Part 2 – The Price Is Right

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I left off last week with us being ushered into The Price Is Right studio.

Usually I find that a studio is much smaller than it appears on TV. Not the case here. It was much larger. We were rehearsed on how to act since audience participation is crucial to the show and at some point or other everyone is on camera. Here’s what we were directed to do, and actually required to practice: Thumbs up for higher prices, thumbs down for lower (you just know I was thinking about the Colosseum during that part, don’t you?)…encouraging us to really shout, scream, jump up and down and perform any number of totally undignified acts to amp up the show. Of course, I complied, as did my fellow divas.

Our “director” for these ostentatious outpourings of enthusiasm was a young man who weighed about 28 pounds. I was feeling particularly portly at that moment and as I watched him demonstrate how we were to behave it occurred to me why he only weighed 28 pounds. He spent several hours a day jumping up and down, waving his arms at the audience, gesturing wildly, etc. He was never, ever still. He burned probably 10,000 calories a minute. Of course, that made me want to apply for his job.

After a few minutes of rehearsal, George Gray, the announcer for the show, came out to greet the crowd. He did a cute repartee with several of the audience members also encouraging us to let all inhibitions go and party like it was 1999 during the show. At this point (it was around 5:30, I think?) I was just happy to be sitting down in a real chair…I didn’t have much interest in jumping too much.

Then the countdown began, the lights were at full brightness, the cameras were all in place with the overhead one that sweeps the audience poised to pounce. The theme music started and out came Drew Carey, envelope in hand. He did his usual opening hellos and then our cheerleading director took center stage and whipped out large cue-cards and as George did his patented “C’mon down” spiel the names of the chosen were held up so that there would be no mistake as to whom was being invited to stand at one of the four coveted spots just below the stage.

The Divas and I were excited! Some of our new friends were picked! One from the crowd of nurses, another from the “Benjamins”…yet another of our favorites, a young man from a smaller group who had a giant nose on his shirt with “Pick Me” just below it and even one of the a capella college students from Maryland!!! This was really fun!!! and guess what? I was jumping up and down and waving my arms and sticking my thumbs up or down just like everyone else!

Every time we broke for a commercial Drew Carey stepped forward to chat with folks in the audience. He was every bit as nice as he seems in his TV persona. He thanked the military who were there for their service, he blessed another man who was a Hospice worker and spoke about his Mom being in Hospice, he made one of the pages correct the misspelled name tag of a WWII and Korean War veteran. Drew spent the whole time walking back and forth at the front of the stage, calling people by name (we all had those huge price tag name tags on so that wasn’t hard!) but he did something rather odd while he was pacing. The best way to describe it was that he seemed to be pretending he had a cigarette in his hand and putting the two fingers “holding” it up to his mouth like he was taking a puff. It made me wonder if he’d recently quit or if he was such a chain smoker that he needed to have a “pretend” one even while performing. Never did get an answer about that.

The show continued on schedule and alas, none of the Divas was selected. *sigh*. We felt that we had a part in it since our new friends did.  Another highlight was when Drew invited the University of Maryland a capella group down to take us out of a break singing (in harmony!) “…closed captioning provided by….” So even Sam’s (he was the contestant) friends had their moment on national TV.

We were also on camera quite a bit. We were in the second to last row, to the right of the giant, lit dollar sign in the middle of the audience. We are in our white t-shirts and you can see us jumping up and down and acting like fools…that is, if you so desire!  The show airs on May 1st. I  will DVR it just so I can cringe when I see myself on the screen.

After the show we walked over to The Grove to have a bite to eat before heading back to Dana Point. We chose The Cheesecake Factory…and apparently, so did half the audience. It was quite a raucous group of us there in our “team t-shirts” high-fiving each other and laughing loudly, most of us still wearing our name tags.

Afterwards we strolled The Grove a bit and stopped to have our picture taken in front of the famous fountains. That’s it at the top of this blog.

We got home sometime after 9:30 pm and as if the day could have gotten any better, we somehow managed to be right on the 5 outside Disneyland when the fireworks were going off. We opened the windows so we could get the full effect of the sound and the smell of those stunning sprays of color in the night sky.

So, we may not have come home with a hot tub or a set of steak knives (actual retail value $1,795. 00 and $49.99, respectively) but we had one heck of a time and a memory that was worth far more!

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