Going through job boards can be a full-time job in itself. At the least, it’s dizzying. That doesn’t even include writing a unique letter, tracking down the hiring manager, follow-up <– we’ll save that bit for another post.
There’s the go-to spots like Mediabistro.com and Indeed.com, but, sometimes it works out to go the not-so-obvious route.
This was a while back, but at the time, I went to Craigslist.org and looked through their TV jobs section. It may seem like an odd place to go looking, and sure, it might come up with some random stuff, but I had a had friend who kept landing interviews, and ultimately a badass job via CL.
She had applied for a job in fashion, the ad was very limited, maybe just a few sentences, didn’t even include the name of the company, but, it turned out to be a legit organization.
So, I gave it a shot. I did NOT land the TV job I was looking for. But, rather, I landed on television.
Of course, I was cautious with it being CL and all, it could have been a scam. Lo and behold, it was the real deal.
There was an open casting call for a gameshow that was about to launch. I filled out the application, which took a good four hours. I thought to myself, “Good thing I’m in between jobs, who would have time for this?”
The show was called Chain Reaction and they were looking for people who had interesting relationships or had met in an interesting way. My mind for some reason went to the dog-run near my apartment, where I had met a friend, and then a friend of hers. I suppose because dog-runs, or parks, aren’t necessarily all that common. Say, a suburb may not have one because… well, people just walk their dogs or have a backyard.
I went ahead and filled out the questionnaire, including my two friends, not necessarily asking them first. Okay, to be more accurate, not asking them at all beforehand. I didn’t bother because I didn’t think it would turn into anything. As well, I’m not much of a wait-er, like, I didn’t want to wait on them for the greenlight or for them to provide the info.
I treated the process like a job hunt. I sent in the application. Waited an appropriate time to hear back, and when I didn’t, I sent a follow-up email. I still heard nothing.
To add to this already slightly long story, I had just been on a job interview. I was offered the job but something seemed off. I was already thinking about leaving the job: if I stay for a year, then I can move onto X, Y, Z. It didn’t seem right. As well, a headhunter had gotten in touch with me. She was representing myself and the organization and when I suggested we negotiate the salary, she basically said, “You should feel lucky anyone wants you since you’re unemployed.”
I was grateful, but something about it didn’t seem right. And the headhunter representing both of us seemed like a conflict of interest.
So, back to the gameshow story. I received a voicemail. Guess who it was? Yes, you’re right, it. was. the. gameshow. This was the first and only time I started jumping up and down and squealing over a voicemail. When I was done listening to it, I thought to myself, “I may not be jumping up and down over a job offer, but I shouldn’t be upset by it.” So, I declined the offer.
We weren’t quite on the gameshow yet. We had to audition. And when I say, “We,” I’m not using the royal we. I mean, myself and my two friends.
When hearing the news my friends were like, “What? What did you do? You signed us up on a gameshow.” Yep. Yep, I did! I politely informed them they were off the hook if they weren’t interested, I could ask two other peeps. They were okay with it.
At the audition we sat in auditorium style seating with a stage, similar to what you’d see in a grade school. The person moderating the event through out some warmup questions, but no one answered. It was not going well, everyone was kind of timid.
Even so, we were pulled up on stage in groups for a mock gameshow round. We went through the motions, playing the game itself. If you’re not familiar with Chain Reaction it’s a wordplay game. The board has a letter or letters and the contestants build on what’s there taking a turn to add/guess a letter. As the words grow, you can guess the word. Say you have one full word, then the word below it will relate to it somehow. For example, say the word is “Sugar,” there’s a “C” under it, the next word may be, “Cane.”
I don’t know what came over me, but I was in full-on gameshow mode. Jumping up and down, ringing the buzzer — even though there was no buzzer — yes, in other words, just delightful. I wanted them to pick us.
We did the little mock round. It didn’t go all that well, we didn’t get a word combinations. Afterward they did a short Q&A asking us how we knew each other, which was the dog-run. They asked the girl to the right of me what kind of dog she had: a Rottweiler. Easy answer. They asked the girl to the left of me the same question: a Pug. Again, one question. One answer.
Then there was me, smack in the middle, and I get the same question. My answer: “Oh, I don’t have a dog!” They were like, “You don’t have a dog?? Why are you at the dog-run, then (weirdo).” Well, I was dogsitting my friend’s dog, and even only there for a short period, I had come upon some friends.
Since I was unemployed, I mean, in between jobs (the more confident way of putting it), I told EVERYONE I was going to be on a gameshow. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I am one to enjoy a moment before it passes.
The final question — I told you it was brief — they asked us about the name of our team, which I came up with, which was, “The Bandits.” They asked me what it meant. I explained, “A bandit is a term used in pool.”
“Pool? You mean like billiards?” the casting people interjected to clarify. “Yes, yes. Like billiards. I play on a pool team.” They were a little surprised by that. I’m not sure why, it’s not a contact sport.
But, anyway, a bandit is someone who plays under the skill-level to build up points. So, of course, the casting people were like, “Are you a bandit? So, you’re a shark!!”
No, no. Not a bandit. Or a shark. I’m just not that great on the 8 ball to be honest. I do try my best, I would never play under my level.
The odd thing is, I made that our team name hoping they’d ask about it. Like, “Look, look, we are competitors. Pick us.”
And, they did. Well, not right then and there. And, not even by the deadline I was told we’d hear back.
Again, treating this like a job hunt, I did another follow-up. I waited the appropriate time, followed directions, and when not hearing back sent off an email. I went against my better judgment and sent off this goofy email, saying, “Well, if the gameshow doesn’t workout, the casting guy was cute, so maybe I’ll get a date out of it.” Again, this was a, “Look, look, I take risks,” pick us email.
I knew this would come back to bite me in the bum. They wrote me back, straight away, saying, “You’re up,” with the date, time and address.
Remember way up at the beginning of this post where I said I had told EVERYONE I knew. When we got to the studio I thought to myself, “I’ve told everyone I know. We have got to win this.”
It also sunk in, “Wait, this is going to be on TV. What if we humiliate ourselves.”
I had been working so hard to “close the sale,” not even thinking about what I was actually getting into.
You can check out what actually happened on the gameshow itself in the next post, here.
See you in a bit! Check in with you on the other side.