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Film and Television Work

In the Audience of A Price is Right

I used to watch the show for years when I was on school break. I found it entertaining, but couldn't comprehend the excitement in the audience... until I was there myself.

Back in 1991 I was an employee at the CBS Television Network in New York. I worked in their Affiliate Relations department. This disqualified me from being a contestant on a show like Price is Right (PIR), but it made obtaining tickets to sit in and watch very easy. Not that it's all that hard to get tickets when you're not a contestant.

In July of 1991 I went to Los Angeles for vacation. I reserved my tickets for PIR and Major Dad (another CBS series) before I left on my trip. I arrived at the CBS studios in the morning of PIR to see a very long line of people waiting to get in. I approached the ticket window, and mentioned my reservation to person, who informed me that I didn't have to stand in that line, as it was for contestants only. she also told me that a line would be forming by the stage door for those ineligible ones like me. Others included anyone who worked for the show's sponsors, and the production companies. She handed me my official name tag and I went over to my designated spot and waited.

I was one of the first people there. Soon, a group of people exited the stage door and sat in a cordoned off area. I realized that these people would be interviewing the potential contestants to decide who would be lucky enough to hear their name called and be told to, "Come on down!"

I realized at that moment I had the best spot in the line. I watched as each person was asked simple questions, like who they were and where they were from. Their excitement was palpable. It became infectious. My fellow ineligibles and I started guessing who would make it on stage and endear the viewers and the audience. I was soon joined in line by two wonderful women who worked for the Orville Redenbacher company and we discussed our favorites from the group. We enjoyed the whole process. We laughed and joked the whole time in between interviews. As each contestant completed the process they joined the line behind me.

Soon the doors opened again and we were directed inside with the line of contestants following us. Those of us ineligible to play were given reserved seats in the center behind the first row. That row was reserved for the lucky group of contestants who would be called down to bid on prices and try for a chance to get on stage and play a game.

That's me in the peach/pink top, sitting on the bottom right of this picture:

You can also see me in the pics I posted above (and below).I'm sitting behind the last spot in Contestant Row on the right-hand side. That was the luckiest spot in Contestants' Row, where the bidders stood. Four out of six people in that spot guessed the closest price to the items on stage.

Look!There I am on TV!

Not only did the excitement get to me, but I also was a part of TV history, as this particular episode the 20th Anniversary episode of the gameshow, which aired on September 4, 1991.

During commercial breaks, original host, Bob Barker would chat with us, and share anecdotes from the last 20 years. Most shows hire a comedian to keep the audience in good spirits during the breaks, but Bob didn't need one. He chatted with us, told jokes, asked questions and pointed out a few veteran players who kept returning for more fun (you cannot be a contestant more than once in 6 months to a year. After that you can try again).

He also pointed out that the man sitting on my right was the producer of the original Truth or Consequences.

The excitement in the place was infectious. The gals from Orville Redenbacher sat behind me and we laughed and joked during the commercial breaks. We cheered when our favorites were called down to the stage. We egged them on, shouting prices and cheering them. It was so much fun!

This woman in the floral top was my favorite. I knew she was going to be chosen! She also guessed the closest price and took the stage.

Her game was the mountain climber. She had three items to guess the price. If she guessed wrong, the climber would ascend until he reached the total difference in dollar amount from her bid. If he fell off the mountain, she lost. If he stayed on the mountain, she won. The prize? "A new car!"

The first item was displayed with the price hidden. She guessed. Was she right? No! We all watched as the yodeler climbed. He stopped at $10. She miscalculated by $10. The highest point before dropping off was $25.

"The next item up for bid" was presented and she guessed. Was she right? No! The mountain climber ascended.$15, $20 $25! He stopped at $25!!!

She had one item left! She had to get it right, or she'd lose the car!

We were shouting out prices, going crazy. Finally, she guesses the price. Was she right?


We went crazy!

I think everyone won that day. Sadly, she didn't make it to the showcase, but this gal did and she won!

I had a blast.If you ever watch the show and wonder if the excitement is real, it is. People come from all over and are really enthusiastic. If you ever decide to become a contestant or just to watch, make sure you get there early so that you can see everyone interview and get caught up in it all even before you get in.

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