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Northville man tries his luck on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
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— As a professional stunt man, Joe Spano of Northville has done some dangerous, scary things.

But nothing scared him more than a guest appearance on TV’s “Wheel of Fortune.” Spano is set to appear at 7 p.m. Thursday on the popular game show, which airs on WTEN (ABC-10). He will not disclose how he performed.

“It was awesome, but it was more terrifying than any stunt I had ever done,” Spano, 27, said. “They film six shows all day. I was fourth in line. As soon as I got on there, my heart was beating.”

Spano said he is a lifelong viewer of the show. “I have always liked word puzzles and it fit,” he said.

His mother, Joanne Muscari of Northville, said she used to sit him down in front of the show when he was an infant. “I would put that seat in front of the TV and he was quiet,” she said. “He has watched it his whole life.”

Spano said he applied to appear on the show when he was living in Los Angeles for several months. “I did not hear anything until I came back to New York,” he said. Then he had to fly back out to California and audition for the show.

The show is filmed live and takes about 30 minutes to complete.

“There is a live audience. There are no cuts, no retakes,” Spano said. “I met [hosts] Pat [Sajak] and Vanna [White]. They are both very nice. Pat is quick-witted. Vanna is super-friendly,” he said.

“Vanna came out before when we were rehearsing and said ‘hi’ and wished us good luck. During the show, you talk to Pat the whole time.”

Spano did not get any autographs.

He won’t say how well he did, but he did say he had received at least $1,000 for his appearance and he got to keep his name tag.

His strategy for the game? “I did not have a strategy. I just went there and played.”

Spano also does modeling. When he isn’t performing stunts or appearing on TV — which is most of the time, as he has not met with huge success in the stunt field — he teaches.

He is applying for a teaching job in Northville, in fact.

Muscari said she plans to have a viewing party Thursday for friends and family in Northville. Spano himself plans to watch the show in New York City.

 
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