Thursday, February 28, 2013

How Do You Get on Check, Please!?

The most frequent question I have received lately is, "How do you get on the show, Check, Please!?"   With the permission of the lovely crew at Check, Please!,  I thought I'd share my application process with you.  The process is simple, quick, and fun!  If you decide to apply, be sure to like their Facebook page and follow their Twitter
STEP 1:  Visit the Check, Please! website and fill out the online application. 

STEP 2: Phone Interview
After approximately 8 to 10 months, I received an email from the lovely Associate Producer, Jacqui Wedewer, which read something like this:

"We received your application for “Check, Please!” on WTTW, and would love to talk to you about some of your restaurant choices! Please give us a call between 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM tomorrow (3/2) when it is convenient for you to chat for 5-10 minutes.  When you call, let us know that you are calling in regards to your Check, Please! Application.  We can be reached at (---) ---.----Thanks so much!"

 So if you don't hear back for a while, don't freak out.
During my phone interview, we discussed the different restaurants I recommended in my application.   I personally spoke with Jacqui but you may also speak with David Manilow, the bad *ss creater of Check, Please!.

This was when sh*t got a bit real.  Be sure to check your email or the Check, Please! website for their auditions! Not only do you have to sign up for entry into the Whole Foods Event, you must also sign up for a time slot to audition.  Auditions were held at the Whole Foods in Lincoln Park.  

Can't make the audition? Don't sweat it.  Ed, another guest on Check, Please!, couldn't schedule an audition and still made the show!
There were 3 to 4 camera crews set up in a section of the grocery store.  I auditioned in front of Jacqui.  She asked me questions about The Purple Pig and why I loved the restaurant.  My best advice would be to forget about the cameras, be yourself, and talk to Jacqui like you were talking to a friend.

After your audition... 

DRINK UP!  Just kidding.  Enjoy the event! 
Clearly, I'm very excited. 
Southport Grocery cupcakes. 
I ate about... 3 of these.  But don't worry, I ate these AFTER my audition because, you know, the camera adds 10 pounds. 
Popular Chicago restaurants participate and provide a sample of their popular dishes.  [Pictured above: Le Colonial.]
An eclectic variety of foods from different restaurants made this experience unforgettable. 
Approximately two weeks later, you'll receive an email with a list of dates and restaurants.  Don't get too excited because this doesn't mean you've made it on the show just yet.  It's imperative that all three guests on the show have not tried each others' restaurant recommendations.  Therefore, you may receive multiple emails trying to coordinate dates and times that you're available to film at the studio.  

I spoke with Jacqui over the phone and was told I made the cut. What next?  You must visit all three restaurants during a 3 week period.  They recommend making visits during busy hours such as weekends or dinner hours.  After each visit, you must submit a Check, Please! review form that describes your visit, what you ordered, and how you enjoyed the restaurant. 

As soon as you arrive at the WTTW studio, you'll meet Jacqui, David, and the Check, Please! team.  You'll also be touched up by a wonderful makeup artist.  
Before the show, each guest will be meet with Alpana individually to be prepped before filming.  The entire taping process took about two hours.  

I also get asked, "Do you guys still keep in touch?"
Yes, we still hang out. 
[Pictured: Phil, Ed, and Myself.]  You can watch our episode and personal recommendations here
Good luck! 


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