I have had some interesting opportunities through my job at OnMilwaukee.com, most recently, the chance to call a bingo game at Potawatomi Bingo Casino. I did this last Thursday to promote the Miracle On Canal program which donates a portion of bingo card sales to 30 local kids' charities.
Prior to getting up on stage, taking the mic and rattling off letter / number combos, I was warned that the bingo players were accustomed to a certain style of calling and the "celebrity" callers didn't always go over very well.
I didn't think much of it until the third Potawatomi employee mentioned it to me and it suddenly dawned on me I could get heckled, booed, maybe even rotten-tomatoed.
My fear was heightened when I walked into the bingo area. I have been to Potawatomi many times to game, dine and check out concerts, but it was my first time in the bingo room. It was packed and yet very quiet, considering how many hundreds of people were in there.
I was slightly disappointed that I didn't spot any good luck troll dolls, but I was fascinated by how many different daubers (bingo card markers) most players had. Apparently, they use different daubers for different games.
I also found it interesting how much time must be committed to play bingo. If you're going to play, you can't just grab a card or two and go – you play for a few hours.
About 15 minutes before my game, I grabbed a free soda and started chatting with the employees, who told me exactly how I had to call the numbers. I had to say "B19 ... one nine." No variations or else the game could be halted. I started to get nervous again, listening and watching intently to the professional bingo caller and mentally trying to match his tone and speed.
During my attempt to quick-learn the bingo-calling trade, an employee asked me if I had a lucky number. I told him "22" and a few minutes later he presented me with a number 22 bingo ball as a souvenir. This might have been my favorite moment of the evening.
When I got on stage and started, briefly, chatting about the Miracle On Canal program and OnMilwaukee.com, I could feel the audience's impatience, so I quickly rolled into bingo calling. I was sweating throughout the entire game, focusing intently while trying not to look or sound too much like a robot.
When it was over, the regular bingo caller said my name again and thanked me, and a bunch of people actually clapped. I was shocked. I almost asked to call another game, but really, I needed a cocktail after all of that intensity.
On my way out, one guy asked for OnMilwaukee.com's web address again so he could look up my articles. Another woman made eye contact with me, smiled and nodded. We all have our strengths, I guess, but the fact "bingo caller" is one of mine only became apparent last week. Who knew?
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Molly Snyder
Published May 27, 2015
As a way to heal after the break-up of an 11-year relationshsip, Monica Lee started Free Hug Day in 2013. On June 20, she will host the event for the third time.
Published May 24, 2015
Many Milwaukee women are major contributors to local business, and here are 11 who are providing life-enhancing outlets for Brew City shoppers and, in many cases, building community at the same time.
Published May 23, 2015
Nick Ramsey is the poet laureate of Racine. Yes, Racine has a poet laureate, and Ramsey was nominated and later appointed to the two-year position in October 2013. Ramsey will read from his new chapbook, "Rhymes & Rambles," on Saturday, May 30 at Wilson's Coffee & Tea in, aptly, Racine.
Published May 21, 2015
Anyone who's traveled from General Mitchell International Airport in the past few years has most likely noticed the "Recombobulation Area" signs that hang just beyond the security checkpoints. Is "recombobulation" even a word?
Published May 20, 2015
This year, PrideFest, which takes place June 5-7, will feature three bathrooms labeled "gender-neutral" to ensure comfort and inclusiveness.
Published May 18, 2015
Fixture Pizza Pub is opening soon in Walker's Point at 625 S. 2nd St. in the former Boom / The Room space.
Published May 16, 2015
The Memorial Weekend Classic returns to Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove next weekend. The event will include the standard races as well as a free kids' carnival called "Leroy Butler Day at the Races" on Sunday. The carnival takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. and Butler will be there promoting his anti-bullying campaign.
Published May 15, 2015
Milwaukee is - and has always been - a town with many olfactory offerings. Here are six strong ones.
Published May 13, 2015
Cafe at the Plaza, 1007 N. Cass St., reopened today after being closed for renovations since March 30.
Published May 13, 2015
Kelsey Miller has exactly one month of bartending under her proverbial belt, but she already digs it. And she can mix a mean Old Fashioned.