So today was the WheelMobile event at the Solomon Pond Mall in Marlboro, MA.
I woke up at 9am, with plans to leve around 10:15. I showered, got dressed, and realized that there were probably going to be a shiteload of people there, so I left right then, around 9:30.
It took me about 1:15 to get to the mall, and I was right, apparently there'd been people camped there since 6:30 in the morning, so there was already a sizeable line when I got there. I made friends during the wait, as I am wont to do. Around 11:30 they came down the line with the little blue applications for the 12:30 show. We all filled them out and waited some more, and around noon they let us into what used to be the Linens 'n' Things where they'd set up the stage.
As you filed in you stuck your application into the yellow box at the front, and then you found your place. My new friends and I ended up against the left wall, and we danced and sang along with the music they were playing (mostly hits from the sixties, with a Beyonce tune thrown in for good measure) until it was time for the show to begin.
For anyone who doesn't know how one of these tryouts works, they call five people up on stage at a time by drawing applications from a big rotating drum. Those five people get a brief introductory interview, then Marty, the host, spins the wheel to find out what prize they've all won, be it a hat, shirt, fanny pack, whatever. Marty then announces the prize, usually with a leap between "Wheel of Fortune" and whatever item of clothing it is. "...but that's not all! You also get a Wheel of Fortune Keychain and a Wheel of Fortune Blinking Pin!"
He then introduces the puzzle, says "Here...We...Go!" and they play a speed round, like the Final Spin round from the show. Each player calls a letter and has three seconds to solve, they go around and around until someone solves, then Road Vanna (Courtney, I believe her name was) draws five more names and the process begins over again, until the show is over.
The idea, of course, is not that you make it on stage, you make it on the show, or you solve the puzzle you make it on the show, the idea is to show off your energy and enthusiasm and impress the producers enough so that they'll invite you back to the second audition in a couple month's time.
The first show went from 12:30-2, a half-hour longer than either of the other two shows. I didn't get called on stage.
Before we left the first show they let us know that the second show was already booked to capacity, so no need to try and get in line for that show.
It was at this point I decided to get food, cause I hadn't eaten yet. Hooray TGI Fridays.
After that I decided I'd get in line for the third show, at 4. I made more new friends, and continued contemplating how much I could use an iPod touch right about now...
Anyway, same procedure, cept yellow applications this time, file in, show til five, file out, didn't get called on stage again.
BUT! There is still hope!
So that everyone gets a fair shot they take all of the non-drawn applications from all three shows, both days, and take them back to LA and draw from those to fill the empty spots they leave for the second auditions. So I still have a chance to be selected for a second audition, even if I didn't have a first.