Upstaging the game show
Some graduates of the USFtheatreprogram go on to work in television. But only one so far has run barefoot onto the stage of “The Price is Right”, jumped into host Drew Carey’s arms and then proceeded to tackle-hug actor Neil Patrick Harris.
This chain of events has brought Destiny Ramsey, a 2010 graduate from USF in political science and theater performance, viral video fame. Multiple YouTube videosof Ramsey have seen more than100,000 hits and the clip has been posted on news sites from all over the media spectrum.
The Oracle caught up with Ramsey, who currently goes toPepperdineLaw School in Malibu, Calif., to talk abouthow violating celebrities’personal space brought herInternet fame.
The Oracle:So tell us about the show, which aired Jan. 4. How were you chosen?
Destiny Ramsey:If you go online, (CBS) has tickets to a lot of stuff. You can get free tickets to a show time and then you can go and watch the show. Before “The Price is Right”, they have a mini-interview with everyone in the audience – they ask you where you’re from and what you’re doing in Los Angeles and all that stuff. And thenafterwards they put everyone in the audience and, I assume, they kind of screen who they want from that little interview session. But they don’t tell you until you get picked.
O:What kind of games did you play?
DR:When you first get your name called, everyone who’s up there guesses the price of an item. And so I did that and I got the closest guess to the price of a camera set, so I won a camera set. Once you win that you get called up, and I played a game called The Grocery Game, which I totally did notunderstand the rules for at all because it’s really,really loud in there. So when Drew Carey was, like,explaining the rules, I couldn’t hear anything.
And because I was on Celebrity Week, Neil Patrick Harris was playing with me. Basically, the game was picking a certainnumber of items until you hit a$21 mark without going over. Neil Patrick Harris told me to pick, like, 17 cans of Campbell’s soup because he thought they were worth like 7 cents. But it turns out they were worth a dollar sixty-something – they were the most expensive cans of soup I’d ever heard of.
But then everyone gets to spin the wheel and I spun and got the dollar, so I won $1,000. And then, because I got the dollar, I got to be on the final showcase where you guess the price of all the showcase items. But I totally lost that. I can’t even blame Neil Patrick Harris for that one, that was all me.
O:So were you planning to take Harris down to the ground the whole time?
DR:He definitely pulled me down. I don’t believe Neil Patrick Harris is gay any longer.
DR:Yeah man, he totally pulled me down. I went up and hugged him and then he pulled me down and then once I felt him pulling I was like, “Oh, it’s on.” He’s a really good sport. He’s really fun and nice,very cool.
O:Did you get to talk to him at all when the camera wasn’t rolling?
DR: There’s a lot of time in between all the sets and stuff like that that you don’t see on TV, obviously. Right after I lost the game, (Harris) was like, “Oh! Soup! Who knew?” And I joked with him about how he owed me a trip to Portugal from The Grocery Game.
O:Were you a fan of his before this?
DR:I love “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” (web series), which is Neil Patrick Harris. And no matter how upset I am that I lost my trip to Portugal, I still love “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.”
O:Did you get to chat with Carey after your bigintroduction?
DR:When the show was actually going, there were people all over the place telling everyoneto get really excited and act really crazy. They have a whole team on the sidelines, so I couldn’t really hear when stuff was going on. But we totally caught up between everything. He explained to me why my bet on the food thing was really stupid and made a bunch of jokes. He told me he wants me to be the next Mrs. Carey, so I said I’m going to hold him to that. I love Drew Carey – I think he’s really hilarious. He does a lot of political activism and stuff and his standup is amazing. He’sjust great.
O:Did you think you would be good at guessing the prices of things?
DR:Not really. The prices on “The Price is Right” are all (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price), which nobody actually pays in real life. I buy all my stuff on sale so I way under guessed everything.
O:Do you think anything in your USF experience prepared you for this?
DR:I was a USFtheatremajor for four years, so I would definitely say they taught me how to project. That running jump at Drew Carey – that was all thanks to my Circus Skills class.
O:Any plans to make the rounds and get on a game show such as “Wheel of Fortune” next?
DR:I have to wait a year before I can go on another reality show under contract. There’s also a very strictconfidentiality contract before the show airs. I actually taped that in August, but I couldn’t tell anybody what happened until the show came out.
O:Any tips for gettingchosen to participate in these kinds of shows?
DR:I would say that if you do go to LA, there’s so many shows like that that you can get on, and they’re really fun. You just have to act really excitable. You don’t have to be quite as excitable as I was, but if you act that way, people will want to put you on TV.
O:Any regrets afterwatching the viral video?
DR:I don’t regret it. I had a lot of fun, and I’m just really happy it’s made so many people smile. And so that makes me really happy that everyone is smiling about it. I definitely didn’t know it would be as huge as it is. It’s all over the Internet. It’s on College Humor, it’s on Perez Hilton, it’s on The Huffington Post (and) it’s on the New York Times. It’s just ridiculous. But I probably won’t get hired for anything ever again. If you Google me, that’s the first thing that pops up. That’ll be pretty great for my future.