It was a blessing from God. My cousin received an invitation to join the program around the 1st of June but he wasn’t interested in doing it so he asked me if I wanted to accept the invitation. I said yes, why not! He sent me the details and as soon as I received them (as I was excited about it), I emailed Valerie Pitman from Pitman Casting about my interest in being a contestant on Let’s Make a Deal. She contacted me around June 3rd. She was really excited for me and scheduled me for an interview with Casting Producer, Jerry Artukovich.
At the time I didn’t own a tripod so my brother Wesley Mair graciously agreed to hold up my iPhone 10 max for the entire interview. Jerry was remarkably good and cool. We laughed a lot during the interview. He asked about my interests in the show and which game I wanted to play to which I answered, Go Big or Go Home. I told him big risks and prizes always enthralled me. He then asked me why I wanted to play, and I replied I just wanna win a car for my brother because he helped me so much.
After the three months of interview, the Casting Associate Producer & Coordinator Chelsea Spence emailed me the exciting news that I’ve been selected to be on Let’s Make A Deal! I couldn’t believe it. I originally thought I had bombed the interview because I didn’t hear anything. My original costume was going to be the Green Lantern with the light-up ring but because of licensing, I couldn’t use it unless I cover up the logo on my chest.
The contestant Producer Evelyn Bradfield came up with the brilliant idea to put a Zonk sticker to cover up the logo and convert the costume into Let’s Make A Deal’s superhero, “Zonk!” I quickly rushed to the Office Depot that night before closing to get the Zonk logo printout lamented and duck taped it across my chest! Boom, Zonk was born!!
Before my appearance on the show, I followed Let’s Make A Deal’s Twitter page and they listed the Quickie Deal items: a mustard packet, eraser, and a roll of pennies. The night before the taping, I drove up to 7 Eleven on Washington and Altadena Dr. to get the roll of pennies and the mustard packet. The owners’ Tad and Tigist were excited for me and helped me out with the items. I then drove to Ralph’s on Lake and Walnut to get the eraser. It brought back memories of when I used to work here as a cashier and meat clerk. It also brought back that fond memory of that faithful loyal customer who ended up changing my life from a financial banker to a professional actor. I even got a chance to see an old friend/co-worker, Norma, who wished me good luck on the show!
Who knew bringing a pack of mustard would actually end up winning me $500?! I remember Wayne Brady asking Elise if she had any pink items. At the time I was thinking that I despite going home empty-handed because I was just so honored and happy to be here. Then Jonathan Mangum turned to me and said Akeem, do you follow us on Twitter? I said yes! He then asked, do you have a pack of mustard? I was shocked! Yes, I do!! I leaped from my chair to grab my bag from behind the pod. Rushed back and dug through my bag and boom!! There it was a pack of mustard. Way to end the show!