The Audiiton

We left the hotel a few hours early to get in some wandering before we were told to arrive for the audition. We headed back over toward Park Ave and stopped at Carnegie Hall to take some pictures. Then we headed north to Central Park and walked along a few paths. It was a nice day, nicer than had been forecast and I was wearing a sweatshirt (the name was never so literal), and there were many in the park that day. Although, I have no frame of reference as to how many people would be in the park on any given day, but I'll just say there were many. Numerous families were out, some with a child in a stroller or others trying to chase their offspring down, and there were a few softball games in progress. It reminded me of going to my dad's games as a kid. The weather and atmosphere were very similar to my memories. We stopped to photograph a few bridges and rock formations that, we thought, we had recognized from movies or television shows.

After, maybe, thirty minutes of walking inside the park, we decided to head over toward the ABC building on 66th. We were both a little hungry and started looking for somewhere to eat. It was around 4:30 pm and my friend's audition was at 5:30, so we decided to walk by the building before stopping for food to see if there was anyone gathering outside. There weren't as many as we'd thought, but it was still a little early. We walked over to Lincoln Center and stopped at a little cafe, that we thought was the only one but later found numerous locations all over the city. We had a quick sandwich and chips and just sat and watched the passersby. My friend pointed out that the section of 66th that ABC was on was also called Peter Jennings Way. I craned my neck to see if the other streets had dual names, and sure enough they did. I didn't recognize many of them, but this was another recurrence around the city as well. Mostly the heavily trafficked areas.

Around 5:00 or 5:15 my friend walked off to stand in line outside ABC and I walked over to the Barnes and Noble across the street. My audition wasn't until 6:30 and I had some time to kill. I walked around the store just to get an idea of the layout, I didn't want to peruse any books because I'd then have to carry them around with me if I made any purchases. It was three, maybe four I'm not sure, levels and the always present Starbucks was at the top. I went up there and got a coffee and a juice and then sat down with the notebook I brought along with me. I had it to help carry a questionnaire that the studio had asked us all to bring along. Just simple questions that, in the end, may never be read. I don't know how these auditions work.

I passed the time jotting down notes and thoughts. At 6:00 I left and walked over to the line-up and got in position. I stood there for awhile, watching the line grow longer and listening to people ask what the line was for and other's in line talking about previous attempts to get on the show. There was one guy in a vest covered in money. He must have done this a few times now, because he was imparting his wisdom to those around him. Couldn't have been to helpful for him though, since he was back in the line. One of the folks running the audition recognized him based solely on the vest. Good or bad, I've no idea.

Once the group ahead of us had finished they began to corral us into the building. As I was walking in, my friend walked out and filled me in on her success in passing the test. I had to pass now. We had to stop and pass some medal detectors that were being run by a few guys that looked and talked like they belonged in a Scorcese film. We sat at our chairs and waited as they gave us our instructions on the 30 question multiple-choice quiz. We had ten minutes to finish it. I only needed five. The questions were pretty easy and I only got hung up on a few of them. Then they collected the tests and graded them in a few minutes. The ringleader of the audition then started reading off numbers that corresponded with our test number. The list contained maybe twenty numbers and my heart skipped a beat after each number was called, but not mine. That is until the very last number. My heart jumped up into my throat as the words, "And finally..." came out of her mouth. I made the cut, but my nerves were shot.

The next stage of the audition consisted of those who passed taking part in a short interview. Most of the questions were similar to those on the questionnaire that I'd brought along with me, but they wanted to hear my say it. Corroborating the story, I guess. then the last question was, "What is something interesting that the host would like to know about you?" I didn't have an answer to that. I'm just a regular guy who was born and raised in St. Louis who has a lot of trivia knowledge in his head and wanted to put it to the test. Being unable to grasp at any other thoughts, I said something very similar to that. After that, my interviewer thanked me for my time and wished me luck. There was a second interview portion that they had said would take place on camera, which was over in the corner, but it wasn't vital in getting an appearance on the show. My friend and I both only made it to the first part. When I had walked in I saw someone being interviewed on tape, but being one of the first interviewed in my group I didn't see how many of those stuck around for the second interview.

I find out in a few weeks what the final word is. You get a notice in the mail about whether you're on or not via postcard. Guess they have to save money somehow.

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