Saturday, April 14, 2007

Deal, or No Deal

Well, this was kind of a dumb thing to do. I should probably save it for Monday. But how many times to I want to be the moron on my own blog feature?

I think we heard about it on Monday. I had wanted to do it last year when they came to Dallas, but I hate Dallas, and it was raining so I didn't go. Today they were about two miles from my house.

So I just thought I would get up at a reasonable time and see what the line looked like. I thought I might get in line at 6:30 am. Or maybe half an hour earlier or later. I could have gotten there even earlier than that, but I didn't really want it that bad. It had rained a lot the night before, and I had this picture in my head of a bunch of people standing in line in a big puddle of water. I really didn't want it that bad.

The auditions or the try outs or whatever you would call it were at a car dealership. Maybe they called it a casting call. Anyway, it was at this car place. And I knew right where the car place was. But I'd never actually tried to get to the car place before. I drive past it on the way to school several times a week, but it is on the freeway, and once I got over there I wasn't quite sure which exit to take and how to get turned around going the right way and all of that. So I lost about twenty minutes getting that figured out. I tried to drive up behind it on another street, but the street dead-ended before I got where I thought I needed to be. So I turned around and started again. This time I got it right, but I noticed a lot of people just sort of walking around. Was I that late? Did we have to park in the next town or something?

Okay, I wasn't that late. 7:30 or so, about an hour later than I thought would be a good time. But it was a bit cold and I didn't want to wear my big ugly coat. I thought if I waited til the sun came out I probably wouldn't need it. And I was wearing two sweaters and a fifteen foot scarf.

So I drove behind the car place, and there is a guy telling people that the parking lot is full, so we'll have to park behind the fitness center down the street and to the right. Well, that's not too bad. There were more people at the fitness place making sure we parked where we were supposed to.

So people were getting out of their cars and carrying things like folding chairs and ice chests. I only brought a book. I did happen to have a chair in the car, but after a bit of thought I decided I didn't want it bad enough to carry it across the field to the car place.

Well, that was the good thing about getting there an hour later than I meant to. The mud in the field was starting to dry. It was probably a bit messy earlier.

Half way across the field, I saw two people coming back the other way. Does it look that bad? Well, go and see for yourself. You'd probably get in, but it's going to be a long wait, and we don't want to be in that line without chairs. Good luck. Thanks.

So I get in line at about 7:45. I'm standing in line between a 75 year old woman and a postman. I ask them to hold my place for a minute, and I went to ask some other people how long they had been in line. A couple of guys in the middle of the line said they had been there since about 6:15. Okay. That would have been nice, but I probably wasn't doing too bad myself. So then I went to talk to some people right up at the front.

How long have you been here?

Since Wednesday.

Wednesday. Wow. That's nuts. I went back to find my place in line. There were already like thirty people in line behind me. I told the postman about the people being in line since Wednesday.

A couple of black girls behind the postman lucked out and got a parking space at the car place. One of them walked down the road a bit for some coffee. A lot of people did that, but I don't drink coffee, and I didn't bring any money with me anyway. Besides, I had remembered that Playtah said she didn't have a bathroom break for thirteen hours, and I didn't want to use the port-a-potties.

Okay, so the casting call thing was supposed to be from 10am to 1pm. So I was going to be in line for two hours before they even got started. One of the black girls offered the old lady one of their chairs for a while, but she declined. Someone was coming back for her, and he was bringing their own chairs.

Only he did not bring the chairs. He had to park even farther away than I did, and he decided he couldn't drag the chairs that far. If he had realized where he was being sent, he would have stopped and unloaded the chairs when he dropped off his mother. Someone else let her borrow a chair for a bit.

Once in a while, the line would move forward a bit, which was odd since no one was actually being allowed inside yet. But during two hours we moved forward about twenty-five feet or so. Every once in a while someone will come by with forms for us to fill out. One page looks exactly like something that I already printed off the computer. The other page looks slightly different, but it has the wrong date on it. I keep the first page that I had already filled out and then sign the second page that they gave me. It was hard enough to write something legible at home, so I don't think I'm going to try rewriting most of it while standing in line.

It is cold. I've had worse days at Six Flags, but that was like twenty-five years ago. I have never liked being cold, and the older I get the less I like it.

It isn't raining, but the postman brought his rain gear, and he loans it to the old lady.

There's a rumor going through the line that once we get inside we'll only have thirty seconds to talk, so we'd better decide what we want to say.

The line is just huge now. Announcements are being made. Like if you parked at Kroger's you might want to leave now cause they are towing the cars away.

The college is a very short drive from the car place. I am starting to think that if we only get to talk for thirty seconds, I might get out of here sooner than expected. I should probably go to the ceramic lab after this.

They have opened the doors and let a few people inside. The line starts to move again. A bunch of people make jokes with the postman. All day, same jokes, different people.

Mr. Postman, you got my check in there?

I had grabbed a book on the way out, but I hadn't read any of it. I'm sorry I brought the thing. It's just too cold for me to do anything like read. Some people are trying to be friendly and ask what I'm reading. Sorry, I just grabbed a book of short stories. Right now I'm not really reading anything.

One of the authors in the book is Orson Scott Card, so me and the man who brought his seventy-five year old mother talk about Ender's Game for a bit. After I found out he liked science fiction, I said I should have brought an actual Dr. Who scarf instead of the thing I was wearing. He said what I should have brought was the blue phone booth.

More people are making jokes with the postman. He takes out an envelope and puts a check-mark on it.

Mr. Postman, you got my check in that bag?

Yes, I do. See?

The line is moving, and at about 10:30 we get inside the caution tape. So this is where I would have started from if I'd been there at 6:15. So now I am thinking that I'll be inside the building by about 11:00.

There is an awful smell. A truck came to service the port-a-potties. Yuck.

Now, for some reason the line seems to be moving slower than it was. And it is getting colder. I had thought it would get warmer later in the day, but we just ended up getting more clouds and a bit of wind. I am really starting to feel bad. But I'm inside the ropes now, and I've been waiting for more than three hours, so I can wait a bit more.

11:30, and I'm still not inside. I'm not trying to look cool with the scarf anymore. I've got a bunch of it wrapped around my head.

Some girls are singing the Beatle's song Please Mr. Postman.

The scarf wasn't the cool attention getting thing that I thought it was going to be. In line behind me was the cat in the hat. Elvis was a bit ahead of me. Someone brought six little cheerleaders. There was a lady in a foil covered box, so I think that was supposed to be a briefcase costume. Closer to the front of the line was a guy in a bear costume. At least five people brought dogs.

12:00 now. I just didn't realize how cold I was. The line is moving again, but I can barely walk.

Someone makes some more announcements. And the bit about only getting to talk for thirty seconds has been confirmed by someone from the show, but he says that really we only have twenty seconds. And he says that we'll be going in about ten people at a time, and we'll be pointed to when it's our turn and don't waste any of your twenty seconds saying how much you like the show or the models or Howie. All that stuff is just assumed. Talk about yourself and why you should be on the show.

So I am finally inside the building. I'm glad I'm in the building, but I'm still cold. Stiff and having trouble walking cold. I get my papers ready and straighten my scarf.

Our group is called, and they're telling us to hurry, but I can't. I just can't move that fast. Luckily I'm in a group with a very old woman and it just looks like I'm trying to wait for her.

Anyway, when it was my turn I talked about being an artist and being able to make a lot of stuff but not making any money. I don't think I sounded very good, and I don't think that they bothered to look at my paper or anything. I was just too cold to look happy. I'm sure that they want happy people on their show. No one in our group was asked any questions, and we left.

People from the show were trying to get everyone to walk straight out the back door. I don't think so. I've got a long walk to get to the car, and I don't think I am up to that yet. I see some people drinking coffee. I don't like coffee, but if it is warm I'll take some.

A guy from the car place tells me it's three dollars a cup. And then I remember that I've left my purse and stuff in the car.

Then he tells me he's just joking, and the coffee is free. And then when he hears that I don't even like coffee, he finds some instant hot chocolate for me. Nice.

So I ask the guy if he got to audition or whatever, and he says no. And he tells me about the excitement of the last few days, about people being camped out since Wednesday, about having a bunch of people around during the storm last night, and about how the police were called to break up a couple of fights. And how the police hate his boss for agreeing to host this thing in the first place.

So I start walking to my car at about 12:30. I don't think anyone is going to call me. I think I totally wasted my day and could have been in ceramics class. I thought about going there for a few hours, but decided I was just too cold to get any work done. I think that it might be nice and warm in the kiln room, but I really don't feel well.

Since I parked where I was told to, my car is right where I left it. The fitness people left some ads and a three day pass on my window. I'll think about it later.

I still feel a bit cold. I've tried to take a nap and I've had a bath, but I still don't feel so good. I should eat something, but I'm not hungry. I'm drinking hot lemonade instead.

Well, now I know what it's like if I ever want to try to get on a game show again. And it wouldn't have been a bad day if it had been the usual spring weather of this time of year.

So if you ever wanted to know what a casting call for a game show was like, now you know.

And thanks to everyone who wished me luck.


dmarks said...

I'm sorry this didn't work out. With the conversation, it sounds like it would have been a little bit fun.... if not for it being so cold!

Get warm. Stay warm.

evil-e said...

Well, after hearing your tale, I will never wait in a line to get on a gameshow. Great story though, you have to admit, waiting in a line with hordes of others is blog-fodder for sure. I see that the people watching was facinating, at the very least.

Just try to take the Jeopardy on-line test the next time, I did and I did OK. Not good enough for the show, but good enough for my purposes.

Babybull40 said...

I don't particularly enjoy being in any sort of line-up.. Earlier this year they held audtions for the 5 episodes to be aired in Canada.. Pretty cool I thought.. I even had considered going for an audition.. But I didn't feel the good money vibes.. well maybe next time.. not... After reading your story.. I doubt I will ever wait in line again.. even for a silly old game show....At least now you can say "been there done that"!

Rachel said...

I haven't ever auditioned for anything that is on T.V. I don't think that I would make a good contestant. I get nervous WAY too easy.