Friday, November 3, 2006

What Is "A Dream Deferred"?

I promised I was going to post about my "Jeopardy!" experience, and now I shall make good on that promise.

Last week, Kathy and I were watching the show when an ad came on, announcing the Jeopardy Brain Bus was coming to Roanoke on Monday. I jumped up and down like a kid finding out that Santa Claus was coming to town.

Monday afternoon, I took off from work early and made the 45-mile journey to Roanoke to stand in line for the contestant search. When I got to the Center on the Square, there was already a line stretching around the block. I took my place, got a wristband, and waited.

About 15 minutes after arrival, the first of the successful contestants came running down the sidewalk. He was a skinny, redneck-looking guy who was singing at the top of his voice "Jeopardy is my destinyyyyy!!!" He then was kind enough to inform us that he had only missed one question on the test; "It was the Loch Ness monster," he helpfully informed those of us in line.

We kept waiting and moving as the line before us shrank. Some guys behind me began talking about "Jeopardy!" and other game shows. Someone talked about a question they had seen on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?", having to do with the drummer for INXS. Out of instinct, I nearly blurted out "Tim Farriss" (which would have been wrong; I just checked), but kept it to myself.

Finally, after 45 minutes, I reached the door and was welcomed into the testing center. I thought it was going to be the full 50-question test that I had taken online back in April; instead it was a 10-question test that would gain you access to the Big 50. I had 5 minutes to answer all 10, and I completed them in 90 seconds.

I handed it in to the proctor, who saw my nervous, worried expression and reassured me, "Hey, it's all just fun. Relax!" I calmed down a little as he looked over my answers. He asked my name, where I was from, and how long it took to get to Roanoke. I told him. He handed me a letter, and said "See you tomorrow, and be sure to bring that good energy with you."

I walked out, floating on air, and called Kathy to let her know the good news. She asked me when I was supposed to be back in Roanoke. I looked at the sheet for the first time, and realized to my horror that I had to be back at 9am Tuesday.

The problem with that was Tuesday is press day at my newspaper, and I had to be there to process photos and print out negatives for the printers. Also, our sports editor had computer problems Monday, so I had to be there to help get the sports section put together for the issue. I was also nervous about the online test and whether it counted against the "One 'Jeopardy!' Audition Per Year" rule. I finally decided to just let my online audition ride, and try again in person somewhere next year.

I'm kinda sad that I wasn't able to go and continue the audition, but at least I have a good idea how the Brain Bus/regional auditions work now. For me, appearing on "Jeopardy!" isn't a question of "if"; it's a matter of "when", and it's coming very, very soon!!!


ombra said...

Aw, man! You are perfect for Jeopardy!!!

Crinkle said...

Dude. You'll be rivalling Ken Jennings in the end...mark my words!