GSI: Did you have any expectations before going on
Millionaire as to how well you might do?
Mark: I didnt have any expectations before being on Millionaire.
I was somewhat hoping to reach the 32,000 level as most contestants do.
However, I made sure not to set a standard that if I was unable to reach, it would
diminish the fun I had while on the show.
GSI: Do you have a favorite game show? And what
game show would you like to appear on next?
Mark: I have many favorite game shows. They go back to Tic
Tac Dough and Password to current ones such as Wheel of Fortune and the new one on GSN
..Lingo. The game show I would like to appear on next would probably be Wheel of
Fortune or reality show/game show Amazing Race.
GSI: Was actually being on the Millionaire set vs.
playing at home, as nervewracking as it might seem?
Mark: I never attended a taping of Millionaire before appearing
on the show. I guess you can say I have the same theory as some NFL players do about
attending the SUPER BOWL. They will not go watch the game in person until they are
on it. I was fairly calm during the whole process. I didnt even think about
the people at home watching. I am not one to be the center of attention at parties
or gatherings so I had to get used to the studio audience focused on me and Meredith.
I wasn't nervous about playing the game but I was nervous about coming across as
looking like a goof or making funny faces without realizing it.
GSI: What happens backstage
at Millionaire before and during tapings?
Mark: Backstage before the
show, we sit in the green room. A very small room upstairs. They go over all
the rules and regulations of the game. They give suggestions about when to use
lifelines. A lawyer comes in and discusses legal ramifications. Every once in
a while, a producer pulls us away to interview us and go over what may be spoken to about
while in the hot seat. This lasts from about 9-11 AM. At 11 A.M. We proceeded
downstairs to see the studio for the first time. They show us how to get in and out
of the chair the proper way. How to walk into the studio from backstage. Which way
to exit the chair. After this is over, we go and have lunch in a roped off area.
After lunch, it is time to get dressed up and some light make up is put on us.
The women are there about ten minutes while the men had mostly anti shine applied
GSI: Can I ask what it's like in the greenroom before
the show? Are you able to just relax and/or watch the taping live as it happens from
a sealed location?
Mark: In the greenroom before the show, we mostly sit around
and talk to each other. Some are trying to ram any last bit of info into their heads while
others are just having fun talking to each other. WE watch the live feed from the
studio. We did not know whould would be next to be called to tape. We would be
called about three people in advance to proceed downstairs.
GSI: Do you have any advice
you could offer to potential, or should I say future contestants?
Mark: The main advice I would give to potential contestants is
to relax and have fun during the whole experience and do not treat this as a way to solve
all your financial worries. Treat everything about this experience as a bonus in
your life. The other main advice I would give is for future auditioners for shows.
Do not treat the interviews like a "job" interview. Treat them as
if you were sitting down at a bar talking to someone you have known your whole life.
Not that you asked but I figured I
would share this anyway. With the money I won, I am going to see the NEW YORK GIANTS
play the GREEN BAY PACKERS in Green Bay October 3rd. I am a Die Hard Giants fan and
while I have seen them play everywhere, Green Bay is a place I have always wanted to
GSI: Thank you for doing this interview and
congratulations on being on Millionaire!
Mark won $1,000 on his Dec. 19th, 2003 appearance.
Interview conducted 8/11/2004.