Caged Bird… May 21, 2009
My first game show audition April 21, 2009
I love craigslist. I manage to probably spend an hour on their site everyday either searching under jobs, classes, housing or community. I understand there is a risk involved with trusting Craigslist and the “good” people on there, but let’s face it I’m kinda a risk taker. The other day I came across a posting calling out to potential game show contestants for The Singing Bee. The ad basically outlined the purpose of the show (they provide a song with music and lyrics and then cut it off leaving you to sing the rest of the lyrics from memory, if you get it right you get some money) and what you needed to do to apply (write a brief paragraph about why you’d be a good contestant and attach a recent photo). I wrote five lines quickly and sent the least stupid picture of myself (which was still stupid, why don’t I have ANY good photos of me up close…). This all happened on Sunday.
Monday morning I was rudely awakened by my mobile ringing with an unknown number. I hoped it was someone offering me my dream job and instead I heard,
“Hi Leah? This is blah blah from The Singing Bee.” Oh, crap… did I apply for some freak’n singing telegram company or something, geez I really need to be more choosy about who I’m sending my resume to.
I responded with, “Who?”
He repeated himself and then added, “from CBS, the game show.” Ooooooohhh, what? They actually picked me? Hhhmm maybe that photo wasn’t so stupid after all.
“Now Leah, you describe yourself as, ‘upbeat, fun, friendly and… well I have to be perfectly honest here, in all four years of doing casting I have never come across anyone who has described themselves as ‘well groomed.’ What does ‘well groomed’ exactly mean?” He is laughing. Oh crap, what did I write in my paragraph? I’m such a loser, ‘well groomed’ really?
“Well, I think I was just trying to say that I can shower and look good when need be.” He is still laughing,
“oh I see… most people just write they’re attractive.” Uh, Ok “sorry?”
“No, no need to be sorry, in fact how about you come down to the studio tomorrow for an in person audition.” Uh, Ok again.
So… it was my first trip to the Valley! I felt really cool approaching the gates to the large studio. I was introduced to about thirty other people waiting to audition as well. We were ushered into one of the large buildings and put in a hot room in the basement. A woman handed out application forms and we were sat at tables. The application form sucked. Hard questions like, “Who is your favorite singer?” and “What was your first concert?” Ok, well those questions weren’t exactly hard but they definitely put some tricky ones in there, like “What is a unique talent of yours?” What? I don’t have any talents! Ugh. or “Tell us something many people don’t know about you?” I contemplated writing, ‘ I have syphilis.’ But thought I should probably answer it seriously. But these questions were so dumb and difficult to answer. After we filled out our applications we had a group quiz. They played five songs, each song they stopped about fifteen seconds into and we had to write down the next lyrical phrase. I got lucky and actually knew all five songs! They collected the quizzes and left for a while. I made friends with the people at my table, a very diverse group of ages and sexes. They came back and read off the names of those that would continue on to the next round. I was called (they couldn’t pronounce my last name, JO-SEPH-SON, really? that hard?) woo hooo!!
The next hour and a half was just a lot of sitting around and talking to the casting coordinators and each other. And the twist of the day was revealed… CBS didn’t sign on for another season of The Singing Bee, however, another network acquired it. What network you might ask? NBC? Nope, WB? Nope, anything normally watched? Nope. CMT. hahahahaha Country Music Television. Thank GOD I attended college in Iowa, I actually had a chance! Ummm did I mention the show is hosted by Joey Fatone (yeah the guy from NSYNC).
The next phase was to enter a room and stand in front of a panel, looking straight into a camera we had to introduce ourselves, state our name and where we were from. Then a guy asked us various questions from our applications and we had to answer into the camera. I started confidently, “Hi, I’m Leah Josephson, 25, from St. Paul MN.” Then the guy asked, “What was the best part of growing up in Minnesota?” Well, definitely not the arctic 9 months out of every year. “The best part of growing up in Minnesota was the easy access to our 10,000 lakes.” Solid answer. He then asked me what I did in the lakes. What an idiot, what do you think I did? What all people do in lakes. “While visiting our 10,000 lakes over the years I have done a lot of tubing, water skiing and swimming, although really I’m not that strong of a swimmer.” Oh the irony. Then the bastard looks down at my application to my answer for the “Tell us something others probably don’t know about you…” question and says, “So Leah, you grew up on a farm, tell us what you used to do to the chickens on your farm.” Asshole. I cleared my throat and looked into the camera straight faced, “Growing up on a farm I played outside a lot and had to use my creativity. I liked to dress the chickens in my doll clothes and carry them around with me.” Guy laughs and says, “that’s weird.” Umm last time I checked dressing chickens as baby dolls is pretty normal buddy. He asks me a few more stupid questions and finally I am allowed into the next round.
We play a mock version of the game. The intern girl hits the boom box, when she stops the song we are supposed to raise our hand if we know the next lyrics, then they choose someone and that person has to step forward, look directly into the camera and as loud as they can sing the lyrics, alone. They ring a bell if your lyrics are correct. I am chosen three times and each time I not only sound absolutely horrendous but I fail, usually by one stupid word like “but” or “and”… I am getting frustrated and accidentally let out an effenheimer after the last failed attempt. They play one last song, it’s Billy Ray Cyrus achey breaky heart… I know this! I raise my hand and the dude chooses me. I step forward and belt out, “or he might blow up and kill his man.” I look at the bell ringer, she looks at the guy, they look at my pleading, sad, defeated face and then… DINGGGGGG! YES! A pity ring! I didn’t even get it right, apparently I left out some stupid little word but who cares they dinnnnggeeed! I jumped up and down, turned around to the other contestants and yelled, “That’s right bitchesssss!” The intern looks scared. I don’t care, I realize I may be a little out of line, but hey, I figure I may never make it on the show so I better celebrate my victory while I have the chance. They tell us they will present the videos to the producers and get back to us soon, blah blah blah.
I don’t know how people do this whole auditioning thing on a regular basis, it’s exhausting not to mention a tad degrading with all those idiotic questions, but hey cash prizes or no cash prizes I’d totally play The Singing Bee again just to hear that DING.
I’ll let you know if I get the gig.