Yesterday I had my audition for the TV show, "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" at the ABC Studios on West 66th Street in Manhattan. They just began tryouts for the 2007-08 season on Monday, and they will continue throughout May. I tried out for the show five years ago, when the show first moved over to daytime. Back then I tried out on two different occasions, and did not pass the written test each time.
I waited in line about 10 minutes with a large group of people along West 66th Street. I then walked into a large room and through a metal detector as well. All told there were about 120-130 people in the place, and they were of all different races and backgrounds and the male/female split was about 50-50.
It was a really hard test back in 2002, and it included questions on topics like chemistry and Shakespeare. The test I took yesterday was also a 30-question exam, with four possible answers, and we were timed to answer them all in 10 minutes.
The first question might have been an omen about how it was going to go: "Gene Simmons was the frontman for which legendary hard rock group?" That was Kiss, of course, but it reminded me of special friend, who once posed for a photo with him, and I had a feeling she wasn't far away at that moment.
The test wasn't as difficult as the previous ones I took, but they were all over the spectrum as far as topics went. (Fortunately there were NO chemistry or Shakespeare questions!) They ranged from questions about newspapers, flags, and math. There was only one sports question, and it was on boxing. There was another question that I simply couldn't believe was on the exam: "In 1860, what was the first state to secede from the Union?" That was South Carolina, but it was also the "Sneak Peek" question for the Trivia Night this past Monday night! I was stunned to see it, and I took that as another omen.
I finished all 30 questions in about 6 minutes, and it gave me time to go back and check my answers, which I did. And it was a fortunate thing I did, as I discovered two questions I put down wrong answers for, and I was able to change them to the correct ones. Out of the 30 questions, I took wild guesses at only about 4 or 5 of them.
When the test ended, we all turned in our answer sheets, and each had a number. Mine was 20, and the process of grading the papers was incredibly fast. They were all put into a computer, and less than five minutes later, a lady in the center of the room had a list of all the numbers of those people who passed the exam, and they would go on to be interviewed. (They did NOT reveal what the passing grade was, or anyone's score.)
So I crossed my fingers, and the woman began reading the numbers of the winners: " 6, 20..." Wow, I passed!! I pumped my fists, and moved over to another part of the room. It was then I started to get really nervous, as I couldn't believe I had passed. Out of the 130 or so test takers, they selected only about 25 people. I sat among the others, and most were as flabbergasted as I was.
I had my picture taken, and I met a woman who interviewed me, who was very nice. I chatted with her for about 5 minutes about myself, and she told me that I would be hearing from them in about 2-3 weeks about whether I would be entered into the contestant pool, and then the show's sponsors will pick the final contestants who will appear on the show.
I'm still in shock a bit that I passed, and I now might be on the show. Still two more hurdles to jump over, but I'm proud I've gotten this far.