It was a completely unexpected surprise, and has been an incredibly humbling, rewarding experience.
Back in July, I received a curious job-lead from Mark Steiner’s global talent site GigSalad: “Need an Emcee – Seeking top-notch announcer/audience host for live game show in Branson, MO. 6 shows/wk.”
You see, after retiring from KTTS in September of 2011, my “audience” mainly consisted of agents, managers, producers and other voice-seekers on the other end of a phone-patch or chain of email. The only “live” audience truly absorbing my…uh…vocal-nonsense…included Yogi, Sam and Squirt – my three dogs – who regularly demand access to the studio while I audition, record and produce. Which is no challenge at all – voicing critical, time-sensitive retakes with an elderly Golden Retriever’s nose in your crotch! << Insert eye-roll here >>
The point is, after nine months, I found myself genuinely missing the connection with a live audience. Though I had no idea what this job-lead meant, there was no doubt…it piqued my curiosity.
So I auditioned at the Welk Resort Theater…and auditioned…and auditioned…and – you get the idea. After several call-backs, hours of act-memorization, and truly deplorable, nerve-wracking auditions – the crew from FreemantleMedia took pity on me and hired me for the job: “The Price is Right, Live!” Announcer.
I was floored. Oh, and the run started in just two days!
Since July, I’d like to think I’ve come a long way from nearly passing-out during the warm-up on my first show; and I’ve had a chance to work with some amazing talent.
First and foremost – the hardworking backstage crew at the Welk Resort Theater in Branson. When it comes to show production, execution, troubleshooting, ego-management, you name it – Chris Cathcart’s crew is outstanding. They are true professionals through years of experience, as both stage-crew and performers themselves.
During the show’s run, I’ve had a chance to work with hosts Bob Goen (Entertainment Tonight), Mark Walberg (Antiques Roadshow), David Ruprecht (Supermarket Sweep) and Todd Newton (Family Game Night). By simply sharing a stage and observing, I’ve learned so much from these guys – and it’s been a pleasure getting to know them off-stage, as well.
With a global reach, including shows like “Price is Right,” “X-Factor,” “Got Talent,” “Idols” and more – quite frankly, it’s just an honor to say I receive a paycheck from FreemantleMedia…and I love the fact that it involves performing within an hour’s drive from the house! Jeff Palmer and Michael Bevan – thank you for taking a chance on me. I just hope I’ve been able to deliver-up to the standard of your vision; know this — I’ve had a great time trying!
There are only six shows left in the 2012 run on “The Price is Right, Live!” at the Welk Resort Theater – 8:00pm shows this Friday and Saturday (12/14-12/15), and then 8:00pm shows (12/26-12/29). If you haven’t “come on down” to see the show yet this year, put it in your pre/post Christmas plans – we’d love to see you, and load you down with some fabulous cash and prizes.
And don’t worry – no wig, no rings, no crazy Indonesian, custom-fit, rhinestone-studded jacket. No one could ever replace Johnny Olson or Rod Roddy – I’m just having a good time honoring their legacy!