Let's face it: We've all dreamed of being on television. While the majority of us think being a TV star is a far-off fantasy, Amherst High School freshman Javier Fox turned his dream into a reality.
Last spring, Javier went to Los Angeles to be a contestant on the Nickelodeon show "Brainsurge."
"It's a game show that tests your brain knowledge and skills," Javier said.
Questions on "BrainSurge" include visual and memory puzzles. Eliminated contestants are forced to go down the "brain drain," a giant slide designed to look like a giant ear, and it is filled with foam. If the last contestant standing is lucky enough to beat Level 3, he or she gets "slimed," a tradition on Nickelodeon shows.
The episode Javier is in is part of the show's third season, called "Family BrainSurge." Javier and his mom, Rinet, worked as a team.
Working with his mom was "embarrassing," he said, "but still fun."
"I love the show," said Javier, "which is why I wanted to be on it. I emailed them [the producers] asking to be on the show, and got an email back of audition dates."
In February, Javier went to the audition in Los Angeles, along with his mother, sister, aunt and uncle. The audition took place on "a real movie set. I was excited and nervous, and it was a mini-introduction of my mother and me," Javier said.
Later that month, Javier found out that he and his mom had made it; they were going to be on the show.
"My mom went crazy, crying and screaming, while I was jumping up and down," said Javier.
In March, Javier and his mom, aunt and uncle headed back to Los Angeles for the taping of the show.
"I got there and entered a room full of contestants," he said. "I took a mini test for the show, chilled out while waiting for my taping, ate the lunch that they provided, got fitted for a shirt to wear on the show, entered the taping room, and shot the show, which took about an hour and a half. Then I took a shower after going down the 'brain drain' and went back to the hotel."
Javier and his mom made it to Level 2 and won a portable television.
His episode was scheduled to air in September, but has still yet to air. He and his friends and family are anxiously waiting to see it.
For Javier, appearing on "BrainSurge" is just the beginning.
"This [television] is the career I've always wanted to do, and my biggest dream," he said.
Ethan Ahuna is a freshman at Amherst High School.