September 8th 2008
The new syndicated Deal or No Deal is a scaled-back version of the original, fitting the game into a half-hour format and offering a top prize of $500,000. Only two models were chosen to join Howie Mandel and the Banker on this new version of the show: Patricia Kara, who holds case number 9 in the prime time show, and Tameka Jacobs who carries case number 21.
Patricia, who has been busy with tapings of both shows, is an actress, spokes model, athlete, and a host in her own right, heading up red-carpet specials for FOX Entertainment. She seems very excited about this new incarnation of Deal, and had a lot to say about the show, Howie, and her career.
Question: Hi Patricia! Let's begin at the beginning – how did you get your start in the entertainment business?
Patricia Kara: I was in Chicago when I first got started, and I really just started talking to people, going through the yellow pages, calling agencies, and looking for work. Eventually I moved out to LA and did pretty much the same thing. One job leads to other jobs, and it all just sort of took off from there.
Q: And how did the Deal or No Deal gig come about?
Kara: That one actually came through my hosting agent. It was supposed to be a co-hosting audition, and when I got there they really didn't tell us what was involved with the show except that Howie Mandel was on board. From the auditions I was thinking that it must be a model reality show or something! At the call-backs, there were like 200 girls there. I almost left when I saw them all there, but I'm really glad I didn't!
Q: Did you have any inkling that Deal or No Deal would become so successful?
Kara: I had no idea. When they finally told us we were going to be on a game show, I told my agent that this would be my last modeling job. I really wanted to work more on acting and hosting, and I figured this thing would last a few days and be over. But here we are, starting the fourth season! It's been great though in so many ways. It's really changed my life.
Q: How were you chosen for the syndicated version of the show?
Kara: I don't know! I'm assuming it's because I have a big mouth, but I really don't know. We heard rumors that it was coming and knew that it would be different, but we didn't know any details at the time.
Q: From your perspective as a model, what's the main difference between the two versions of the game?
Kara: The new show has a much quicker pace. Since it's half an hour versus a full hour, there's no down time at all. There are 22 contestants, and we find out who gets to play by spinning the wheel and dropping the ball in – that's how it all starts off. It just keeps moving from start to finish.
Q: Since the potential contestants are there through five whole shows, do you find you get more attached to them?
Kara: Oh I get attached to them anyway! I've been busted by Howie a few times for tearing up during the games. You learn about them and get to know them as the game plays out, and you just want everyone to walk out of there with a life-changing amount of money.
Q: What does it feel like when you open up your case and there's a huge amount inside?
Kara: Usually, you know, if it's a bad time in the game to reveal that amount, it's devastating. I feel so bad, and don't know what to say. You know, you try, but what are you going to say? "Ooooh, sorry..."? It's really hard emotionally to have that happen.