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Before You Apply to Be a Game Show Contestant

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Whether you want to put all of that useless trivia in your head to good use or sing your way to a big pay out, becoming a contestant on a game show begins with the application process. While each network and each individual game show will have its own guidelines when you apply, there are some general tips to keep in mind to help your application go from the big pile of incoming mail to the short list of potential contestants.

Read the Directions Carefully

Pay close attention to the following things:

  • Video Format – Generally speaking, most networks prefer videos to be in VHS format. If you only have a camcorder or other home video recorder available, transfer your video to a VHS tape.

  • Time Restrictions – Keep your video within the guidelines for duration length.

  • Labeling – You'll likely be required to label every piece of information you send in, including videos and photos. Make sure all necessary identification and contact information is clearly labeled.

  • Copyrights - Check the rules to see if there are restrictions on what copyrighted content can or cannot be used in your video. For example, a t-shirt that depicts a copyrighted image or music that you don't own the copyright to could be restricted.

Present Yourself Honestly

Game show casting agents are looking for fun, upbeat, and interesting people.

  • Do mention why you want to be on the show, and what you would do with the money if you won it.

  • Do showcase offbeat or eccentric things about yourself, your profession, or your interests.

  • Do try to stand out from the crowd. Tell them why you're the perfect person to play.

  • Don't send in tapes that contain nudity, profanity, or otherwise offensive material.

  • Don't pretend to be something you're not, or make false claims on your application.

  • Don't exaggerate your accomplishments, education, or experiences on the application or in the video.

Sending Off the Application Package

You've recorded your video, gathered your photos, and filled out the application forms. Now it's time to mail your package in and hope for the best!

  • Rewind your audition tape. If you send in a tape that hasn't been rewound, it makes a poor first impression. That's not how you want to kick things off!

  • Use a strong and well sealed, padded envelope for your application package. It doesn't have to be pretty, but it does have to be secure.

  • Double check the mailing address, and make sure that it's printed clearly on the front of your envelope.

  • Don't forget to make your return address clear and easy to read, and make sure that all items in your package are identifiable as yours.

A Couple of Things to Avoid

While you certainly want to stand out from the crowd, the best places to express yourself are in the written application and the video.

  • Refrain from adding "extras" like cute stickers, a spray of scent, or colorful confetti that will fall out of the envelope when it's opened. You might think they're adorable, and maybe they are. But they won't make a favorable impression on a casting agent.

  • Be patient! No matter how badly you want to be on the show, it can sometimes take months for your application to be processed. Try to refrain from contacting the show's staff to see if you've made it on the show or not.

It's All in the Details

Just like applying for a job, applying to be a contestant on a game show requires attention to detail. Don't disqualify yourself by not following all directions and guidelines to the letter. Take your time and have fun with the process!

Finding Game Show Applications

So now that you're ready to apply, here's some help in finding game show applications! Try these links for more tips and information on lots of ongoing and upcoming game shows.

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