Saturday, January 06, 2007

Trivial pursuits

2007 comes in quietly in L.A. Business takes an extended hiatus after the holiday, with things usually picking up again after Sundance at the end of the month. In the meantime, as I work on more writing and rewriting of several different things, I will be attempting to put the myriad useless facts in my head to good use by auditioning for the game show, Jeopardy!. I took the initial online contestant test last fall and was surprised to find an invitation to the next round of the search in my inbox a few days ago. Although I thought I had done well with the 50-question test -- I knew most of the answers but guessed at a few and didn't even answer a few others in the shortly-alloted time -- I assumed that there were applicants who scored perfectly. But apparently less-than-perfect is good enough to move forward. So in a few weeks I get to fight morning traffic to make it to Culver City for a mock game, take another 50-question test, and do a short personality interview. Even jumping through all those hoops successfully, however, doesn't guarantee a spot on the show itself; merely a place in the contestant pool for the next year.

I have no idea how I'll fare at the audition. I have a pretty broad range of knowledge and I think I'm good at making educated guesses, which is often what many of the question/answers on the show come down to. But my geography skills are pretty atrocious, so I'll spend some time brushing up on that area. And Shakespeare. Trebek loves his Shakespeare. There is also a well-reviewed book by Bob Harris, Prisoner of Trebekistan, that I plan on picking up. It details his attempts to become a contestant and what happened after he eventually did. Full of helpful hints on things like buzzer timing, prediciting categories, and the all-important Daily Double strategy. With any luck, I'll make it through this stage and be one step closer to challenging Ken-Jen's record $2.52 million haul.

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