Ryan’s Life in Game Shows, Episode 17: The Talking Head… Part I

Ryan Vickers, on the set of ‘Countdown’

Hello and welcome to our first guest post for 2020, from our old friend in The Land of The Maple Leaf, Mr Ryan Vickers.

You may recall previous guest posts from Ryan, who’s a lifelong game show enthusiast, many-time game show contestant, and a sometime game show host as well! You also may have spotted him in the recent series (which you can watch online) The Search for Canada’s Game Shows, which I reviewed in an earlier post.

Aaaanyhoo, Ryan’s kindly penned another post for HowToWinGameShows.com, and it brings us up to speed with what he’s been up to for the past 12 months. It’s a biggie, so I’ve split it into two parts, and Part 2 will go up here next Tuesday. But before that, here’s Part 1. Take it away, Ryan!

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My Life in Game Shows Episode 17: The Talking Head…

Hello everyone! It’s been a year since I’ve talked to you so I wanted to catch you up on a few things that have happened just before I get to the main bit.

My life continued to be filled with game shows in 2019.

I made a trip to Philadelphia in March to see a the making of a game show called The ClassH-Room, which resembles Reach for the Top. I was lucky enough to be a guest of the show and after watching two episodes from the audience, during the third I was invited to watch the show in the control room. You really get to see the fun of the production staff when it is episode six of six in the recording day! I also got to sit down and chat with (the show’s host) Richard Curtis after the show, and we swapped game show hosting stories. A great experience. The show posts episodes on YouTube, which are not geo-blocked – you are highly encouraged to go and watch!

In early May, I trekked to New York City to see my second recording of The $100,000 Pyramid, where I was chosen as one of the Most Enthusiastic Audience Members. This led to being the warm-up comedian’s sidekick during the entire taping session. I not only got to perform his jokes, but I also got to hype up the audience by simulating the host’s opening spiel! What a huge thrill that was, not to mention the fact that I was allowed to have a picture on stage.

Ryan on the set of ‘The $100.000 Pyramid’

Later in May, I also performed my duties as host of Reach for the Top, which featured one of our best matches in the decade that I’ve been involved. Finally in July I was present for the final taping day of Au Suivant! in Montreal. It was a great kick to be in the audience and I was flattered to be recognized by the host, post-show when I had a chance to say hello.

I figured that might have been it for the year, and I would have been pleased with all of that (as it is quite a bit!). However…

In early September, my good friend Jay in New Brunswick emailed me a link to a website that talked about someone making a documentary on the history of game shows in Canada. I made a mental note to get in contact… but as it was the first week of school I had to get some other stuff done. About a week later, I was talking with one of the production staff at Reach for the Top, and I mentioned hearing about this potential documentary. “Oh, yes, they got in touch with us”. Aha! Shortly afterward, I wrote a letter to the production staff of the project that basically served as my “pitch” to be involved. I guess I could imagine a world in which I’d never been in a SCUBA diving documentary, or a sport stacking documentary (two other hobbies of mine)… but I really didn’t want to miss out on being a part of a game show documentary!

PRO TIP: While this article doesn’t deal directly with getting on a game show, the skills are transferable. When you pitch yourself to be on a game show, via video or email, put your best foot forward! Imagine that there is only a spot on this game show for a limited few (which is usually the case) and tell them why YOU should be involved. The worst case scenario is that they don’t reply, but at least you know you’ve tried your best!

So I sent the email. I started with my Reach for the Top qualifications, and then I just let it snowball from there – I told them about my game show appearances and the dozens of game show tapings I’d attended as an audience member, as well as my extensive list of footage on DVD and VHS.

The next day I had an email response from the production, saying they were “definitely very interested” in speaking with me. Within a week of sending that email, I was talking to Dave (Hodgson), the director of the project.

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WILL Ryan be interviewed on camera for the Canadian Game Show project?

WILL the interview go well?

WILL the interview make it in to the finished product?

For the answers to all of these questions*, be sure you check back here next Tuesday, for Part II of Ryan’s Life in Game Shows, Episode 17 – The Talking Head…..

 

* Actually, it’s the same answer for all of them; “Yes”.

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