Yesterday morning. Woke up. One eye on my cell phone, sifting through all the Facebook messages. And there it was. A message that Wheel of Fortune would hold tryouts for their game show at Saratoga Harness. Yeah, I know, Saratoga Casino and Hotel, but it’s Saratoga Harness to me, if you’ve got a problem with that, I can’t help you.
Tryouts from noon to 4pm.
Well, it’s been a long time since my days of trying out for game shows. Let’s see. Two tries for The Chase. Four times for Jeopardy!. And what, 25 times for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Yeah, I can see myself going on a game show. Right. About the same time that Bartolo Colon hits an inside the park home run. And don’t bother showing me that YouTube clip of him hitting a home run from a year or so ago … I said inside the park home run, Colon’s so fat and slow his sprints can be timed with a sundial.
Then again … what’s the worst that can happen? I don’t get chosen to go to Los Angeles?
Okay, I’ll take a chance. I was scheduled to take some photos in Saratoga County anyway. I’ll take one roll of photos … and if I still feel like auditioning after that, I’ll drive to the harness track.
Took some nice shots along Route 9N. It’s about 9:30 am.
You know … if I don’t at least try to get on the show, I’ll never know. Right?
Okay. Off to the harness track. Besides, Mugshots Bro is racing in the 7th at the track, he’s horse #7, so I’ve got a good feeling.
I’m assuming these are NOT the tryouts for Let’s Make a Deal.
I arrived at the casino and was directed toward a sign-in line. And while I waited with hundreds of other hopefuls, I received the necessary tryout information.
The auditioneers will randomly select about 50 people from the attendees. Each person will receive a two minute interview and will play a simulated Wheel of Fortune “Speed Round” game. Once that’s complete, those who were selected will come back in a few weeks for another round of auditions. Those who are not selected will still have a chance to get on the show, based on a random pull of their audition information by the auditioneers.
At 11:30, we were all herded into the casino’s nightclub, Vapor.
I took a moment to pose with a cardboard cutout of Vanna White.
And the thing of it was … what else am I going to do at this point? This isn’t like any of the other trivia-based game shows I’ve auditioned for, where you have to at least show you have the brains to get past the first stages of auditioning. For this audition, you have to actually hope your name gets pulled from a bingo drum full of 700 other applicants.
In other words, my chances at getting pulled from the bingo drum was what, 14 to 1 odds?
Heck, Mugshots Bro is racing at better odds than that. And he won last week.
Okay. Now we wait.
Someone from WTEN is announcing the names of potential audition subjects. The names are read five at a time.
After each name is read, the host interviews each person, then a short game is played.
My name’s not called. Other people get their names called. Nobody I recognize. Oh well.
At the end of an hour, the 50th and final person’s name is read. Wasn’t me.
Now, I could have gone back in line and filled out another application for the 1:30 auditions. Heck, there was a woman who tried out the day before – and she went through three audition rounds without hearing her name. Four, if you count this round.
But you know what? I’m good. It was fun to watch. It was a nice diversion. And even if I did get through the application phase … I don’t know.
Believe me, this isn’t a case of sour grapes. I gave it a try, and it didn’t work out. No worries. Definite good luck to all those who tried out, though.
Besides, I’m going to watch Mugshots Bro in the 7th race at the harness track.
And I watched Mugshots Bro race all the way to a fifth place finish. Dag nab it. The horse wins when I’m not at the track, and when I bet on him at the track he finishes out of the money.
That does it. If he races next week, I’m betting on Mugshots Bro through OTB.
Plus, I have other things to take care of in my life.
Like shooting that other roll of film before the sun goes down.
So pardon me while I go on another film adventure.
And I don’t have to spend $250 to buy a vowel for that adventure.