I auditioned. I survived. I had the weird and almost entirely unknown experience of not being the biggest geek in the room.

I drove to Pittsburgh last night. I found my hotel right off. This is a good thing. I am a native Pennsylvanian but I have only been to Pittsburgh a few times and I’ve never driven. This is because all non-Pittsburgh native Pennsylvanians avoid the town like the plague because it is impossible to find anything. It is laid out between mountains and rivers and in order to follow the lay of the land nothing is square. Everything is one way. It is a town where I have spent hours trying to reach a landmark that could be clearly seen but never seemed to be able to be reached.

This morning I left way early to get to the audition hotel because I know the laws of Pittsburgh navigation. I had really good directions though and found it easily. I filled out my paperwork and had a horrific head shot taken of me. Polaroid camera close to my face. No more needs to be said.

The audition consisted of a brief overview of the game and some explanations of how the trickier categories work. I’m not good at tricky stuff like “Before and After”. I really need to start watching Jeopardy to get the hang of it. So after not knowing the answers to those questions (or alternatively coming up with obscene answers that I knew couldn’t be right in the rhyming category), I was a bit nervous about the test. There was a 50 point written test that seemed easier to me. Then they called us up in groups of three to play a practice round with the buzzers. They were judging mostly our presence to see if we’d be good TV. I will never be chosen to be on any game show that requires you to clap and yell, “Big money! Big money!” but I might be perky enough for Jeopardy. Then we were interviewed about our lives basically to see if we were good TV again. After everyone was done they just said, “Thanks for coming!” That’s it.

We will be in the contestant pool for 18 months. We could get called at any time to go. They try to give about a month’s notice.

There were only a few women there. I wonder if that makes a difference. When I sat down the guy next to me saw my paper and realized where I was from. He’s from nearby here. That was sort of weird. I was going to strike up a conversation afterwards but he was an odd one so I refrained. Odd coincidence though.