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App State student gets a gig on Ellens Game of Games – The Appalachian

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Coming from the Florida Keys up the mountain, an App State student applied to 20 different game shows in one day on a whim. Two years later, they received a recall from NBC.

Senior Justin Marks thought nothing of his girlfriend filming her 3-minute audition videos in the car, but his episode of Ellens Game of Games, Fake It Til You Make It Rain, aired on March 14 near eight months after learning about the concert.

I was like, wait, what? Oh darn. All right, keep your mouth shut. It was really hard because I just wanted to tell everyone about it, you know? Said Marks. All my buddies were like, where are you going?

Ellens Game of Games premiered in 2017 and is in its fourth season. On the show, host guides Ellen DeGeneres show contestants in extremely fun games to win a cash prize, according to her website.

During his segment, Marks introduced himself as a university student specializing in sustainability, eager to save the world.

We need more of you. Thanks for doing this. We have to save the world, DeGeneres said after Marks showed up on the show.

Marks got the call while working as a dishwasher at Moon Thai in Blowing Rock.

I only worked there for a month, but it was like most of my job, that’s the day I got that call, Marks said.

The sustainability major had to go through series of Zoom auditions with a pro to show how loud, fun, and brave I could be. He made it to the second round of auditions and the show offered to bring Marks in. Marks’ father was ultimately cut from auditions, leaving Marks to not only appear in the series solo, but travel the same way.

It was brutal because I had never traveled alone and had never been to California, Marks said. There were people who had their partners because there were like partners, family video games and I was like dang, it would be nice to have someone to talk to. Because I was quite nervous.

Marks couldn’t bring his father because of the COVID-19 guidelines followed by the show. Once in Hollywood, applicants could not speak to each other in their hotel or leave the building. They also had to get tested for COVID-19 2-3 ​​times a day.

Marks was aware of the testing, but believed that visiting La La Land was up for grabs.

I ran into the city. I explored everything, says Marks. I didn’t have a car or anything because I got on a plane there and I’m too young to rent a car, so I just used these Bird scooters and was going everywhere in Los Angeles to get to Venice Beach.

A month before Marks’ journey to stardom, Buzzfeed posted a item detailing the DeGeneres work environment as toxic. This prompted the longtime host of The Ellen Show, who ends her shows being kind to each other, to respond to the allegations in a staff letter.

The show shows it as about 10 minutes, but we were probably in that studio for almost an hour, Marks said. She’s really sweet, but she’s definitely a strong leader, and she likes things to be done her own way. I was a little nervous, you know, being ten feet from her.

Marks said he was supposed to win See Ya Later, Alligator, the game which aired Sunday night. He said after compatriot Laura missed a word while trying to guess a puzzle made entirely of pictures, he could have flown.

Ellen and the producers ended up getting into a really big debate because you could kind of tell I was really bad at acting, Marks said. Ellen sort of blocked my flight. She was just like, wait. No no. no. no. He didn’t have it. Allows you to get a new puzzle.

After the contestants missed the riddle, they were tossed around in the air with a harness. Marks said it was not repeated, but waved his hands in the air adoringly.

I couldn’t pretend to be scared, they told us to act really, really scared, but I was so happy to be there, Marks said. I was just trying to express my gratitude to Ellen for letting me go out and have this experience, and she just said to me up there while I was saying thank you again. I was very happy that my cowboy hat remained.

With his only personal fashion piece on air, Marks was proud to represent App State as a student and its sustainability agenda. He said his favorite part of college was the community and the professors in the field.

I just wanted to show that there is good energy and good people in Boone. I wanted to invite Ellen out, but I’m not sure if that’s her style, Marks said.

The marks missed the class for the recording of the show. Sustainability chairman Richard Rheingans, a professor at the time at Marks, wrote in an email that his appearance was funny and that he was happy to be able to stay in the segment longer.

We know each other pretty well. In a way, I wasn’t really surprised, Rheingans said.

Marks said that after two years his dream of participating in a game show came true. Now, he wants to run the gauntlet of the game show and maybe make a career out of it.

My biggest lesson from all of this is that no dream is too big. You can aim for the stars and land on Mars, Marks said. I never thought that these types of experiences happened to normal little people like me, and I had the opportunity in my life.

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