Monday, August 27, 2007

The Unemployment Line

Last Thursday night, Ken and I braved the ferocious storms that swept through the Chicago area to visit our friends Dustin and Laura in Schaumburg. The reason for driving through green skies and downpours, past pulled over vehicles, through flooded streets, and alongside downed trees? The promise of some easy money from the producers of the famed show, "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"... What else would lure us to the hinterlands of the north?

We had some delicious pizza at our overnight stop and Laura and Dustin even pulled out an interview with a former "Millionaire" contestant for some inspiration. Though the dude was certifiably insane, it helped us to get ready for our very own "Fastest Finger" questions. The open auditions were to be held at Medieval Times and the parking lot supposedly opened at 5 am. Ken and I will do some crazy things, but getting up at that hour isn't one of them. We rolled out of bed at 7:15 and as we arrived, we couldn't help but notice the wrapping line. But the good news was that it was moving. This was especially good news because it was still raining. Within five minutes, we were inside the walls of the make-believe castle and within an hour realized that we had just missed the next audition group by five people. Although we were a bit discouraged, we decided to stay for the extra hour and continue with our dream for glory and a moment with Meredith.

During our time in line, we had a chance to meet others with million dollar dreams. And as we talked with them, I noticed a theme... Everyone was unemployed. How else would they be sitting on the floor at 9 am on a Friday morning? We were in an unemployment line! The girl in front of us had quit her job as a writer a month ago, the lady in front of her lost her job two days ago, etc. etc. This was not just an audition. This was survival.

Ken and I got in with the fourth group of folks taking the test. We sat in the front row and received directions for our two quizzes. One of them was a Netflix movie quiz and the other was general trivia. Both tests had 30 questions and we received 10 minutes to complete each. The movie one was first and I had no hope of actually passing it. There were completely random questions. Some of them were extremely easy, but then others were small little details from movies I had never seen or heard of. The second quiz was much easier. I felt fairly confident with all my answers except about three. Thanks to the miracle of Scantron, we knew our results within minutes. They announced the people who had passed both quizzes first and there were probably about 15 people on that list. Then the movie-only passers which numbered about 4, including the guy next to us. Finally it was time for the general test. After listening to quite a few numbers, I finally heard mine. I might have squealed a bit.

After the passers and non-passers had been separated, I was herded to an "interview" area and was given about five questions by some random girl who wanted to know about my T-shirt and why I wanted to be on the show. I highly doubt I did anything to stand out, but in two or three weeks, I'll find out if I've made it to the contestant pool.

The day was quite fun. Ken and I spent the entire ride home trying to remember all the questions. Ken didn't make it to the interview section, but by comparing our answers, we think he only missed one more than me... the passing grade must have been a 28 or 29 to make it to the interview.

Here's hoping I can get on the show and bring home the bacon! Otherwise, I really really really need to get a job.


Carly said...

And I spent my unemployed time learning to crochet... I should have tried to be on TV! I think you need a random element to get on the show. Like, I have a 1 legged bird. I bet that could get me on, don't you think?

Juhi said...

wow! :)

Sylvia said...

Keep up the good work.