out of the blue saying that she had auditioned for Wheel of Fortune. She is a big fan and avid viewer every night with a glass of wine just after dinner. Apparently, the Wheelmobile had come to our home town and she figured, “What the heck?” For this follow-up audition, my mom was allowed to bring one guest, and I was the lucky chosen.
It was clear to me that my mother was indeed the target audience for this show as I️ entered the room. My fellow auditionees that filled the seats were all over the age of 40. The video shown at the beginning of our session to hype-up the crowd looked as if it was pulled out right out of the 90s. The video quality was terrible, but Pat and Vanna looked amazing!
When the audition began there were puzzles put up on the large projection screen and individuals were called out one by one at random to stand at their seat and make a move. The staff was obviously looking for charisma and charm more so than proper letter choice. They stressed clear and punctuated speech with big smiles and… yup, lots of clapping.
“If you feel awkward and don’t know what to do with your hands,” yelled the audition leader, “Clap! Smile and clap!”
You could feel the excitement in the room. It was fun and refreshing. I️ was suffering a head cold and a poor night of sleep. That, mixed with my limited thrill for Wheel of Fortune to begin with, left me seemingly lackluster compared to my fellow auditionees. However, once we got started it was hard to not get into the game. Bells, whistles, clapping, wooing and aaaahing moved the room through each consonant and vowel.
They finally called my name and I’m proud to say I️ held my own. I️ called out “D” to begin and finished with “H” and “C”. When I️ was finally sure enough to solve the puzzle, my claim to fame was, “Discovering Hidden Treasures!” I️ got a free T-shirt for the solve and everything.
In the end, my mother was asked to stay for a second round but I failed to make the cut. I️ can rest easy however seeing how excited and giddy she was at the whole process. It’s fun to grow up and see your parents in a new light. As people with their own dreams and excitement outside of being your mom and cheerleader.
My mother has always pushed herself and our family towards new adventures and unique experiences out of our comfort zone. I’m glad to have another fun day together to look back on. I️ hope someday soon I’ll be sitting in the Wheel of Fortune audience out in Los Angeles supporting her as she has done for me my whole life. I hope there will be lots of good letter choices, fun puzzles, cash prizes and of course… clapping.