Stacy S's Blog Post
I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s when game shows were numerous! I remember watching Wheel of Fortune during the day when you shopped for prizes! I loved the game then, and when it moved to nighttime it soon became a nightly ritual with my parents, and then husband and children. I would joke and say, “I should be on this show!” and my family would agree and say that I should try out. When the Wheelmobile came to Lincoln City, my husband said he would go and support me. I went to every show and finally got called up on stage on the last show, but I didn’t get called for an audition. Four years later, the Wheelmobile came again, and my daughter said she would go with me. I got called up onstage for the second show (its totally a random pick), was enthusiastic, interviewed with Marty, and begged the coordinators to pick me as a contestant.
They said I would get an email in three months if I was chosen. Almost exactly three months later I got an email for an audition in downtown Portland. I was working at the time, and my co-workers thought I had seen a mouse (I don’t like rodents) I was screaming so loud! I went to the audition where about 50 hopefuls were trying out. Two contestant coordinators Gary and Shannon and a computer guy were there. They were friendly and told us to call logical letters, be happy, and make quick decisions. We also took a written test of blank puzzles, which was hard. I was very uncertain that I would make the cut, since there were many who were good. They went out of the room and came back in and said if our name was called we made it and if it wasn’t we had to leave. My name was called! I was ecstatic. We played more puzzles and they said we would get a letter in the mail in two weeks if we were chosen to be a contestant. I was hopeful, but not sure. Every day the mail came, but no letter! On the 15th day I was sure I hadn’t been chosen and my husband got the mail and said, “Honey, I think there is something here for you!” A letter from Wheel! I knew then what it was, but was so nervous to open it that I ran to my neighbors house to have her read it to me! I then ran around the neighborhood screaming and calling my family and friends. My husband went to buy Wii so I could practice Wheel with my friends and family. I also got the app on my phone to play during the day. My husband said, “We need to live, eat and breathe Wheel until you get on the show”. My friends would come over and play with me, helping me and encouraging me.
About a month later, I got an email from Alex the contestant coordinator telling me my taping would be March 26th and that the theme was Mother’s Day Week. Again, more screaming and yelling- I love being a mom, so this was a great privilege. We made our plane reservations and thankfully my adult children (Matt, age 28 and Holly, age 25) were able come along with my very supportive husband Dave. My parents were also able to come which was a great support. I was very nervous and didn’t sleep well the night before. I prayed a lot and knew God was with me helping me. A shuttle came to the hotel and picked most of us up and we had a good time laughing and being nervous together! When we drove through the Sony Pictures Studios gate, it was so exciting and overwhelming! This was really happening! I was realizing my dream of being on Wheel of Fortune! Three contestant coordinators met us: Alex, Shannon and Jackie. They were fantastic and kept us informed and cared for us the whole day. They wanted us to do well and gave us the confidence we needed. It was so fun to be with other moms and we quickly bonded and became friends. We were a sisterhood of Wheel of Fortune contestant moms! We were all rooting for each other to win! We were instructed about how the game worked and then got to go into the studio- I will never forget walking in and seeing it for the first time! They gave us time to spin the Wheel (its heavy and a lot smaller than it looks), and play mock puzzles with a stand-in Pat and Vanna. They were cute and funny and that loosened us up. We also taped a promo for our local TV stations. The sound and camera people were so friendly and kind. When we went back to the green room, Vanna walked in with her cereal bowl in hand, in jeans and a t-shirt! She was so kind and encouraging- just how you would think she would be! Jim Thornton, the announcer also came in to encourage us and welcome us- he was funny and nice. During this time, we also had lovely hair and makeup ladies who were warm and friendly.
All of us randomly picked what show we would be on and I picked show 2 and got position number 1 so I would be next to Pat! It was such a pleasure to meet him and he is just as funny and nice as he is on the show. He and all the staff are really rooting for everyone and try hard to make you comfortable and help you do your best.
My advice to future contestants is: go for it! You have everything to gain and nothing to lose! It was an experience of a lifetime for my family and friends and me. Thank you to everyone on Wheel of Fortune for a wonderful experience!!
Watch how the moms do May 4-8!!