Thursday, June 14, 2007
If you’re a regular reader – you know, one who doesn’t need laxatives – you’re aware that I went to New York a few weeks ago to try out for the TV game show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Would you care to guess what happened?
Hint: I’m still running “Ads From Google” on this site, and I’d appreciate it if you’d patronize my sponsors.
The tryout consisted of a written test and then, if that was passed, a “personality interview.” I passed the written test. Would you care to guess what happened on the personality interview?
In other words, I apparently have no personality. I flunked. I received this postcard in the mail a couple of days ago.
I don’t know for sure what happened. Here's some conjecture.
I dressed nicely. The instructions I received from ABC, concerning the testing, called for casual dress. So, I wore a nice pink taffeta – nothing too fancy. No, I wore a navy polo, off-white chinos, black belt – casual, but not I'm-a-meth-freak-in-my-spare-time casual. I got a haircut about a week before the test, so I’d be neat but not look like I just came from the barbershop. I shaved that morning and trimmed my beard and sideburns. I cleaned my fingernails. I brushed my teeth and used mouthwash and checked my nose for hanging boogers just before going to the test site. In other words, I know I was presentable. That wasn’t the problem.
As I said, I passed the written exam. It was thirty questions, multiple choice, with a ten-minute time limit. Nothing too hard. The general tenor of the questions was as follows:
What do you use to drain your spaghetti after cooking?
A – A Colander
B – A Calendar
C – A Tennis Racket
D – Your Hands
Well, OK, it wasn’t quite that stupid, but it wasn’t MENSA stuff, either. A particularly bright ten-year-old would have had a decent shot at it. And – getting back to the personality thing - I didn’t stand up in the middle of the test and shout, “I came all the way to New York to take this fucking idiotic test? Why didn’t you just grab all the people off of the first short bus you saw passing by and save me the trouble?” I filled out the test paper as instructed and, in the approximately six minutes I had remaining after doing so, I re-checked my answers, making sure I hadn’t drooled on the form or anything else which might have been off-putting to the judges.
After being informed that I'd passed – I’d estimate that 1 in 8 of those tested did so – I had my picture taken. I smiled nicely. I was very pleased with the photo, too. I don’t think I photograph particularly well, but this one came out nicely. I looked reasonably intelligent, somewhat friendly, and I still had no hanging boogers. So, the picture wasn’t the problem.
Then it was on to the personality interview. From the results, you might think I had answered the interviewer’s questions in the following manner:
Interviewer: Hi, Jim! I’m Debbie.
Me: Debbie? Hah! Are you the one who did Dallas? Hah-hah!
Interviewer: What do you do for a living, Jim?
Me: I disembowel rabid weasels.
Interviewer: That must be interesting.
Me: Not if you’re the rabid weasel.
Interviewer: What’s the first thing you’ll do if you win a million dollars?
Me: Give it to Al-Qeada. Either that or I’ll rent out a roomful of whores and snort massive amounts of cocaine off of their asses until I die.
Interviewer: What sorts of hobbies do you enjoy, Jim?
Me: I thought I made that clear with my previous answer. Wow, you’re really thick!
Interviewer: Well, it’s been nice talking to you, Jim. We’ll let you know in a few weeks whether or not you’ll be placed in the contestant pool.
Me: Like I give a shit, sister. Hey, what are you doing later tonight? Would you mind if I snorted some cocaine off of your ass?
The interviewer’s questions really were like those above, but I didn’t give hideously inappropriate answers. I was nice. I was unthreatening. I thought I was at least fairly interesting.
Apparently, the producers thought otherwise. I don’t know. Maybe the swastika I painted on my forehead was a bit too much. I thought it was a nice homey touch, but you never can tell what’s going to turn some people off these days.
I’ve talked to a few other people who passed the written exam and who also were not invited to appear on the show. They are all nice people and they are all possessed of a higher-than-average intelligence. And I hope this isn’t too self-serving, but I think that’s the problem. I think the producers aren’t looking for the highly intelligent. I have a feeling that what they’re looking for are the reasonably intelligent – those who know how much two plus two is, but not necessarily what someone might do with that information - combined with the type of perky which I, unfortunately, am not.
Hey, it’s a TV show. I know that what they’re trying to do is appeal to the widest possible audience and just because they decided not to use me, I don’t need to feel like it’s some sort of personal insult. Luckily for me, as a voice-over talent, I work in a subjective business, so I know what it’s like to be rejected for no reason having to do with intelligence or talent or personality. Sometimes what you’ve got just isn’t what someone else is looking for. I’ve had ample opportunity to get used to being passed over and I know how to deal with it like an adult.