But I think that Itricks has a sick sense of humor. (Just kidding guys. I needed something to tie the song lyric to the post.)
Anywho, if you believe what they say, then next Tuesday you will get to see my grinning visage on a show that I personally can't believe lasted this long. In celebration of this... um.. thing... I have decided to dispense some advice should you ever find yourself in a similar position. (missionary?)
Having been on two TV contest shows (And possibly a third if I'm lucky) I want to throw a few ideas your way. First thing should be a given, but try as I might some poeple need this idea beaten into their damn heads. Be Professional! Seriously. There is nothing worse than a performer who does not conduct himself in a way not becoming of a person who does his art for a living. (hunh?)
In the same vein, don't be a prima donna dick. (or cunt if yer a chick. You are not excused from this article just because you have breasts. Sorry. Also, if that word offends you.. deal with it.) You cannot.. or more accurately, SHOULD not go into a place such as a recording studio and expect to be treated any differently than the rest of the cattle and then throw a fit when they don't bend to yer every beck and call.
Also, be nice to the other performers. (Who return the courtesy of course) This is a PRIME time to network, meet other people who know people, hand out cards, etc. You never know when knowing someone with a similar or differing talent might come in handy. If you treat them like crap, (And vice versa), then you will be known as that arrogant performer who no one wants to work with. This goes for the people running the show. They can edit yer sorry ass out like you never existed.
From a magician standpoint, it is also a good idea to go perform some minor miracles for the other non-magical performers who might be in their 3rd hour of stale donuts and false sincerity. Go cheer them up and be sociable. Free samples are never bad in these situations. Also, from a magician standpoint, don't be discouraged when they don't pick you out to advance or win. Magic takes it from behind in most contests... on or off TV. Remember what you are REALLY there for: Name Recognition. The more people who know who you are, the more pull your name has, the more you can charge down the road. Also doesn't hurt to pad your demo reel with some footage of you on national TV.
So to re-cap: Be professional, DON'T be an asshat, hand out free samples, and make nice with everyone because you just never know.
Experience is ALWAYS the best teacher.