Join the live audience for a TV game show.
It’s easy to get on TV—if you don’t mind playing a tiny role. You can
lend your voice to the sitcom laugh track by sitting in the studio
audience and guffawing on command. Attend a game show or talk show
taping and you might make it onto the tube when the camera pans the
audience. Studios are always searching for people to fill seats, and
most have their own ticket offices where they dole out admissions for
free. Tickets also are available online through such Web sites as
www.seeing-stars.com. You might even luck out like Isaac Silverman ’06,
who made it onto The Price is Right and came home with a chandelier.
Here’s his story:
First we waited in line for hours. Then we were all interviewed briefly
by the producers before filing into the studio. They don’t tell you who
made the cut, so I was surprised and excited when my name was called. My
task: Price a chandelier. I don’t have a particularly extensive
knowledge of lighting fixtures, but I got lucky, and the
chandelier—absolutely hideous—now graces my room back at home.
Once on stage, I played a game called “one away” to win a Ford Ranger
pickup truck. In “one away” you are given a price, in this case five
digits long, and you have to adjust each digit either one place up or
one place down to reach the correct price. You have two rounds of
adjustments to complete this in, and they tell you how many digits are
correct after the first round. As a carless student often stranded in
the Claremont bubble, the prospect of winning a truck was exhilarating.
I had recently helped a friend shop for a pickup, so I happened to know
quite a bit about truck prices. I was feeling pretty good about my
chances. In the first round I managed to guess four out of five digits.
This was both a good and a bad thing. The good part about it was that I
knew I was very close to winning the truck, the bad part about it was
that host Bob Barker made me go through the painfully embarrassing
process of asking the Barker girls: “Ladies, do I have one number
“Yes,” they replied, cheering while I looked mortified. We went through
this process for all five numbers, my excitement and embarrassment
growing each time.
I was confident about my original guess so I was going to change either
the tens or the ones, but everyone—at least everyone near me (my Pomona
friends, who were in the back, claim they had it right)—was telling me
to change the hundreds. I don’t know why, but I caved. It was the ones
place that was wrong, so no truck for me. My original guess was two
dollars off the sticker price. Excruciating. But I did get an
autographed photo of Bob Barker in addition to the chandelier.
I come from a small town where people watch a lot of daytime TV, and my
appearance made me a minor celebrity. I went to visit my high school
over Christmas break and kids I barely knew stopped me to say they say
saw me on The Price is Right. More importantly, my grandmother is a huge
Bob Barker fan, and my experience made her week, if not her year.