Monday, August 4, 2008

The password is... denied

I suppose I should start at the beginning.

Weezer Monkey, my coworker, and I went to an open-call for Million Dollar Password about two weeks ago.  We filled out an extensive application, took a test, snarked at our fellow contestants, spoke about ourselves for 30 seconds, played password in front of a camera, and answered a bunch of questions (some successfully, some some abysmally).  They said they would call me - but I wasn't optimistic.  And deep down, I didn't really want them to as I am a big fat chicken.  

But even so, I am a chicken who loves free money.  Loves it.  So when Mr. Insomniac calls me late Friday afternoon and says that Password called and you have to call them right away, my first instinct is to vomit in the trash can behind me.  And my hands start shaking.  But then I thought about the possibility of winning $25k, and I manage to pull it together and prepare to go to the CBS studio for a password boot camp that would "significantly increase your chances of being on the final show."  As I would come to realize, you will do quite a bit for the chance to win some free money.  Quite a bit indeed.

So after confirming with Carli  (I'm sure she spells it with an "i".  She totally seems the type)  at 6:40, I drive to the CBS studio for the password boot camp on Friday.  Park car, talk to a tall pale guy with an elaborate tattoo on his calf who takes me to a slender Black woman with a walkie talkie coming out of a trailer.  She tells me that the boot camp was cancelled.  (Great.)  But that I should show up at 8am on Saturday and bring three different outfits.  I ask if there's something special I should wear or not wear and she tells me that someone will call me or send me an email.  I ask if I can wear jeans.  She says yes but they have to be "very nice jeans".  Then she looks me up and down (I'm wearing a pair of wrinkled black cotton pants and a purple v-neck sweater - I just drove from work) and says, "like those are not nice jeans".  No shit, lady.  For starters, they're not made of denim.    When I tell her I can't make the 8am time, she tells me to then come to the 7pm boot camp on Saturday, but to call first, just in case.

Saturday.  I call first, just in case.  No answers at any of the two numbers I have in my possession.  Leave messages with Carli and Josh (or whatever his name was).  Decide to go to the studio anyway.  Can't get in the main gate - a security officer tells me that they've wrapped for the day, that I'm not on the list and quips, "well now you can go get your car washed", dragging his finger along my dirty car for additional emphasis.  Thanks, douche.  Unlike other parts of the country, if you have a dirty car in Los Angeles, that's like a major character flaw.  Seriously.  I remember when I lived in Michigan, everyone had a dirty car from November to March.  Why?  You couldn't wash them because the locks would freeze.  And it was pointless because the dirt, sand, and salt from the roads would just dirty them up all over again.

Sunday.  I decide to show up, just for the hell of it.  My weekend's already wrecked.  I was supposed to go to San Diego with Mr. Insomniac and stay at a cool hotel while he did conference stuff, but I passed that up for game show glory.  So I get there are 8am, and actually get in this time.  Same guard too.   He gives me a map and directions to get to stage 23.  So of course I spend the next 10 minutes driving aimlessly around the studio lot, seeing signs for Greek and assorted other shows.  Finally find it, find the Password people, and eventually get ushered to the contestant area along with a 23 year old Art Director who's trying out this whole acting thing and was selected because he's in some sort of casting database.  This particular "contestant area" consists of rows of tables and chairs in a parking garage and a video camera.  At one of the tables is a box of assorted chips and some small bottles of water.  I of course grab one of each, because I, well because that's the type of gal I am.  Maybe there were nicer areas, who knows.  A black guy named with the ever-present walkie talkie (I'll call him WT) is assigned to groom us into wonderful contestants.  

Other contestants join us - we have Marine, complete with shaved head and USMC army green hoodie.  We have Alfredo who ends up sucking at Password despite the fact that me and Art Director heard WT arguing that Alfredo was exactly what Password needs.  Maybe they need a dumbass, I suppose.  Another contestant, Rafe, mentions that he got laid off and is getting married on Friday.  Us contestants nod our heads in acknowledgment and appreciation.  This guy has a great "story".  He's a shoe-in.  Another guy tells me that he can't really tell me what he does because he's not supposed to be doing it.  Meaning that he's an actor.  But that he works at Barney's Beanery as a security guard.  Which is strange because I could probably kick his ass.  But anyway, let's call him ActorBoy.  

So us contestants chat and chat.  There's a lot of down time.  But they're interesting and people I'd probably never encounter in a regular situation, so I'm content.   Then we start playing password, which was really fun. The Marine and I agreed with me that the only reason why we were here was because our significant others hated to play board games with us.   ActorBoy is really good.  He does have this energy about him.  A sort of intensity that makes it look like he's about to bite my head off.  I don't like standing close to people (I have a large conception of personal space) and I need to be told to get closer because I'm out of the frame.  I'm also tired (got five hours of sleep) and hungry (I didn't eat anything - not even a single plant - Hey!  Now this post has become topic related!  lol).  Anyhow, I'm not intense enough apparently.  But I'm getting all the passwords and I feel like I'm giving good clues.  Like for the word "Ginger" I come up with "Wasabi?...  pink!" and ActorBoy gets it!   Nice.  

But then I switch partners and get the Art Director who looks like he's half asleep.  I experiment with the two clue approach and try "Hook... and... " for "Ladder"  and he doesn't get it.  After each round we have a little discussion about how we could have done things differently.  Which is kind of weird because it's like yes, I could have done "Chutes...  and...." but you know what?  I didn't think of it.  Yes, it would have better.  Happy?

Another Millionaire production person holds up the card "Diamond" and we all say what we'd say.  Someone says "Jewel", someone says "carat" but then the Marine says, well that would be heard as "carrot".  I say "DeBeers" and they agree that no one would get that.  I roll my eyes.  Did I mention that I was the only woman there?  And possibly the oldest person there?  Actually Rafe was the oldest.  

WT gets a walkie talkie buzz and tells us that he's nervous because he's just recieved word that the "Network Exectives" will be coming to watch us play.  And that we need to be "on".  And then he goes around and tells us our problems.  Someone (Marine or Rafe) had good skills, but low energy.  ActorBoy has high energy, but low skills.  I'm in the middle on both dimensions.  During a lull Rafe corners ActorBoy and asks, "what are you doing that makes you high energy?  Is it that thing you do with your hands?"  

So at about 11am, a older woman with frizzy blond hair (who some of the contestants know) rushes in.  She's loud and obnoxious, but nice.  She talks to us for a few seconds and then goes I want you and you.  Pointing to ActorBoy and Rafe.  She tells the rest of us to go home and that they'll call us for Monday's taping or for another season.  (Like this show is going to make it).

I debate staying around to try and see the taping as an audience member, but decide to leave.  But not before I ended up lost driving around the stupid studio lot for 10 minutes.  It's not that it's large.  It's that I'm directionally-challenged.  

1 comment:

WeezerMonkey said...

WTF?! All this driving around for nothing?! UGH.