Guestpost #46: Elizabeth Black – Ten things I’ve learned from being a game show contestant

Liz Black is a writer. She writes a little of everything (a comedy website, a blog, thank you notes to loved ones), but she has also been a game show contestant on the Game Show Network’s program Chain Reaction. Chain Reaction is a word game where teams of three compete against each other for very, very low stakes. She writes for:

Her excellent blog is:

  1. Having a professional do your hair and makeup will change your appearance in ways you never thought possible. Like for instance if you don’t usually have strong eyebrows, they’ll draw you on eyebrows.
  2. If your game show is a lesser-known basic cable show being filmed in New York City, the studio audience will generally consist of loved ones you’ve invited and random people who had previously been napping and/or lost at the Port Authority Bus Terminal who were paid $10 to fill seats. This is not a joke.
  3. Even if you think you’re prepared to speak on-camera, you might surprise yourself. Like when the host asks you about your family and you say that you have a nephew who likes it when you blow farts on your arm to entertain him. That wasn’t planned.
  4. Being on a show that has a fan base (with message boards!) means that people will talk about you like you’re a celebrity.
  5. Well, maybe not a real celebrity, but they will talk about you as if you’re not Googling yourself to find out what people thought of you on said game show. Then you will realize that people are inherently cruel and will say things like “Where do they find these stupid contestants?” and you’ll want to respond like “Well I actually went through a rigorous screening process, thank you very much, and also, this is not real world knowledge we’re dealing with, this is a dumb word game!”
  6. Yes, there’s a rigorous screening process even for shows where seemingly dumb people appear.
  7. Sometimes even if you win, you don’t take home that much money. All told when our earnings were split three ways, we each got a thousand bucks. Not bad for a day’s work, but not Ken Jennings money.
  8. Sometimes game show hosts stand on a box to appear taller.
  9. Sandwiches in the green room aren’t always as fresh as you’d hope, but they’re still free.
  10. They let you keep your name tags.

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