Patricia M's Blog Post
A Dream Realized!
In 2011 the Wheelmobile visited Morongo Casino near the community where I reside and my husband encouraged me to attend, however my name was not called that night. Fast forward four or five years later, my husband and I were going through our regular routine of watching the show. The only difference this particular evening was that my husband went and grabbed his camera and said, "Let's make your video, you're ready." That night we recorded the video and sent it in. On June 15, 2016, I received an email inviting me to attend an audition. During that audition, the producers gave us tips on what we needed to do to be selected as contestants, we played some simulated games and were timed on completing puzzles prior to being dismissed for the day. We would hear from show within two weeks if we were chosen to participate as contestants. Two weeks and one day later, the letter appeared in the mail. I believe I dropped every other piece of mail in excitement. While driving to an appointment, I received a call from Jackie (on of the producers) informing me of the taping day of the show, which was scheduled for July 28th.
To maximize the experience, we drove to Los Angeles the day prior to the taping. The morning of the taping I met other contestants at the Doubletree Hotel in Culver City to ride the Shuttle to the studio. It was a magical day. My husband gave me one final piece of advice, "have fun" and off we went. The shuttle stopped to pick up other contestants and during the ride, we all introduced ourselves.
Upon arriving, we met with the producers, stylists, make-up artists and the other team members. It truly takes a team to make the show happen. Just as we were going over paperwork, a knock at the door... it was Vanna White stopping by to say good morning and to wish us all good luck. Next it was time to do some practice runs. Thankfully, because my heart was beating so fast, I thought I was going to pass out. Good thing I had an opportunity to get those nervous jitters out before the actual taping. After returning from the practice runs, there were snacks and we found out which day our show would be airing.
The producers do an outstanding job getting the contestants ready for the show. Throughout the day, they kept reminding us of the rules and to be energetic. They also did this between commercial breaks, reminding us of the rounds and to stay positive and optimistic.
Once I solved my first puzzle, I became more comfortable. Pat Sajak is hilarious! He's really quick on his feet. He made me feel very comfortable, which helped me to relax. I screamed so loud after my first solve, I think I startled him. I couldn't stop screaming so he finally just decided to join in. And once I won the prize puzzle, the screaming only got louder. Going to the Bonus Round was the icing on the cake. Even though I didn't solve the puzzle, Pat Sajak had already whispered to me, "Just relax, you're already a big winner".
I felt as though I was walking on air once I left the show that day, it was surreal. I think it took about two weeks before my feet touched the ground again.