Ariel Spinning the Price is Right Wheel (Green Screen)

Ariel Spinning The Price is Right Wheel (Fake Blue Screen Photo)

Sometimes life tosses you random unexpected fun things to do, things that aren’t on your bucket list, but when the opportunity falls right into your lap, you eagerly go for it! 😀

So last night I was sitting here in the hostel, chatting with some of my fellow travelers. It’s wonderful here. Everyone here has a story, is from a distant and far away land, often has a cool accent, is excited to be alive and ready to experience life. A wonderful soup of people to be swimming in. 🙂

For hours I shared some conversations with a couple from Belgium, ages 20 and 22. They’d also been hiking and camping around, even doing 400-something kilometers hiking through Denmark. They shared stories and pictures, as did I. For whatever reason, when they went they through Las Vegas, they decided to get one of those 10 minute weddings. While it’s not legally recognized back home in Belgium, they were still able to call their parents and tell them they just got married. lol… Funny shit.

We talked about all the cool stuff that happens when you’re out traveling such as people you meet on the road, on the trail, in the hostel, or even out in the middle of nowhere.. people who jump at the chance to give you a ride to different cities and states, rides to go see cool stuff, and even rides back to their home for a place to crash. It’s amazing how stuff just WORKS… in ways that you could never predict, and yet better than you could have ever planned. That’s something I’m finding to be quite common amongst many travelers: The willingness to just drop the excuses and GO FOR IT, and time after time you hear and witness practically miraculous experiences as to how things amazingly work out. It’s SO consistent too…

In any event, these two Belgians were going to take the greyhound up to San Francisco when another fellow they met here in the hostel offered to give them a ride up in his car. With a car you can go see what you want when you want. Much better in this respect than using public transportation. So we all meet up in the morning to hang out before they head out. Shortly after they depart, some random people I’d never met come up to our group of people and ask if anyone wants to go be on the TV show, The Price is Right. Turns out they had a group of 15 people, with custom screen-printed T-shirts prepared and everything, but due to various reasons, a number of people in their group had to bail. They needed enough people in the group (15 is the min. for that show) to get in as the group the reserved rather than go standby and it turns out that exactly the number of people they needed was exactly the amount of people available who wanted to go. Was also exactly how many seats we had in the vehicles. How perfect. 🙂

Let’s Go Be On a Game Show!

So I transfer some stuff from my car to a pair of lockers supplied here at the hostel to make room in my car, we all hop in, and head on up to Hollywood.

Crazy Hollywood Gas Prices

Crazy Hollywood Gas Prices

Yikes! Gas prices in CA are usually about $3.00 +/-. They’re $3.30 along the coast and in higher end areas. Up to $3.80 here. Wow… The show took place at CBS Studios in Hollywood. Click click with the camera! “Hey, you’re not supposed to take pictures of the studio.” “Um, okay.”

CBS Entrance

CBS Entrance

They let ~300 people in to the show and there were more people there than spots available.

Price is Right Line

Price is Right Line

The way the lines worked, there were several stages before you got in to the show.

1) Making sure you’re here! The pages (the guys in the red jackets who worked there) made sure that the groups with reservations were all here.

2) Filling out your info. They ask for your name, your address, your SSN (for when you win), and a short paragraph about who you are, what you do, and why you want to be on the show. I put down that I’ve been traveling the road for the past 6 months, going to Mardi Gras, sliding down glaciers in Colorado, camping in the mountains in California, and about to head on up to Alaska for the winter. I wanted to be on the show to win some cash and prizes to help me continue my adventure.

3) Get your number and name tag. They walk by and give each person and then you go in in numerical order. I was 214. The number you stick under your nametag while you’re in line and take off when you get onto the set.

4) Go stand in front of the green/blue screen and get your picture taken with your group. I also opted to get a single shot next to the wheel (pictured at the top of this post).

5) Get interviewed. They break you up into groups of twelve. There’s a really friendly sociable guy who goes down the line and asks you who you are and what you do. They basically want to see how energetic you are, if you’re a fun person who’d be good for TV, and so on. Then when he finishes and motions for everyone to continue walking, he walks over to his assistant and whispers a few notes into her ear. I think he selects two people out of the group of twelve to be candidates for the show.

6) Go through security. You walk through a metal detector and they take your cameras and phones. They’re not allowed during the taping which is probably for the best for TV. So because of this, I won’t have any pictures to illustrate what goes on behind the scenes, but I’ll do my best to tell you the story nonetheless. 🙂

Self-portrait in line for The Price is Right

Self-portrait in line for The Price is Right (Shirt says A Dream Come Drew)

Friends in line

Some friends in line

One thing that was really wonderful was all the shirts that people created. Here’s a couple…

I Wish I May I Wish I Might Win a Prize on The Price is Right

I Wish I May I Wish I Might Win a Prize on The Price is Right shirts

Whose Price is It Anyways Shirts

Whose Price is It Anyways shirts

My Boss Doesn't Know I'm Here shirt

My Boss Doesn't Know I'm Here shirt

Being On the Set

Walking into the set, after jumping for joy, my first thought was, “Wow, this is amazing. It’s like a ride at an amusement park, but it’s real! It’s the set you see on TV, but there’s so much more here!”

My seat was right on the aisle, about 2/3 of the way back. There were 3 sections of people. The middle chunk and right and left chunks. I was on the chunk that was stage right, left from our perspective.

They do a LOT to get you pumped up. They play music before the show, tell you to go nuts like you just won the Super Bowl when you get called up to go on stage, have a pair of Applause lights overhead, have people on stage but off camera who get the audience to cheer more…

They also give you tips on when to sit and when to stand, when to bid quickly (when you’re doing the initial bids in front of the mic’s with three other people) and when to look to the audience for tips (when you’re on stage). The executive producer who comes out and gets us started was an awesome guy. Really liked him.

We also had a guest host, the guy from Shop ‘Till You Drop. I’ve never really watched that show so I’m not familiar with that guy, but Drew was still the main host. Both hosts were awesome.

There’s a lot more there in person than you see on TV. For one, there’s LOTS of specially placed lights up overhead. It’s amazing how good people looked on stage in front of the camera. Made a big difference compared to when we saw them running up to the front.

There’s also a LOT of cameras on stage, like 6 cameras or something… You typically don’t see all the cameras during the show on TV, but they do this beautifully orchestrated dance, interweaving between each other to go shoot each part of the show on stage, and there’s lots of parts happening simultaneously. One part is taping while they’re setting up in another area or finishing up in another.

There’s a protective banner that goes up and down in the middle of the stage that let’s them block the audience’s view of the back section of the stage as they set up for the next game.

Behind the microphones where people make their bids to go up on stage, there’s a little arrow pointing to the left, telling them where the stairs are for the winners to go up to go on stage.

It’s actually incredibly hard to hear what Drew and the contestant are saying when you’re in the crowd. Similarly, since everyone is cheering and going nuts, it’s also nearly impossible to hear your name being called when they’re call, “Bubba Jones, come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Price is Right!” To compensate for this, they have a pair of people on stage with big cue cards with the person’s name written down. That way if you miss hearing your name (very likely), you will see your name on stage as they call you up.

Lots of little things like that.

Drew Carey

Drew Carey hosting The Price is Right

Drew Carey hosting The Price is Right (Image courtesy CBS)

Man, he looks DIFFERENT than he did when he used to host Whose Line, one of my favorite TV shows of all time.

For one, he has lost a lot of weight! He’s no longer round and pumpkin-shaped. He’s much more trim and thin. It was not only his body, but also his neck and face. Literally looked like a totally new guy. He told us about his diet (no unhealthy foods, no coffee, no breads, with the exception of just a very few pig-out days where he’ll have a coffee or pizza.. but this was only just a few times since the beginning of the year). He mentioned he now does cardio like six days a week. In short, he’s really changed some things, and it really shows.

He’s also a cool guy. Funny as I expected, but also really friendly and personable. Cracking jokes the whole time, talking to audience members during the commercial breaks, talking about playing computer games while taping the Drew Carey show and challenging the cast of ER to a round of Medal of Honor (and winning 2 out of 3 games), and so on. He’s kinda nerdy, but I really like that about him.

One of the prizes during the show was this $6,000 bathtub with metallic ends and clear sides. During the commercial break he mentioned how he always likes giving prizes like this away because he pictures the person having to remodel their bathroom and sleeping in their basement for three months while the contractor does the work in the bathroom. Then sarcastically, he was like, “Yeah, congratulations.” lol…

One thing that I didn’t realize until looking for the above pic online is that he wasn’t wearing his traditional round glasses that he wore on Whose Line. He wore more rectangular glasses, and they really changed his look.

Note the difference when he wears his round glasses…

Drew Carey in round glasses

Drew Carey in round glasses (Image courtesy CBS)

It was also a lot of fun to watch him dance up on stage with the audience members. All in all, a really great host in person.

Did I Get on TV?

So did I get to be on TV? Well, as one of the contestants who got called up, no. But in the audience as part of the overall show, yeah.

There’s two main times that I think I was clearly being taped. The first time was towards the end of the show, when the very last lady was called up. She was on the other side of the aisle from me in the middle section. When she got called, she happened to be sitting right in between me and the camera that was on her and so I was right behind her.

Secondly was towards the end of the credits. They had a camera in front of us on a crane that they could lift up over the crowd. It came down pointed right at me at one point towards the end. Gotta make a note of it when the show airs.

It should air October 4th, 2010. (10-4, heh).

After the show, we were all so tired. It’s amazing how much energy it takes to go ballistic for that show! To jump and scream and dance and cheer… Definitely glad that we only did one show and not two. Took us 4 hours to go from arrival to getting in the set (12-4), and maybe another hour and a half or so to go through and do the show.

Overall, it was a way fun experience. Something cool to experience. Yet another fun thing to be a part of in life. 🙂

Oh, one thing that they don’t show on TV is that after the show is done, the pull a name from a hat to give a prize to a random member of the audience who didn’t get called up to play. The guy won $100 and a DVD of The Price is Right computer game.

and so yeah, after finishing up, we all headed out, grabbed our cameras and phones that security was holding, and headed out of the studio. After I left the premises and was back on the sidewalk, I grabbed my phone and took a photo of the building over the fence. 🙂

CBS Studios

CBS Studios

A rather simple looking building on the outside, but way cool on the set inside.

Definitely a fun experience and a cool way to spend some free time!

Life is awesome… 😀


  1. Jessica
    on July 29th, 2010

    Ariel, I liked reading about the way you lucked into this experience. The opportunity came up and you were free to say O.K. to it! Awesome.

  2. Jackie @
    on July 31st, 2010

    How cool is that!?!! You certainly have to post reminders to watch! Love your blog and that header photo just makes me want to go sky diving or something! And I’ll probably have one of my flying dreams tonight because of it!

  3. david
    on November 22nd, 2011

    dear.drew careyike your.showiam biggest fan

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