I used to love The $25,000 Pyramid when I was growing up. It was a smart, fun game show, and Dick Clark hosted it with such ease. You could tell he knew how to play the game really well, and I liked that. I had no idea who the celebrities were (Barry Jenner? Linda Kelsey?), but that didn’t matter. It was a show that celebrated quick thinking and effective communication, and to this day, if I stumble across a rerun on GSN, I’ll watch it, and I’ll enjoy it.
A few weeks after moving out to California in July 2002, I learned that a new version of Pyramid was coming on the air. It would be hosted by Donny Osmond, and they had already begun taping episodes. I decided it would be fun to audition, but had no idea how. So I got a ticket to be an audience member, and less than a week later, I was sitting in a soundstage on the Sony lot, watching them tape a show. During a commercial break, I asked someone about auditions, and got a number to call.
The audition process was long. First was a big cattle call audition where dozens of us took a written test. The people who passed the test (including me) stayed and played a quick mock version of the game. Then, a few days later, I was asked to come to a call-back audition, where a more in-depth mock game was played. Then I was asked to come to a third audition, which they called a “boot camp,” where I played the game yet again, and they went over all the rules. It was at that third audition that I was officially booked as a contestant. I was to return three weeks later to tape my appearance.
Like most half-hour game shows, Pyramid taped 5 or 6 episodes in one day. I’m not sure, but I think I was in the 3rd show that taped – my brother had come down from San Francisco to be an audience member, and I know he watched shows that I wasn’t in before I was in front of the camera.
My memories of the taping are still pretty clear. The game moves very quickly, and everyone was very nice, including Donny Osmond, who talked with us contestants during the breaks and made us feel comfortable. The make-up artist came straight for me in every commercial break – turns out I was quite the sweater, so there was lots of blotting and powdering going on.
The show taped in September 2002, but it didn’t air until March 2003, and that sucked, because I had signed a confidentiality agreement (with penalty) saying I wouldn’t reveal the outcome until it aired.
In the days and weeks after it aired, I watched the episode countless times – I brought the VHS tape everywhere to show friends and family that couldn’t watch on TV (this is during the dawn of TiVos and DVRs). Then years passed where I didn’t see it, until last summer, when a buddy helped me transfer it from VHS to DVD.
My appearance on Pyramid is broken into 4 parts. Below are Parts 1 & 2, embedded from YouTube – just click on them to watch. You’ll have to come back tomorrow to see the second half of the show!
This is hard for me to watch. As you’ll see, I’m much, much heavier then than I am now, and when I watch this footage, I think about the unhappiness in my life back then – and how much of it was tied to low self-esteem. I’m not saying that losing weight has solved every issue in my life, but I am certain that my confidence levels have definitely increased as my waistline has shrunk, and that, my friends, is huge. Like me on Pyramid huge!
Keep it up, David!
PYRAMID – 2003 – Part 1:
PYRAMID – 2003 – Part 2:
Come back tomorrow for Parts 3 & 4!