By: Gabrielle Martinez
There may not be many chances to see a real-life TV star at school, unless you are in English teacher Melissa Martone’s class.
That’s because Ms. Martone will be a contestant in tomorrow’s $100,000 Pyramid on ABC — Channel 7 at 10 p.m.
Even though Ms. Martone said she cannot divulge if she won — we’ll have to wait for the end of the show for that because she is contractually obligated to keep the outcome of her experience confidential — she can honestly say that it was a amazing experience.
“It was unsettling and nerve racking and I’m super anxious so it was really hard on my anxiety,” she said. “But I was very proud of myself because I wanted to do it really badly.”
The $100,000 Pyramid is in its second season on ABC. The show is a retake on The $10,000 Pyramid game show that started in 1973 and ended 1991.
Ms. Martone said that she always watched the game show as a child and when she saw that they were taking applications for new contestants she decided to apply.
She said she applied on line and was contacted about 5 months later. Ms. Martone was asked to send a video of herself. Later the producers of the show had two video conferences, and Ms. Martone answered “a ton of questions. ”
She said that although the application process was a hassle, Ms Martone found that it was worth the work.
“I loved the show since I was a little kid,” she said. “Last season I was watching the people play and some of them were good and some of them were not and I was like `I am so much better than these people,’ why am I not on the show?”
When Ms. Martone found out, she said she had a month to prepare. She said that in order to get ready she had her students prep her for about five minutes at the start of each class to get her ready.
“The kids helped out a lot and that’s how we started class almost everyday we would play the game,” she said. “I was playing in the office with all of my colleagues, I made my family play so we just did a lot of playing.”
Ms Martone said the entire experience was great. She got to appear with rap star L.L. Cool J and actress Leslie Jones, who starred in Ghostbusters. She also said that host Michael Stahan was really nice.
“There was this one point before the show started where I was just sitting at the table and I heard someone call Melissa!” Ms. Martone said referring to Strahan. “And I looked up and he waved at me with both hands, he related to you and he was very friendly.”
There also happened to be an unexpected connection with an Edward R. Murrow alum. Ms. Martone said she saw another contestant wearing a Murrow H.S. t-shirt and turned out that this person graduated Murrow.
“We were both in the green room … and I asked him if he went to Murrow, he was like `yeah, I graduated from there’ and I was like `oh, that’s funny I teach there’ so it was a really funny connection.”
In the end she said it was experience that she would never forget.
“I did not want to send in a video at first but I’m like you know what one of my big before-I-turn-40 things is I’m going to send in a video and so I did,” she said.