Almost a year ago, I commented on my long-standing desire to be a contestant on a game show, and related some of what contestant coordinators look for in would-be contestants. Earlier this week, I took some time off to audition for Duel. Given that the show was said to have less-than-stellar ratings when it aired this past December, and that the usual site I go to for game show news was fairly critical of the show (although I don't think the problems were as bad as he seems to), I was surprised to learn from Buzzerblog that the show was auditioning contestants for a second season.
Having watched Duel, I thought it was a good quiz-show-type game that would play well to my strengths, so I sent in an e-mail with the requested information. I was surprised to get a call back the next day, inviting me to attend an "Open Casting Call" on Monday (I commented before that they call these try-outs "auditions." "Casting" is another word that signals just how much these game shows are treated as dramatic entertainment.).
So, having made arrangements to take a half-day off of work, I braved the LA traffic to head the to studio. Upon arriving, I found a line of chairs outside the studio with a desk set up at the door. The person at the desk asked me to sign in, and gave me a 50-question multiple-choice trivia quiz to take while waiting in the provided chairs. If I did well enough, I was told, I'd be asked to do an interview.
Although I'm sure I got a few questions wrong, I clearly didn't do so poorly as to lose the chance at the interview, as my name was indeed called, and I went inside to interview, along with a group of about a half-dozen other people. We mostly discussed strategies for playing the game, and were each asked to name our own areas of expertise. We also engaged in a mild form of one-upmanship as we were asked to quiz each other (I asked people to name the two lead actors from the '80s sitcom Perfect Strangers, and the call number of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek. One of the would-be contestants answered the first question correctly, but no one got the second.*). At the end we were asked which among us each of us would most want not to have to face, as well as who we would want to pair up against. I'm not sure if it's good or bad, but I clearly left an impression on my co-auditioners, as they indicated that I would be one of the people they weren't sure they could beat.
At that point, we were asked to step outside, but told not to leave just yet. A few moments later, the contestant coordinator came out, and pulled me aside to make sure that he had correct contact information. He reminded me that they were going to process a lot of people that day, but that if they wanted to continue with me as a potential contestant, I would get a call in a couple of days. I don't know if I'll get such a call or not, but it was a fun experience regardless. It's been too long since I've been to one of these auditions. If this one doesn't work out, I hope to try another one again sooner rather than later.
*The lead actors in Perfect Strangers were Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker. The call number of the USS Enterprise is NCC-1701.