Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Millionaire Pt. 2: The written WWTBAM pre-audition prep

Meredith Vieria seems to genuinely enjoy her work
Below is some of what we had to fill out and bring with us. They knew our name, gender, age and address from the online form.  In the email, they called what we were doing an "audition" and that sounded very exciting. But the abc staff never saw my answers below because you have to make the first cut to actually have an "audition" where your picture taken and your application read. WWTBAM ( my lazy acronym - abc writes our their name) stuff is in blue...
    •    If you are selected from the Contestant Pool as a potential contestant, you must be available for a qualifying phone call. Please list the phone number(s) where you can be reached Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm Eastern Time.

 If contacted by
WWTBAM staff, all applicants must return phone calls Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm EST     ELIGIBILITY

    •   Are you or any member of your immediate family (spouse, mother, father, daughter, son, sister, brother and their spouses) or anyone living in your household currently employed by:
etc. etc a longish list. And then the usual
Do you or any member of your immediate family or anyone living in your household know any persons who are or have ever been connected with the production, administration or judging of “WWTBAM”?  This last bit was no surprise: Contestants are solely responsible for all expenses incurred in connection with their appearance on the Syndicated Program with Meredith Vieira including, but not limited to, travel to New York City, hotel, meals and all other expenses.  The Program Sponsor will not reimburse any Contestant for such expenses.  Do you agree to be responsible for all costs incurred by you in connection with your appearance on the Syndicated Program? Y X     N ___

Then this next part was way more fun. But very hard to suss out just what angle of my life story would fit their needs or get me on their show. Luckily I did not have a lot of time to worry over it. The
WWTBAM asked this:

Married X Single __________ Attached _________ Kids? X 4 lovely daughters

BFA in Painting, Museum School/Tufts and MEd in Creative Arts in Learning/ Lesley University
Education (Name(s) of Colleges and Degrees)
Free lance storyteller, educator and children’s picture book writer. Co-director of a no budget, no-profit storytelling organization with big dreams of becoming a low budget, nonprofit

Please answer the following questions:
1. Quirks, rituals, superstitions…What makes you unique? I play really loud  music in my car -  hip hop, rap, blues, folk, opera and I sing and/or dance  while  I listen.  When a family member next uses the car and turns the ignition they get BLASTED with  sound. Then they blast me. Possibly the only fan of Charlie Parker, Nas, MIA, Olatunji, Wyclef Jean, Punjabi MC, Shakira, Ani DiFranco, Arlo Guthrie, the BSO and Puccini that I know.

2. How would winning $1 million change your life? 

Short answer ? If I actually won the full Million? Wow!  I’d pay off our kid's college loans and buy a big enough house for the whole extended family to live together. And then continue to do the work I love.  As one of  two self employed parents in a flat economy I would cease worrying about my art habit. I love the work I do but our health insurance payments just tripled and my income is very, how you say, ...artistic.  

3. What is one thing you do that makes people laugh? 

I do incredibly stupid things and then tell the story …or I live through incredibly difficult things and tell a story. My imitations and accents make people laugh – been described as Robin Williams with larger mammary glands.

4. If you could nominate yourself as best-_____ or “most likely to_____,” what would be your vote?
I am “most likely to be distracted by anything vaguely interesting about almost anything.” And I am the fastest  Wikipedia researcher in my  circle of friends. I hate to hear opinions quoted as “facts” . When our kids were little  we used to have an encyclopedia next to the dinner table room and I constantly went to it to check or prove a point –  and then get lost in some random stuff. Thank god for iPhones. Wait, you mean I have to leave mine home, huh? Yeah, I guess I knew that.

5. What do you do for fun?
I play the violin/fiddle. I love to sing but I suck at it. Sing in a gospel choir.  Ride my bike places in the city.

6. You’d never believe it but I once… 

Some people will NOT believe that I wanted to be a nun until I was 13 years old. My Auntie Vera used to say  " Don’t do that ! You’ll be on your knees praying and scrubbing all day! You should get married”.  But this was before the woman’s movement and since we are of Italian “distraction” I couldn’t really see the difference.  If I married 'a nice Italian boy' as she suggested,  I would be on my knees all day, praying and scrubbing. But, stuff happens.  Been married 29 years and have 4 children. No “habits” in my future except bad ones. People would pretty much believe anything about me but they are very surprised when they hear how morbidly shy I was until I was about 15 years old.

7. Why do you want to be on Millionaire?
Been watching the show while spending time with  my 92 year old mother -in-law and I have been inspired to try. If I won ?  I’d a buy a big enough house for our whole extended family to live together. Grandma and all.  Then we could all be together and I would still get to do the creative work I love without worrying about making money at it. Besides, all this random info in my head must have some use.  And,  I love a challenge.

8. How did you hear about the audition?
The announcement on the show sent me online.

With a shrug,  I printed my email, my audition form and remembered to remove my Leatherman and Allen wrench from my bag. Then I bought a MegaBus ticket on line.  NY, NY, here I come.

In part 3 - Read how Getting there really is more than half the fun...
New York City SerenadeNY, NY - what a town! Image by joiseyshowaa via Flickr

Here is an interesting article on the show and how the recession has changed the way people are playing. Actually WWTBAM has really changed the format of the game and  it will be played very differently this season, I think in response to this trend:
 The economy is having an effect everywhere - even on game shows. Indeed, the downturn is having an impact on how people are playing "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," said host Meredith Vieira.
"I've seen more contestants who are playing for things like a mortgage payment," Vieira told reporters last week, "or, you know, because they don't have a job right now, or their kid suddenly can't go to college."

The real big gamblers are not there as much.
"On the other hand, what you're getting will be stories about people [for whom] this means a lot," she said. "It's more than just a game, so - it's life-changing money, and I think that's exciting in and of itself."
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2009/10/12/2009-10-12_economic_crisis_affecting_contestant_behavior_on_who_wants_to_be_a_millionaire_a.html#ixzz0yZRVPlTF

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    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    I always inspired by you, your views and attitude, again, thanks for this nice post.

    - Norman