At the office last week, my coworker Ricky stepped into the cubicle we like to call the Greenhouse (because one wall is a giant window to the outside and the temperature fluctuates wildly) and announced he had an interview with a game show.
“One of my friends won eight thousand dollars,” he said, “and he recommended me.”
I had never heard of Let’s Ask America, a gameshow whose contestants Skype in from the comfort of their living rooms. The website had some catchy graphics and a tab labeled “BE A CONTESTANT.” How hard could it be, I asked myself in a completely rhetorical manner. So I filled out the form.
Beyond the usual First Name/Last Name/Most Embarrassing Story, it asked a few questions obviously geared towards puzzling out an applicant’s personality. At one point, the form stated, “We’re looking for contestants who are very opinionated. If this is you, give an example of one such opinion.” Though I follow politics, I’m incapable of articulation and am trying to keep my write-in candidate a surprise until November. So instead, I wrote:
“I think that all children should be given imaginary swords.”
I went on to back up that assertion with cold hard facts.
Later that day I got a call from the casting agency who handled application intake. After a five minute conversation where the screener accused me of having no crazy and made me dance a cappella on Skype, I progressed to the next round.
Before my second and most important interview, I was talking to a friend about how to best display energy on camera. I tried very hard to come up with a catch phrase that would define me to the interviewer, but each one I spoke sounded either trite (“CLICK CLICK BOO YEAH”) or baffling (“GHOST CAT STRKE!”). I decided to abandon the idea.
My interview began with three Let’s Ask America style questions. The second and third I did quite well on. However, during the first I was still searching for my on-camera footing and a comfortable personality. After I answered correctly, I hesitated in celebration because I didn’t know which reaction route to go. Crazy or witty? High energy or cool guy.”
“Okay,” the interviewer cut in. “After the next question I want you to try -”
Suddenly I was gripped with inspiration and shouted with uncertainty, “BRING ON THE…MONEY!”
I quickly followed that up with, “That’s not my catchphrase. Please don’t write that down.”