Dara: After months and months of trying not to mention it, I can finally, legally tell the whole wide world that I was on The Price Is Right!!! Our episode aired last night, and if you watch all the way until the end (time code: 25:25) you can hear that famous voice yell “Daraaaaaa Eliacinnnnn, come on doooooooooooown!!!!!”
TJ: That moment was so insane. It was the last opportunity for a contestant to be chosen to go up, and having spent almost all of the taping watching tons of other people getting called up, we had sort of coming to terms with the fact that none of us would get chosen. And then we heard Dara’s name get called!
Dara: I cannot truly put into words how I felt when I heard and saw my name. And I say “saw” because it’s so loud in the crowd that there’s always a P.A. (production assistant for all you non-Hollywood folks) on stage who holds up a huge poster with the name of whoever is called since they might not hear their name. In my case, I heard my name but didn’t truly believe it until I saw the sign (which they let me keep)!
If I didn’t just watch the episode, I wouldn’t really be able to tell you about that moment because it was so fast and just completely adrenaline that I completely blanked. I remember hugging you and Brit and Courtney and then running down to take my place on the Contestant Row.
If any of you want to know how it went from there, just watch the episode!!! This post is actually going to mostly be about the lead up to that moment and advice for how to get onto the show so you may one day have the awful screenshot below taken of you and posted all over the internet.
TJ: Yeah, so starting from the beginning: we were offered tickets from our good friend Courtney to go with her and our friend Brit to the show. Whenever the show is in shooting season you can go to the on-Camera Audiences website to try and get tickets. That site handles audiences for a lot of shows and award events in both LA & NY so even if The Price Is Right isn’t for you, you should check out what else they offer.
Now, getting tickets is the easy part. I’ve been in the audience of the show three times. The true test is trying to get out of the audience, and onto the stage, and that part starts way before you show up to CBS Studios. For us, it started a month in advance, designing our t-shirts.
What you wear to the show is incredibly important. Legally, you can’t wear any trademarks or copy-righted graphics. What you should wear are shirts that are bright, legible, and in line with whatever the theme of the episode was.
We were on the luxury car episode so we wore shirts related to that theme and with a graphic we had a friend hand draw.
For the record, we did in fact do the math and calculate that 4224 is the average number of steps away that we all live from CBS Studios.
Then, the day off the show is when the real fun starts. We were there for the second taping (they often tape two episodes a day), arriving at 10:30am and done filming around 4pm. It’s an all-day affair.
When you first arrive, you wait outside of the fence, gathering your group and signing in. This is when you should start your social media overload.
Social media is KEY. The show wants to pick contestants who are excited to be there and will talk about their episode and get people to watch the show. The second you start tweeting at all the show’s handles, you get their attention and are more likely to be chosen. Courtney and I both tweeted at someone related to the show three times.
For the many hours that you wait in line before the show, you sign a bunch of paperwork, receive an ID number, and then finally get your famous yellow name tag.
I am still so amazed at how uniformly all the Pages write everyone’s name. If they mess up, they do it over again until it’s perfect. I wonder if they went through handwriting training because it’s eerie how precise they all are in writing in the same exact font.
It’s always an interesting group of people who decide to come, and I was impressed by how far people had travelled. There were fans from Florida, Ohio, Alabama, and all over the country, many of whom had flown in just for the show. We were only a handful of people there who were actually from LA.
To break up the time between paperwork and identification things, each group gets to go in front of a green screen and basically just have a photoshoot. The pictures are expensive to purchase (I think $20 a pop) but such a fun memory to have.
During all of the down time we had in line, we also studied Slate’s Price is Right cheat sheet to freshen up on the games and hope to get an advantage in case any of us got called. If you have any interest in game theory whatsoever it’s actually a pretty fun chart to check out. Some of the games are even 100% winnable if you play them correctly.
The last and perhaps most important thing you do before heading inside the studio is do a short interview with Stan Blits. A quick Google search just clued me in to the fact that Stan has been interviewing all of the Price is Right contestants for over 35 years.
That’s an insanely long time. Especially in Hollywood, where the average person only stays at a job an average of four years. And at the assistant level, you’re practically ancient by the time you hit two years at the same place.
So yea, Stan has mastered his interview process. Everyone is interviewed in groups of 20, and one-by-one Stan says your name and then asks you one question. Your answer to that one question can make or break you. As Stan said in an interview “I am looking for energy, sincerity and potential humor. And if they can equal my energy or exceed it and maintain it, they are at the top of the list.”
It’s as scarily simple as that. Be funny and enthusiastic, yet genuine.
If Stan likes you and you meet all the qualifying criteria, you might be one of the lucky few who gets to hear their name. If not, well, try again next time.
But note, the decision isn’t immediately made when your interview’s over. Until the last name is called onto the stage, they’re always in the wings watching to see if you keep the enthusiasm up during the taping. Don’t put your guard down!
During the actual taping of the show, some of the funnest parts are when the camera’s not rolling. Drew is hilarious in interacting with the crowd during commercial breaks, the music being played is awesome and basically a dance party, and you always end up meeting some really fun groups of people who’ve travelled to the show. Dara getting called down was just icing on the cake, of a fun, crazy day.
Watch the the episode if you haven’t already to see what ended up happening from there. And if any of you ever get “called on down” after heeding our advice, definitely reach out and let us know!