A couple of months ago, our friend, Maxwell informed our group of friends that he created a ridiculous amount of email addresses, and eventually scored 20 tickets to The Price Is Right, filming in Hollywood for a Tuesday afternoon.
I didn’t even get the invite yet, when I cleared my calendar and decided on requesting a vacation day. I shortly after, got the invite (I would have some way wiggled my way in, of course, but the legit invite was nice to have).
The group was intense. Our group of PB friends is often intense, but throw in a game show in which there is a chance one of us has an opportunity to showcase our intenseness, and we rise to a different level of intense.
It was decided upon that we’d all be wearing Hawaiian shirts, and a party bus from PB to Hollywood was immediately booked for 8am on Tuesday morning, April 7th. The internet savvy members of the group did their due diligence to find out the best way to actually get to contestants row, and we learned a few things:
- You’re being judged by roaming producers, as well as hidden cameras as soon as you step foot in line
- Over-the-top enthusiasm will take you far
- Large groups of 15-25 are basically guaranteed to get one person chosen for contestants row
- You need to arrive at noon and plan on being there for 5 hours
Over-the-top enthusiasm? I’m pretty sure we have that covered on our sleepiest of days. Add an 8am, three-hour bus ride (including at least one bathroom break), coolers full of mimosas, beer, and some Fireball, and we’ve got the whole audience covered on the enthusiasm-meter.
We get there close to noon, our deadline, and are ready to wait in line for a while (acting peppy and friendly, of course), and ditch alllll of our food and drinks on the bus.
Let’s fast-forward to FOUR HOURS LATER… we are STILL in line.
Here are some things I’ve learned from actually GOING to The Price Is Right:
- BRING THINGS– drinks, food, whatever floats your boat. You are waiting in line for legit 3 hours before you even get to the security area where you need to ditch drinks, food, and your cell phone
- BRING YOUR CELL PHONE– many of our group members left their phones on the bus, after reading the show’s instructions that they would need to be “checked” at the door. The “check-point” isn’t until an hour before you enter the studio, which leaves you THREE HOURS of potential selfies with your super cool PIR name tags, texts to your jealous friends, and responses to work emails if you happened to just “call in sick” or “work from home” that day.
- DON”T BE AN ASSHOLE– there is a fine line between enthusiasm, originality, and assholism. As a group, we did not put ourselves on the right side of that line. Being enthusiastic, sweet, friendly, is great. Leave the cockiness at the door [*guilty as charged]
- YOU ARE NOT GUARANTEED TO HAVE A GROUP MEMBER GET CHOSEN: It doesn’t matter how big your group is, if they don’t want one of you, they WON’T PICK ONE OF YOU
As we’re waiting in what seemed to be the last leg of the line, right before security, after several overpriced Red Bulls and stale, tasteless personal pizzas from the show’s “snack stand,” and after being told we ONLY have an hour and a half left ’til we get into the studio, my sister says to me,
“I’m tired of this, do you want to just go to the bar across the street??”
I respond, “Umm.. yeah, if it’s really gonna be another hour and a half, I’ll go.”
“No, I mean, INSTEAD of going to the show. I”m over this.”
That’s where I put my foot down. There’s no way I’m waiting in a sea of ridiculous lines for this long, and not even getting in there. We started making jokes such as,
“What if Carissa gets picked and they’re like ‘CARISSA!!! COME ON DOWN’ and we have to say on national TV— OH- she’s not here anymore– she went to the bar!!'”
She resorted to just napping once we got to our seats. She was over it. Little did she know… there would be NO NAPPING.
The person I feel for the most in production of The Price is Right: The young’ish looking man, who had a title I can’t even fathom, (Cheer police??) who stood on stage having anxiety attacks every time the cameras rolled, convulsing over getting everyone to stand up, clap, and act like they were having the times of their lives. This poor guys was sweating down his cheeks and looked like he was about to cry when he wasn’t getting a proper response.
My hands were literally sore from clapping, my voice horse from hooting and hollering, and my Fitbit going out of control with all the fist pumping. Sitting in the audience of The Price is Right is a much different experience from sitting on your couch. You can’t hear anything that is happening on the tiny little stage. You literally have to wait to see poor little Cheer Police’s note card to know who was chosen next to “COME ON DOWN,” because you couldn’t hear a damn thing.
The group of assholes with the Hawaiian shirts and enough enthusiasm to light the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, (even after a mid-afternoon hangover at this point), was strategically seated front and center, two rows behind the contestants. We were USED. They baited us before the show started, by saying all the contestants were not yet chosen after the interview process (obvious lies), and that they’d be watching us throughout the show to see who was cheering loudest, and helping out the most. That’s how they continuously got us out of our chairs and screaming. We bit the bait. Bastards.
Contestant after contestant was chosen. Not.one.of.them.came.from.our.group. W…T…F…
The beginning of the bus ride home was somewhat solemn. How did NOT ONE of us get chosen? We were soooo cool, and fun, and enthusiastic. Weren’t we?? We got over it by the time we hit the highway, got back to our normal selves, and started pumping the jams (I’m old… I say pumping the jams), cracking the beer, and passing the Jack.
We made the bus driver get to record speeds on the way home (approximately 55mph), as six of us on the bus had a co-ed softball game to get to at 9pm. Forfeiting was not an option.
We made the game. Me, still in my Hawaiian shirt, jeans, chucks, and Price is Right name-tag, as I didn’t have a second to change. We also won the game, due to something I can’t put my finger on. Probably the fact that the other team had never played softball in their lives?? There’s nothing else I can guess there….
Ginge and I had a talk later on that night… why didn’t any of us get on? It wasn’t very hard to decode. After all of the tips we read about being outgoing, enthusiastic, and original, we didn’t really stop to think about the target audience of the show. Who is the target audience? Mostly old retired people, maybe some stay-at-home moms, and the obvious kids who pretend they’re sick to stay home from school and binge-watch game shows.
What were we lacking in our approach? Genuineness. Plain and simple. We didn’t need to be these over-the-top ridiculous people, making up fake occupations and turning on the ham. That’s not what people want to see. That’s not what people are rooting for. At least not on this show. We discussed the people who got called up, and the old woman who won the entire showcase, whose husband, who was bound to a wheelchair was crying tears down his cheeks. We realized then, people want to see good people win things. Not annoying people, not crazy-hyper people… real people with good hearts and a great desire to play the game.
We are those people. We are all, individually, good, genuine people who have good hearts and want to play the game and win things. Every one of these people I love is that great person you’d cheer for if you knew them. But I’m not sure we portrayed ourselves in the best light possible. I’m not going to say we were the drunk idiots of the interview process, because we weren’t. Maybe we would have been if we knew better…. they kept us in line for so long beforehand that it would have been somewhat impossible to STILL be the drunk idiots that we may have been on the bus. But they may have read our enthusiasm incorrectly.
Here is my humble advice for anyone who scores tickets to this show:
- BE YOURSELF- Just maybe a less-inhibited version of yourself. Be friendly and kind, very happy and really want to play the game
- BE PREPARED- They tell you not to wear open toed shoes. Don’t. Our friend with flip-flops stopped at a store outside the studio and bought a pair of knock-off chucks for $194. (He’s pleased with his purchase, so all is good).
- DON”T PLAN ON HAVING A VOICE…OR PALMS the next day: You will clap like you’ve never clapped before, and yell like you’ve never yelled before. Even if you don’t want to. Cheer Police knows what he’s doing. He’s no joke. You will clap. You will yell.
All in all, I could not have thought up a better way to spend my Tuesday. A group of great friends getting together and sharing an experience so close to home that most don’t really put on their priority list…. we put it on our priority list. Thank you Maxwell, for all of your finagling and hard work. I love you guys all to the moon and back… and no RV, Range Rover, pony, sailboat, washer/dryer, cooking set, or bear hug from Drew Carey could even make me love you more.
To all of you thinking of going to The Price is Right? Go. It’s an experience for sure. Just pack a backpack full of snacks and refreshments for the wait… and try not to act like an asshole. ;-)
PS- Our episode airs June 1, 2015. Look for the sea of Hawaiian shirts up front. :-)