Amanda H's Blog Post
I am an avid SPIN ID checker, and as such receive regular emails from Wheel of Fortune and Sony. I saw that WOF was looking for “the face of the fan” in Chicago, and was looking for one minute audition videos. Being on WOF falls under the category of “dreams that will never come true if you don’t do something about it.” So, I immediately recruited my husband to videotape, and got to work putting together my case as to why I should be selected for WOF. We managed to pare down about an hour of filming into one minute.
When I got an email inviting me to an in-person audition downtown, I nearly lost my marbles. And by lost my marbles, I mean began playing my handheld WOF game obsessively. At the audition, I was in a room filled with 100+ other people…who also all made videos to be on WOF. Talk about competition! I did my best, but even after making the first cut at the audition and completing the written test, I didn’t feel good about my performance. I was so nervous, one of the people from the contestant department even told me to “loosen up” – a note my loud mouth has never received! But, lucky me, a few months later I got a letter in the mail that I was selected! Then I really did lose my marbles and my friends and family were as elated as I was.
After almost a year of waiting for a tape date, I finally got the courage to call up the contestant department for an update. Jackie was so helpful, and next thing I knew I was reviewing a non-disclosure agreement and booking a flight to L.A. with my husband. I was so thankful to be filming on a day with so many other supportive contestants. We really built some camaraderie between the other contestants filming that day, and I leaned on them for support. Jackie, Gary, Shannon, and the rest of the WOF team calmed my nerves and reminded everyone to have fun. I got my makeup done by Sandy, who also does Alex Trebek’s makeup! I felt like a celebrity. But, it really felt real to me when I got that name tag (which I wore all day, even after the taping).
Other than that, the wheel is heavy. Even though it is much smaller than I imagined, I could barely get it around more than halfway! The platforms behind contestant’s row go up and down to accommodate all heights. I learned they call the home for prize pieces a “wedge ledge.” Pat and Vanna want you to do well and are offer supportive smiles throughout. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience (literally, you aren’t allowed to go on the show again) that I will never forget. You want to be on too? Better get working on that audition video!