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Brian Brian P.

What an experience! I applied about a year before I filmed my episode. Wheel has always been one of those shows that I think does something special- unites us. Regardless of who is in the room, if Wheel is on you stop and play. Because of that, I have always been a fan of the show but before last year I hadn't thought much about actually being on it. One day I decided to look into the application process and thought, what do I have to lose?

I sent in my video not expecting to hear back, but about 6 months later I got invited to participate in a virtual audition. Of course that date fell in the middle of my kid's spring break where I was away from my office (and confirmed stable internet), but I did the best I could to setup a semi-professional setting (meaning my computer was on top of a cardboard box and I was only nicely dressed from the waist up 🤣) and I joined! Nervous as could be, I was able to solve a few puzzles but had no idea how I actually performed.

I thought if I was going to be selected I would probably hear back fairly soon, but after a few months I archived the email and tried not to think about it. 7 months after that nerve-wrecking Zoom call, I got the email invitation to be a contestant! My reaction was one of disbelief. Surely this had to be a spam email. But after that feeling passed, I couldn't stop smiling. This was actually happening. I confirmed that I could be there and airline tickets were booked!

Having a few weeks to practice, you better believe I watched Wheel every night but also crushed as many puzzles as I could on the Wheel of Fortune app (a highly recommended download). I thought this would fully prepare me, but nothing is like the actual thing. As I have been telling everyone, filming day was truly surreal. The first time you see the set, spin the Wheel, meet your fellow contestants, and see that puzzleboard your mind makes you think - this isn't real life. The second they say go, and Pat and Vanna walk out, you just have to try and fight through all of that and have some fun!

I was definitely surprised how much harder the game is to play in person than when you are on the couch (and I feel like I had a couple tricky puzzles, I still don't know what a mixed blessing is??). When you are standing next to Pat, thinking about spinning, the used letter board, the timer, and the scoreboard it can definitely get your heart rate up. With that adrenaline flowing, I felt like the time from the first toss up to the last puzzle lasted 5 minutes. It can take a lot to put yourself out on that stage, and I respect anyone that has and will do that.

I feel so fortunate to be able to say I was one of those people. It truly is a day that I will never forget. I cannot thank Wheel enough for giving me that incredible opportunity. I wish I could play again, but instead I am telling everyone I know to apply. I never expected to make it, so you never know. I will continue to cheer on every contestant that plays, and have an even deeper respect for the game after being a part of it!