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Seeing Stars: Losing and winning on "Lets Make A Deal"

July 31, 2011|Cassandra M. Bellantoni
  • Nicole Cummins. (Photo courtesy of Cassandra M. Bellantoni)
Nicole Cummins. (Photo courtesy of Cassandra M. Bellantoni)

Sometimes I get tickets to sitcom tapings and game shows. Most recently I got tickets to "Let's Make A Deal" at the Sunset Bronson Studios in Hollywood.

I invited my wonderful dog-walker Julie Cummins and her 18-year old daughter, Nicole, an adorable actress trying to make it big in Hollywood.

Julie and I are both struggling financially, and while waiting in the long line of other costumed hopefuls, we fantasized about what we would do if we got the unlikely chance to make a deal.

My game plan was if I won $2,000 or less in cash, a frequent opening deal, I would keep trading up, but if I got anything over $2,000, I would keep the money and go home. Nicole said over and over, she wanted to win the car because her and her mom don't own one.

We all looked cute. I was a sexy gypsy, Julie a crazy hippie and Nicole a cheerleader with sparkly green pom poms. I would have taken pictures but we were forced to put our phones and cameras in the car immediately upon arrival.

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Some shows let you keep your electronics and you promise to turn them off. Other shows make you check them in, but this show is a no-go on the cells or cameras.

We discussed the need to be super upbeat and personable every second because they start auditioning you the second you arrive.

There's a whole lot of waiting after you fill out all your paperwork and are assigned a number. Basically you are herded into a room where you turn your paperwork in, they look you over, take your photo and then have you sit in rows of around 12 people. When your row gets called up to the front of the room, a casting person asks questions like, "what do you do for fun," trying to see if you have the "it" factor, look good on camera, have energy or whatever is the magic potion of their formula that day.

I'm highly observant and I could tell they loved Nicole from the first second although they try to play it cool. Once I realized my own dreams were dashed, I knew we should focus on getting Nicole on camera, so that's what we did.

She told the casting director she was just out of high school and from St. Louis. Believe me the girl and the camera are simpatico.

Once we were finally in the studio after a couple more hours of waiting, they moved the three of us around a bit, which I thought was a good sign.

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