Mr. DiLorenzo Hits Wheel of Fortune’s Stage

By Shayna Kapadia | Student Life Editor

Mr. DiLorenzo, after a few years of waiting, is now going to be on Wheel of Fortune. The episode airs on Friday, September 19, 2014 at 7:30 P.M.

How did you come to be on the Wheel of Fortune?

I applied to be on the show, just on a whim, about five or six years ago. Just last year, around April, they contacted me and said, “In three days there is going to be an audition in San Francisco to be on Wheel of Fortune and we want you to come!”

How were the auditions?

The auditions were a really long process. There were about one hundred people in the room. When I got there, [the judges] said, “Raise your hand if you’re a teacher” and everyone raised their hand. Then they said, “That’s right. We want you because you’re a teacher. We want you for teacher’s week, and we’re only going to pick three of you”.

What were the auditions like?

[The judges] wanted to see if you were enthusiastic and whether or not you had enunciation and diction. So they had us stand up and just yell out letters, and we got forty-five seconds to a minute to do that.

Then we had to take a writing test, which was basically fill-in-the blank puzzles, but it was timed, and we only had a minute to finish sixteen puzzles. I think I got about four out of the sixteen right. After they took all the tests to grade, we were all sweating and asking each other, “Oh how many did you get right?” Then the judges came out and said, “Forty of you can stay and the rest of you can go home and you’re not going to be on the show”.

Lastly, we played a mock game, and, after that, the auditions were done. They said they would let us know within three weeks if we got in and that they’d mail each of us a response. Not email you, but an actual letter, which was a complete lie because the next day I left for China for a week, and I got into Beijing, and I checked my email, and they said, “Congratulations! You’re going to be on Wheel of Fortune!” Luckily the production date was four days after I came back from China.

How was the actual filming?

The actual filming was super nerve-racking. We got [to the studio] at seven, and we had to fill out all the contracts and liability agreements. Then we got a tour of the studio, and they showed us the wheel and where we were going to stand, and they let us practice a little bit. That was a lot of fun. That wheel is a lot heavier than it looks. It doesn’t look that bad on TV but . . . I’m pretty sure I’m going to look pretty weak on national television.

So, once you get there, you think, “I’m good. I had my breakfast. I’m ready to go.” Then you just sit there and watch the other players play. Then you start to get anxious. I actually started to get a really bad headache, and by the time they taped mine it was about three p.m., and they didn’t give us lunch. So, I was starving with a migraine right before my taping.

How was it filmed?

I was on the fifth show, which is being presented on a Friday. But, because they film a week’s worth of shows in one day, I had to wait for everyone else to film their part. So, they’re taping these twenty-five minute shows, but they also have to stop and change all the tiles because the amount increases each round. Also, sometimes the host needed to take a break, so he took a couple of breaks.

So for every episode, even though they are only twenty-five minutes long, it took about an hour to tape each.

Are you excited about the airing? Have you been publicizing?

I’m going to have a viewing party at my house, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m contractually obligated not to tell people how I did, but it’s been super hard not telling people. Everyone gets some money when they go on Wheel of Fortune, so, no matter what, I got a thousand dollars. You’re going to have to tune in to see. Hopefully, everyone in Irvington watches it because maybe my ratings will be so high they’ll give me my own game show.

I’m actually in a game show stint because I’m going to be on another game show called ‘Let’s Ask America’. After my Wheel of Fortune date, another producer contacted me about being on another game show. I don’t think it airs in California though.

Is there anything else you want to add?

Even though most people on game shows don’t have a lot of theatre experience, I completely feel like my actor and theater training was the main reason why I was able to get on the show. You know, things like this are always worth just trying. Just go for it. The only thing you can do is not get on. The only thing you can do is fail, but failure is winning in the long run as well.

UPDATE: Mr. DiLorenzo competed against a kindergarten teacher named Lindsey Haw and a middle school teacher named Diana Tonsor. Although he went bankrupt twice, after guessing the phrases “Student Body Language” and “Greatest Hits Album”, DiLorenzo received a total of $5,700.

His competitors, Lindsey Haw and Diana Tonsor, won $11,000 and $9,880 with a trip to Antigua, respectively.