Here is a recollection of what happened the day Drew Carey called my name to "COME ON DOWN" on the PRICE IS RIGHT!
Tape Date: April 7, 2010
Air Date: May 10, 2010
(Warning: Lots of details so this is LONG!)
James and I were planning a trip with our friends Dave and Angela Cable to visit San Diego and Los Angeles, and we decided we wanted to sit in the audience for the Price is Right. I ordered tickets online on CBS.com about a month before we took our trip to California. And then, on the day of the taping (April 7, 2010), we showed up at CBS studios in Los Angeles around 6am to get a “number” to be processed through the line.
Since our taping was at 4pm, we had to return back to CBS studios around noon. The following process took about 4 hours! They call out each of the numbers and then had to wait on these hard metal benches…ouch! You fill out a short questionnaire about yourself, get your picture taken, and also get your handwritten name tag. Each group goes through and takes a picture in front of the green screen, and you have your choice of the background being the Wheel, the Mountain Climber game, or I think Plinko. We chose to have the wheel as our background picture.
After that, you move on to more benches as you wait the interview process with the producers. My friend Ashley was on 10 years ago and won a car and had explained to us about the interview process. He also gave us the tip that we should be sure to say something cool and be very outgoing so that you would stand out. Yes, they actually interview EVERY SINGLE PERSON (about 300 or so were there) and ask you what you do. I told them I was an actress, and I wanted to win big money so I could move out to Cali to pursue more acting. And James suggested I say - instead of one of Drew’s beauties, I could be Drew’s Daisy, or something silly like that. James told them he ran his mouth all day because he’s in sales (maybe he shouldn’t have said that since they probably don’t want “sales” people on there because they know retail prices better). Either way, we were cracking jokes with the producers and with everyone in our interview line so it was actually pretty fun.
Then you move to anther waiting area where everyone else is waiting (once again on those hard bleachers). They had TVs playing some episodes of The Price Is Right and also a bloopers reel. Finally, they escorted us all into the studio. And it was freezing! That is why my nose was so red! You know how cold I get! They went over logistics with us, and told us that because it will be so loud, they will have two people on each side of the stage flashing a posterboard with your name on it if you were called down. Then Rich Fields, the announcer, came down and talked to us a little bit more about the show and also answered any questions we had. Also, he said because this is such a fast paced game, he warned us not to take forever to bid while down at contestant’s row or else they would not be very happy. And I think that made everyone even more nervous. So maybe now you understand why everyone freaks out while they are bidding down at contestant row (me included!) And then pretty soon after that. Then Drew Carey comes out and we immediately start taping the game show.
So, this is James’ favorite game show of all time, so for some reason I was praying the whole time that he would get called down and I even envisioned them calling his name! So I was FLOORED when they called my name during the 2nd half! Craziness! I was stunned, excited, and yet SO NERVOUS!
I did okay on the first bid (which was a cell phone and year’s service) but someone else outbid me. And then on the 2nd bid (Pilates machine), I was totally out of it and saw $999 in my head but physically said $9999. That will haunt me forever! It was totally nerves and you can tell by my face after I said it that I was totally embarrassed because that it NOT what I meant to say! Oops. Oh well. And Drew cracked a joke on me when he said “And the actual retail price for what may be the most expensive Pilates machine…”. I almost died right there! And I am so mortified to this day! For my third, and final chance, the lady right after me bid $1 over me (on an outdoor swing) and won! I was devastated. Everyone said she robbed me, but in all honesty, that IS the nature of the game, so oh well! I missed my chance to get on stage and spin the wheel! That’s really all I wanted to do…was spin the wheel!!!! I am very sad, however, because you cannot return to be a contestant for another 10 years…but hopefully if we go back, then Drew can call James to “Come on Down!”
Speaking of James, they show a few shots of James (in a bright orange shirt) and the Cables during the Spelling Bee game where the girl wins the vintage ’66 GTO. And I have to admit I was happy, yet sad when the woman won the white Mustang convertible during the Showcase Showdown. That is MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE car from childhood! And by the way, how is she gonna drive it with those nails????
The contestants who did not appear on stage (ME!) won a year’s supply of coffee from Don Francisco’s Coffee (which is totally funny because neither James or I even DRINK coffee…but I guess I will have gifts to give for the next year) and also a Heat Surge fireplace (which again is funny, because we have a working fireplace in our condo!).
Also, during all the “commercial breaks” Drew and Rich talk to the audience members and answer any questions about themselves, the show, or Bob Barker. When Drew asked me what I did for a living and found out I was an actress, it was cool because his face lit up and he and Rich went on to give me acting advice. He suggested an acting class in LA where they have everyone in the class circle adjectives that they think describe you, so that you can know how people perceive you. From there, you can own it and work on the negative and embrace the positive. Then move forward as YOU. He talked about getting to really know yourself, which also helps you to not go on auditions that you know don’t really fit YOU. They said that after Rich took the class his bookings went up like 70% or something. All in all, it was pretty cool getting acting advice from the both of them, so that made this whole experience worthwhile!
Immediately as the show taping ends, they bring you to the back to fill out all the paperwork. I did not know that earning any sort of prizes was considered earned income, so we also had to fill out paperwork for our taxes. However, you do have the option of declining the gifts (which I did contemplate with the coffee, ha ha), but you cannot exchange it for a cash equivalent as some people assume. (Speaking of taxes, just imagine how much that vintage ’66 GTO would cost them in taxes! I guess it was a blessing in disguise that I did NOT win Big!) They also gave us as a souvenir the posterboard with our name on it that they held up as Rich Fields called our names down. So not only do I have that to keep, I also have my nametag, a fireplace, and coffee for a year, ha ha…but more importantly precious acting advice from Drew Carey, a memorable experience, and also a hilarious story to share years down the line too!