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Q&A with former Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader cast member

July 13, 2015

 

Are you smarter than Marki Meyer? PLNU Sophomore and former cast member from season one of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader, Marki Meyer, speaks about almost going into a coma after the show ended, how it was being so young on television, and much more. 

 

Meyer attended La Mariposa for elementary school located in Camarillo, Ca when she was casted for the show. 

 

1.) Tell me about your experience on the show?

 

Being on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader was honestly so exciting and fun... even while I was struggling to answer the VERY challenging elementary school questions! I can vividly remember sitting on the stage throwing my hands up in the air to try and be the one to be picked to help the contestant answer the questions. If you have ever watched the first season of this show, you can clearly see the tomboy in me.

 

2.)How was it working with Jeff Foxworthy?

 

Jeff Foxworthy was honestly so funny and openhearted. Being in the 5th grade and having to answer under pressure can be very difficult, but having a host like Jeff Foxworthy definitely made things easier. He would always give us kids are a hard time. I have a fond memory of Foxworthy messing around with me because since I was so tall I didn’t stand on the podium all the way; I would stand on the step to the podium so that I wouldn’t be taller than the contestants.

 

3.)Do you keep in contact with any other students from the show? If so who? Describe to me your relationship with the other students?

 

One of the other 5th graders, Alana, actually lives in San Diego so we keep in contact pretty frequently. Since we all spent so much time together, we of course all try and stay in contact. Unfortunately, we are all scattered all over the place.

 

4.)Walk me through a typical day of work?

 

Since airing the show took quite awhile, all of us students had an on set teacher that we had to do a strict amount of school hours with to accommodate for the hours we were missing in our regular classes. This actually was very fun because how cool is it to be in a class of five with your own personal teacher? Anyways, for a couple days, all we did was drive to set and have “school.” Then, after meeting our required hours, it was time to film the show. We would show up, they would get us ready, “hair and make-up,” and then the fun began. Filming the show was definitely the most fun but hard work. Running out to our seats while singing the theme song was definitely my favorite.

 

5.)How long were you on the show?

 

So, I came onto the show the very first season the show started. I actually took a girls place because she left to film another show.

 

6.)If you don't mind me asking, how much did you get paid to be on the show?

 

I did acting and modeling ever since I was 4 years old and stopped my freshman year of high school. All throughout that time my parents never told me how much money I had made from working. I still to this day have absolutely no idea.

 

7.)Did your peers at school treat you different because you were on the show? If so, how?

 

I think everyone was pretty interested in the whole acting idea. I was only in the fifth grade, but when I left class for a couple weeks to do the show, when I got back my teacher had decorated my desk with Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader stuff. How cool and nice is that? The interesting thing is, when I got to high school more and more people found out, including staff, and would always be like “Marki I saw a rerun of you on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. It was always so funny. My roommate at PLNU, Shelby, was so interested that she even went onto IMDb to look up the other work I did. She even found an episode of CSI Miami that I did on Netflix. 

 

8.) Have you appeared on any other shows?

 

I was on Bernie Mac, CSI Miami, Medium, A Boyfriend for Christmas (lifetime), and a few others

 

9.)How did you get on the show?

 

My acting manager just called my mom one day when we were down in Los Angeles trying out for a commercial and told us to go to the Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader audition. I had no idea what the show was even about but went to the audition and had a blast. I went on three more callbacks within the next couple of weeks.

 

10.) How did you find out you were on the show?

 

Actually, I remember being outside playing in the pool with my siblings, which I have eight siblings by the way, when my mom came outside and said I had a phone call. It was my manager Robin. She was the one to tell me that I was picked to be one of the fifth graders on the show. I was so beyond excited.

 

11.) Was there a specific reason you left the show? If so, what was it and can you explain it me?

 

Well since the season was over and I was heading into the sixth grade, that was the sole reason for me leaving the show. It was a sad, sad day.

 

12.) How was life for you right after the show ended?

 

Actually, right after this show ended, and shortly after, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I became very ill and lost a ton of weight. I was so lethargic and couldn’t eat anything. When I finally went to the hospital after quite some time, my blood sugar was high nine hundreds when your blood sugar should be around one hundred. I was so lucky to not go into a coma and still be here today.

 

12.) Would you give any advice to any 5th graders now who are applying to be on the show?

 

Honestly, I feel that Jeff Foxworthy and the rest of the crew do such an amazing job in making you comfortable and really enforcing the fact that you are there to help the contestants but also to just have fun.

 

13.)What made you decide to do it?

 

I was so excited that out of all the people who auditioned that I was picked. There was no way that I wouldn’t have said yes!

 

14.) Did you have to prep for the questions on the game show or were they a surprise to you as well?

 

They give you a notebook full of information, but they were definitely surprise questions. There were challenging questions that I legit did not know. I embarrassed myself quite a bit on that show and my siblings still remember those moments and bring them up!

 

16.) How did you feel being so young on TV?

 

I honestly loved it. Out of all the kids in my family I was the one who didn’t mind missing school so I was able to go out on the most auditions and therefore did the most acting and modeling. I have always been pretty outgoing and loved being in front of the camera.

 

17.) How was life for you right after the show ended?

 

Actually, right after this show ended, and shortly after, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I became very ill and lost a ton of weight. I was so lethargic and couldn’t eat anything. When I finally went to the hospital after quite some time, my blood sugar was high nine hundreds when your blood sugar should be around one hundred. I was so lucky to not go into a coma and still be here today.

 

18.) Are you thinking of doing any more work on shows on TV?

 

I have thought about going back and trying out for more auditions, but there was no time in high school with sports and school. I honestly would love to, but I think nursing school is in my future instead. But I advise anyone who has any desire to do it, to go out there and try it out.

 

19.) What do you have to say to the class of 2019 at PLNU?

 

Enjoy it, because it goes by really fast. 

 

 

 

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