educator, writer, speaker, devoted family man, amateur philosopher, chess enthusiast, basketball junkie, connoisseur of fine hip hop, and purveyor of wit and wisdom
Even though the following took place during the first weekend in May, I’m writing about it now because this is MY blog, damnit. I can write what I want, when I want.
Anyway…So here’s the update on the trip to the Wheelmobile in Las Vegas, baby.
Tara, Donovan, and I checked into a budget suites inn Saturday afternoon and then drove over to the Venetian Resort and Casino. Just as a sidenote…if you have never been to the Venetian, you have to check it out. It’s one of the coolest places on the strip.
We found the Wheel of Fortune tryouts in the convention center area below the hotel. Donovan and Tara walked around the casino while I waited. And waited. And waited. There were tons of people. And these people were all hoping their names would be pulled from a metal basket by the overly-exuberant host on stage. The stage was fairly small with a small puzzle board next to the large metal basket that held half-sheet forms of all the people present.
The way it worked was relatively simple. The host would pick five names from the basket and ask those folks to come on down and play a quick version of the game. Staff members snapped a Polaroid picture of each “contestant,” had each person complete a background form, and then walked them on stage. The host wanted each person to introduce themselves to the crowd, and I guess this was the important part because the staff really want folk who are excited, hyper, and bubbly.
There was no wheel to spin…only a quick puzzle to solve. The puzzle’s category was displayed underneath a Wheel-of-Fortune-like puzzle board (letters weren’t flipped around…instead the “Vanna” sidekick chick wrote the letters on these whiteboard squares.) Each person on the stage simply took turns guessing a letter until someone solved the puzzle. Each contestant received a prize (like a t-shirt, hat, keychain, etc.)
The staff were scheduled to be there almost all day. They allowed almost two or three hundred people into the crowd area each hour. All of those people were waiting to hear their names called, and the host was pretty consistent with calling five people to play every 15 minutes or so.
With these odds, I figured I wouldn’t have a shot. Approximately 20 names were called each hour…from a basket of almost 300 names. Like I said…my chances of getting picked were slim.
Then they called my name. I almost peed my pants.
The staff took my picture, and I filled out the background info form. When it was my turn to show how bubbly and excited I could be, I tried…I really tried. I thought I did fine. Tara and Donovan returned by that point to see me on stage, and they both thought I did fine.
After everything was over, the host told everyone that all the “contestants” whose names were chosen that day would be considered for the Wheel of Fortune taping that would be held in July right here in Vegas.
Let me tell you…I felt destiny pulling at me (and not some Vegas prostitute named Destiny, but the real destiny…you know…Fate trying to guide me closer and closer to the Wheel of Fortune.) I even made time in my schedule to return to Vegas in July because I JUST KNEW they would contact me.
That was in May. June passed by…nothing. July passed by…nothing. I heard nothing…no snail mail, no email, no phone calls, nothing…although I did get an email wondering if I would like to sit in the audience during the July taping in Vegas. The bastards.
So now I’m wondering if this Wheel of Fortune saga was merely blog fodder so that I could have something to write about for the past several months. Karen (this Karen here) seems to think that it’s only a matter of time before I end up on the Wheel of Fortune.
Now…I’m not so sure. Maybe in the meantime, I need to focus on other things like my health or my family or my doctoral program or my obsession with Sanaa Lathan. You know…the important things.
UPDATE: Click here for post 6 of the Wheel of Fortune saga…