As this antepenultimate instalment of my Blair Martin interview begins, we spend some time chatting about how to improve your general knowledge. It’s no surprise that game shows in general – and quiz shows in particular – tend to be won by contestants with above average general knowledge. But how do you get an above average general knowledge? How do you bump your general knowledge up to that level? Here are Blair’s thoughts.
BM: At the time of Temptation, some of the press I did afterwards, I was asked about the storage of knowledge and how you do it. I said there’s been a term coined: “WWILF”, which stands for “What Was I Looking For?” You know on the internet where you go on to do something, and then you start getting dragged off into other areas? And I said “I’ve now got an answer for what I do with these things”. That’s how I get all these fascinating facts. I’ll go and look for something and then another something will drag me off and that branches off to something else. I am endlessly fascinated by facts.
SH: It pays to be naturally curious, I think.
BM: To be genuinely interested in things. There are only a few subjects that can completely blank me and I couldn’t be interested in them if you paid me… but I am sure if you paid me I could probably do something! (LAUGHS)
SH: Muster up some degree of interest, yes! On Temptation did you have an overarching strategy? Were you thinking “I’m going to go as far as I can, come hell or high water”? Or was there a cut-off point where you thought “oh, I’ll be happy with that”?
BM: I don’t think so because I was actually filmed over three days. I think the real horror would be sitting on seven wins and then having to come back for the next taping block two weeks later. So you’d have two whole weeks of hanging on tenterhooks; I just had overnight. (Before the final show) the Exec Producer said to me, “How did you sleep last night?” I said, “Not really.” She said “Me neither. We haven’t had a win since Tracy (Korsten, some seven months earlier)”. They were kind of hanging for someone and they were all a bit “we really hope you get there”, and I said “Oh, we’ll see what happens”. I don’t think there was any real desire to retire at any point, because honestly I don’t think there were any of the prizes, apart from the first night prize (a home entertainment system) – which I am sitting in front of at the moment – or the second night prize (a lounge suite) – which I am actually sitting on… Oh, there was a motorbike, but I thought “I can’t take the motorbike, because my father used to be a motorcyclist and when he started dating my mother in the fifties, my mother’s parents told him ‘you can only keep dating our daughter if you stop riding a motorbike!’” And that became another part of the contestant colour in that episode of Temptation.
In the end, it was like “Look. I’m here. I am enjoying this”. There is only one other close-ish episode, and that was that rather aggressive woman from Brisbane and honestly I enjoyed playing the Fast Money. And I loved being able to get to the end and see “can you get ten questions right in one minute?”
SH: That’s fun. People sort of forget that – It is challenging, but it is exciting, and fun. Even now, when I play just watching at home, against other shows like Million Dollar Minute – just playing along is a buzz; I love it.
BM: One of my early morning things is watching Eggheads. And there’s an endless sense of fascination in learning stuff.
SH: Yes, learning new things.
There you have it – CURIOSITY. While it’s a trait that may not be all that beneficial for cats, it’s absolutely essential for any aspiring quiz show winner.
And something else, my friends, that’s absolutely essential for any aspiring quiz show winner is… yep, you guessed it; my eBook How To Win Game Shows, which is available by clicking this hyperlink, and it’s still at the introductory price of $19.99 AU! And it’s even got a picture of cats in it, on Page 9.
In fact, it’s this picture;
Awww! Don’t they look …. well, a bit vapid and brainless, actually.