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    Posted February 2, 2013 by
    Hollywood, California

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    The Secrets of "The Price Is Right."

    I recently attended a taping of "The Price Is Right." Let me start off by saying, this is an absolutely fun experience and I would recommend it highly to anyone. It's definitely an American experience. But there are some things that you may never guess about "The Price Is Right." Let's just say, this is a Hollywood production, folks, and things aren't as they seem. And make no mistake about it, this is all about business. Also, this being Hollywood there's a lot of hurry up and wait. Let's talk about the lines.

    Line number is on the sidewalk outside of Television City. It is broken into two different lines. There's the "priority ticket" line for the folks who went online and did their research to request tickets. And then there's the line for the folks who sort of drop in on the show. In the priority line you're guaranteed a seat provided that you're in line by the designated time on your ticket. Of course if you want a "good" seat the sooner you get there the better for you. In the overflow line, you're not guaranteed a seat, and seating is dependent on leftover spaces after the priorities are filled. Wait time in line number one: depends on how much of an eager beaver you are, could be anywhere from one minute to an hour or more.

    Line number two you actually get to sit, albeit on outdoor benches. There are some heat lamps, which help, but it's pretty nippy and so you should definitely dress warm. This is the line where you fill out your paperwork and get asked for identification. It's cool because you get to actually meet and talk to the woman who writes the names on the nametags; and this is also where you start to meet the people around you and everyone starts bonding. I was next to Santa Claus. He was from the Bay Area and was down to Southern California for a Santa Claus convention. Wow, he was loud and somewhat overwhelming. He didn’t end up getting called to "Come on down," but Drew had a pretty lengthy conversation with him later on in the studio, and he ended up sitting on Santa Claus's lap. There's a snack bar here, overpriced, of course, and a gift shop, again, you guessed it, overpriced, but it has some very cool souvenirs like t-shirts, mugs, and even "Survivor" buffs.

    Cameras and picture-taking are not allowed anywhere on the lot, but in this line they'll actually take your photograph...twice. The first photograph is taken using what looks like a webcam. This is where I was surprised. This photograph is actually for the producers. Yes, folks, you are auditioning to be "The next contestant on 'The Price Is Right.'" As I said, this is a Hollywood production. Nothing is left to chance here. The producers are looking for a certain "it factor," that being, someone bubbly, interesting, or just someone who stands out for whatever reason. The second photograph is actually a photograph of your group, one a natural photograph and then the second one you're told to "Look like you just won a car." These photographs can be purchased for a price of $20 each if you wish. Wait time in this line: approximately an hour and a half.

    Line number three is where you're moved closer to the studio entrance, (you're about halfway there). In this line you're taken in groups of say 15 to a producer who lines everyone up and starts to ask questions. Yes, you're being auditioned again. Once again, they're looking for that "it factor" that lies somewhere in-between your answers and your personality. This is where the cheering begins. The only person who was chosen from my group was a thoracic doctor from Hong Kong. He ended up winning a car. Wait time in this line: approximately one hour.

    Line number four is the final line. In this line you're stripped of your cell phone, given time to eat the overpriced food that you're coaxed to buy while you were in line number one. This line has "The Price Is Right" playing on flat screens as you wait and everyone gets to play along. It's a happy line because we know we're finally close to actually going into the studio. Wait time in this line: approximately one hour.

    We finally get to go into the studio. It's actually smaller than it looks on TV, but just as bright and colorful. There's great music playing, as there's a house DJ. The plan here is to keep everyone happy and energized. Once again producers are on the prowl. You can see them scanning the audience and taking notes, just in case they might have "misjudged" someone I suppose. Staff and crew are onstage giving us some final tips and pointers. Then Drew Carey finally comes out and the show starts. In-between each bidding session Drew addresses the audience. He's pretty funny, and has a cute laugh. I believe we are still being auditioned, because of the people he talked to two of them were chosen to "Come on down."

    I left "The Price Is Right" feeling somewhat exhausted, as there's a lot of cheering and clapping and standing up and down to be done. But it's definitely a great American experience. And even though I wasn't called to "Come on down," I look forward to going back again.
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