How I Got on The Price is Right
Well, today I'm home sick (boo), which means I'm of course watching The Price is Right (yay). In honor of this, I decided to write about my Price is Right adventure in case if any of you goons decide to go, too.
So, in order to get on TPIR, it's best to have "tickets" ahead of time that you can book online- they are free. If you've never been to a show taping before, most tickets don't actually guarantee you'll get in the show. Shows always overbook because they want a full audience-- this is speaking from experience of going to 7+ tapings.
The Price is Right has two different types of tickets: Priority Tickets, where you are guaranteed a seat, vs General Admission tickets, where you are not, but you're usually fine if you show up by a certain time. You can try going standby (like flights, for people that don't show), but from what I heard, that's always best to do in the middle of the year when school is in session or not during a general spring break timeframe. It's really hard to come by TPIR tickets in general, so priority tickets usually sell out within minutes, and then general admission tickets can go just as quickly.
Which brings me to my story...
If you remotely know me, you probably know that I have a bucket list, and I actually like crossing a lot of things off of it. The Price is Right was one of the frontrunners since day 1.
One day in April, I "happened" to be on the ticket website for TPIR (aka trolling), and I saw tickets for the end of the month. Gasp! I immediately reserved tickets for two people...even though I had no idea who would be going with me. Or if anyone could even come. Small details.
The next week, I visited my best friend, Kelsey who told me that she was pregnant. "Wanna go on a last hurrah trip to LA?" I asked. Thankfully, Kelsey is just as crazy as I am and obliged. This was ten days before the taping and we didn't have plane tickets yet. Again, small details. Luckily, with airmiles, we left for LA ten days later and stayed with a dear friend of mine, Elizabeth. The night before the taping, we watched the sunset on Santa Monica Boulevard and ate gluten-free mac & cheese. We knew we were in for a magical trip.
I'll preface everything with saying this: I had three friends that not only went to TPIR but were also on the show. What can I say? I have enthusiastic (and may I say, gorgeous) friends! So, they gave me a good idea of what to expect before going on the show. Keep in mind that there are almost 300 people in the audience and only eight contestants are called up.
Since we had general tickets and not priority tickets, we arrived two hours before the designated arrival time fifteen minutes before the gate at CBS studios opens up. It's easy to see everyone waiting in line because basically every person is wearing matching custom t-shirts. Tip: make sure to wear custom t-shirts. You can still get on the show without one, but it's definitely in your best interest because 95% of other people are also wearing custom shirts.
They will bring you into three different areas that are outside similar to waiting for a rollercoaster at Six Flags/Disneyland.
The first area
This is where they have you fill out probably 15 pages of release forms, give you your infamous yellow name tag (!!!!), and take a picture of you in front of a green screen for a souvenir picture. I never do this, but I totally bought one. #NoRegrets In this area, there's also a small snack bar where you can grab soda, snacks, etc.
My biggest piece of advice to anyone going to show tapings: just have fun with it! So many people go in expecting to get on TV, and it puts a pressure on the whole day that defeats the purpose. Enjoy the process! Enjoy getting to know the people in front and behind you, enjoy the people watching, bring cards/play charades, and learn the stories of some really interesting people.
This is where I met a really fun joint bachelor/bachelorette party of Texans a few people behind us. One of the girls LOVES TPIR, and she even had a small binder full of little prices that she was studying for a bit.
The second area: The Interview
This is where s*** gets real. No matter what people tell you, you will be "interviewed" before going on the show. It's not at random, and you're not alone when they do it. They'll separate you off into groups of 15-30 people, and there are two producers. One is sitting in a director's chair with a clipboard and a Blackberry, and the other "interviewing" producer basically goes down the line and asks each person "What do you do?" "Where are you from?" And that's about it. Most people just answer the question "I'm a teacher!" and that's it. And he moves on.
From what I have been told, this is what the producers are looking for:
1. People that actually know the show
2. People that are enthusiastic, but not to the point of certifiably crazy. They can tell if you're being fake.
3. People that get along with other people. i.e. Are you cheering on other people? Are you actually enjoying being there and helping everyone else have a good time?
4. They want to know you're actually going to enjoy the prizes.
Therefore, college students and military are almost always going to get on the show, along with a birthday girl and a bachelor/bachelorette.
It's important to know this is the time where you actually make conversation-- the producer is super friendly and is also genuinely excited, which I really liked about him. So, he came to me and asked the questions. Our conversation went a little something like this:
"Hi (looks at name tag)...Elise! What do you do/where do you live?"
"I work in admissions for a small college in NYC! I'm a small-town Texas girl in the City!"
"Oh, like Two Broke Girls!"
"Ha ha, yeah! Like One Broke Girl."
"Ha! So what's your favorite game on TPIR?"
...and so forth. Then, the bachelorette party went, and they KILLED it. I saw the producer with the clipboard writing things down, so I knew that was a good sign. I was so excited they did so well because I just wanted to know someone that I could cheer on to victory!
The third area
This is right before they take you on the show. Before you enter this area, they take your cell phones, and you won't get it back until the taping's done. This is the part where friends in the audience are important because you can wait for an upwards of two hours here, so you'll get a little bored. At least there are some TV's in this area where they show old episodes to get you pumped before you walk in!
The grand finale: The Studio
I've been to a lot of ridiculous places and events, and this was, by far, one of the most ridiculous things I've ever been to. I felt like I was in a show on Telemundo. And it was glorious.
I've never seen more bright colors or 85 year old women dancing to Pitbull. Everyone has been waiting for at least 5-6 hours by this point, the studio has its down DJ, and everyone is going crazy and dancing alllll over the place. Enter: Summer Camp Counselor Elise. I unashamedly joined the madness. #shameless
What I didn't know: The producers are also looking at your interaction when you're in the studio. They have a list of predetermined people that they've narrowed down from the interviews, and you can see them looking at everyone's headshots and their interview notes.
I kept an eye on them to see where they were looking and saw they didn't look at me. I was bummed, but understood and shrugged it off. "At least one of our bachelorette party friends will go! I'm just happy to be here and get that nametag!" I told Kelsey.
The taping starts really quickly, so brace yourself! They start calling contestants to the podiums, and madness ensues. We had fun in the studio, we waited, we watched the showcase showdowns. Then, it came down to very last contestant. Since there were three women at the podiums, as they were calling the name of the last contestant, I turned to her and said, "It's definitely going to be a guy for this one!"
But, then they called my name!
A lot of times you always wonder what your reaction would be like with these kinds of things. I pride myself on keeping my cool in a lot of situations. "Hey, I'm a New Yorker, I'm chill," I thought to myself. False.
I spazzed out. I ran down the aisles high-fiving people as I ran down, Tony Perkis style. Some of the other contestants hugged me. It was bizarre and surreal at the same time.
I'll let you watch the rest of it for yourself, but baaaasically I got 1-upped three times in a row by Angela, my arch nemesis contestant. But hey, if you're on the show you walk out with 300 bucks! Not bad, right?! AND...they give you the queue card with your name on it. Super fun.
For what it's worth, had a blast. And I wouldn't do it again. But it was wonderful to do it once- and if you want to do it, I say do it!
Overall, go all in. I say do you, but if you want to have fun, you gotta put on your party pants and just have a BLAST with it all! Life's too short!!