Arbor Day Employee Takes a Spin

Dec 09 by in Arbor Day, General tagged with no comments


Pat and Vanna from Wheel of FortuneEditor’s Note: The Arbor Day Foundation’s very own Cathy Horner, Human Resources Manager, was selected to appear on the gameshow Wheel of Fortune recently. Naturally, we’re all very excited for her. We had a number of questions about the game show experience, which she was kind enough to answer for us in this blog post. Tune in to watch Cathy on Wheel of Fortune on December 14, 2011.

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Q: How were you selected to be a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune? 
A: My daughter and I attended a Wheel Mobile event, on a whim, last April when Sony Studios was crossing the country in their WheelMobile (a big yellow RV) screening contestants for the Wheel of Fortune.  I was lucky enough to be chosen at random to answer puzzles with a group of people on the stage they set up to look just like the real game show.  After that, I was selected to attend a second audition with a more rigorous screening process.  A couple of weeks later, I was sent a letter stating that I was selected to be a contestant!

Cathy Horner & Vanna White

Cathy Horner does her best Vanna White impersonation backstage at Wheel of Fortune.

Q: How did you practice?  Were you nervous? 
A: I practiced by playing a Wheel of Fortune game on MSN and with the Wii game that my kids bought for me.  I knew I would be filming during their Sandals Resort Golf Week, so I reviewed a lot of golf terminology too.  I have always been a fan of word games like crossword puzzles and Scrabble so that also helped.  The contestant department spent several hours going over the rules and helping the contestants practice on the day that we taped the show, so I actually wasn’t nervous at all.

Q: Where did you tape the show? 
A: The show was taped at Sony Studios in Culver City, California.  They taped six shows in one afternoon.  Twenty contestants from around the country were on hand including another gentleman from Omaha who had attended the same Wheel Mobile event that I had attended.

Q: We need to know: what were Pat and Vanna really like? 
A: Pat was rather elusive and only appeared during the taping.  He was all business and was treated like The Star.  Vanna was much more personable and met the contestants in the morning and then met with select groups, like Make-A-Wish participants, during the afternoon.  She is so petite in person!

Q: What did you think of the overall experience? 
A: It was a great experience.  I had never participated in filming a TV program, so it was interesting to experience the “Lights, Camera and Action!” that really takes place.  I had my own make-up artist who had worked on high profile casts like Pirates of the Caribbean.  She followed me around with a powder puff and powdered my face every 15 minutes!  Sony has a beautiful set for Wheel and they also have studio tours.  Be sure to visit when you are in the greater Los Angeles area!

Q: When does your show air?
A: My show is scheduled to air on Wednesday, December 14th.  If you live in the Omaha area, watch for it on KETV Channel 7 at 6:30pm.

Q: So… did you win enough money to quit your job with the Arbor Day Foundation?
A: They asked us not to discuss any “winnings” before the show airs, but let’s just say this: my job at the Arbor Day Foundation is priceless.


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