To prepare for the auditions, they sent me a worksheet to fill out, including my information, but also five interesting anecdotes about me to be used in the interviews. The auditions were on a Monday and Tuesday, and they gave you a specific time to come in. Mine was Monday at 1pm, but I think they probably had about 4 time slots and about 4-6 groups of 30 per time slot – EACH DAY. That turns into over a thousand people being auditioned… and that’s just in DC!
So, the contestant handlers split us into groups of 30, and first thing we did was take another quiz. This one was written answers (not in form of a question), and the questions were displayed on a screen in front of the room, one at a time. Again, you got the question for just 15 seconds, but this time you could go back to answers if you weren’t sure. At the end of the questions, they gave us another 15 seconds and picked up the papers. They left the room and graded the papers, leaving all of us to meet each other, or not, and ask “what did you get for #49” etc. Everyone seemed really nice and excited, and I found out that many of them had done this several times. So, I asked what was next and learned it would be the “personality” section of the audition.
The handlers came back and told us that we all made it through that phase, and then they went through a lot of explanation about how Jeopardy! works, especially the “clicker” – or more accurately, the “signaling device,” as it is called officially. They then split us up into threes and had us play the game! We actually got to buzz in and answer (in the form of a question) clues that were broadcast on the screen in the front of the room! It was SO much fun, and I learned that it’s really important to read the WHOLE clue before you buzz in… ;-)
After we all got to answer some questions, they did the anecdotes. One of the anecdotes I had written was that I learned Chinese before I learned English. Being a blue-eyed, whiter than pale, Anglo-Saxon mutt, I thought that would be pretty interesting! And that’s the one they chose. They asked me why this was true and I explained that I had been born and raised in Hong Kong. She asked if I still spoke Chinese and I said, “Siu siu!” (“A little bit,” in Cantonese), and raised my fingers together to indicate a little bit. They all laughed and then went on the next person.
After all 30 of us had had a try, they left the room again to compare notes, and then came back and told us we were all in the “pool” of possible Jeopardy! contestants! WOOHOOOOO!
All that was left was for them to call us and we might possibly, just maybe, it could happen… BE ON THE SHOW!!!