I'll take auditions for $300, Alex

Dec. 03, 2012 @ 05:30 PM

I have never been more aware of all of the things I do not know as I was Sunday morning, auditioning for Jeopardy in Baltimore. 

Yes. I auditioned for Jeopardy and it was one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking experiences of my life.

I love Jeopardy. I watch it with my husband everyday. I love trivia in general and often attend trivia nights at local retaurants. One of my first dates with my now-husband was playing Trivial Pursuit. The relationship almost ended when I answered “Muhammad Ali” to a question and he would not give me the point because the card said “Cassius Clay.” 

They are the same person. I know. It is still a point of contention. 

A life-long love of learning is one of the things my parents instilled in me and I am grateful that our family meals often end with my father asking me to name all of the “Accidental Presidents” in order.

Not that it came up during the audition, but the first “accidental” president was John Tyler. He took office after the death of William Henry Harrison, who died about a month after his inauguration. Use that at your next holiday party. 

I was beyond thrilled when I was invited to audition for “Jeopardy” based on the results of the online test I took months ago. The excitement soon gave way to a sense of dread as I made a mental list of all of the subjects I should brush up on and the list got longer by the moment. 

I watched documentaries, read articles and brushed up on areas where I felt I was weak, mostly fine arts and science. 

You can never feel prepared, though. There is no point in one’s life where you will think, “Well, that’s it. I know everything there is to know about everything.” 

So, I drove to Maryland still feeling underprepared and trying to cram like a college senior before finals for a test I had been preparing for, in many ways, my whole life. 

I cannot go into the specifics of what was on the exam, but the audition consisted of a written test where you are given eight seconds to answer each question, a mock-game of Jeopardy where you use the buzzers from the show and an interview.  

I did well. I got questions wrong, but there was a strange “Slumdog Millionaire” aspect to many of them. For instance, one question was about the book I am reading, another was mentioned in an article I had read that morning. I had recently watched a documentary about another question. 

Now, I am in an “active file” with about 400 other names. They might call me at some point in the next 18 months if I am to appear on the show. If I do not hear from them in the next 18 months I can try again.

This might be the longest 18 months of my life.

If I seem overly antsy and glued to my phone for the next 18 months, you will all know why. You will also know why I may seem disappointed if you call and you are not a producer from Jeopardy. Or if I answer the phone by saying, “I can fly out next week.” 

I will also be studying for the next 18 months. Feel free to ask questions. Or give me clues that I will answer in the form of a question.