published Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Curtain Call: Marc Michael hosts weekly trivia contests around town

Marc Michael is shown running a trivia contest at The Honest Pint. Michel is a regional manager with Challenge Entertainment, which produces trivia shows at several local bars and restaurants throughout the week.
Marc Michael is shown running a trivia contest at The Honest Pint. Michel is a regional manager with Challenge Entertainment, which produces trivia shows at several local bars and restaurants throughout the week.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

MARC MICHAEL

Age: 41

Hometown: Fort Knox, Ky.

Vocation: Game show host, regional manager for Challenge Entertainment.

FAVORITES

Movie: "Waking Ned Divine," "Blade Runner."

Play or musical: "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead."

Actor: Billy Connolly.

Song: "Never Let Go" by Tom Waits.

Saying, quotation or expression: "We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good." Carl Sagan

WHERE TO PLAY TRIVIA

Marc Michael and associate host trivia contests at various locations throughout the week.

Monday: Jefferson's on Georgia Avenue

Tuesday: Brewhaus on Frazier Avenue and Acoustic Cafe in Ringgold

Wednesday: Hill City Pizza on Frazier Avenue and Buffalo Wild Wings on Market Street

Thursday: Magoos in East Ridge and T-Bones on Chestnut Street

Friday: Amigo on Highway 153

Sunday: The Honest Pint on Patten Parkway

Marc Michael has had several jobs, including working for a research facility and as an entertainment editor. In college, he studied physics and botany before getting a degree in literature.

He likes to learn and is constantly reading.

So when he and his bandmates in The Molly Maguires stumbled across a trivia contest at a local bar several years ago, they settled in for a game.

They won. Then, they won the next week and the week after that.

"It was a lot of fun, and we won every time," he said. "The guy who ran it said to me, 'You ought to come work for us.'"

For the last couple of years, Michael has worked for Challenge Entertainment, a company that started in Memphis and that runs trivia contests at bars and restaurants around the South. Michael is currently a regional manager, responsible for finding new locations and for overseeing a staff that writes the questions used in the contests and fact checking.

"I can not imagine anything that I'd be better suited for than this," Michael said. "It suits my personality and I enjoy it."

A part of the job is creating the list of 20 questions that are used, he said. Each is checked for accuracy, he said.

Michael said the contests are fairly simple. Teams, consisting of any number of players, compete against each other. He asks a question, then plays some music while the team members discuss their answer, which is then written down and turned in. Points are totaled and a winner is determined.

MIchael said knowing your audience is a key part of doing a good job. He is part stand-up comic and part master of ceremony, throwing out barbs to regulars.

He also tailors the questions to his audience.

"The crowd at Amigo cares less about science and cares more for sports," he said. "The crowd and T-Bones and the Brewhaus are hardcore into science and literature."

Michael said it is important that the guestions be neither too easy nor too hard.

"The ultimate goal is entertainment. There is a whole lot of judgment that goes into it and a whole lot of tailoring to the clientele.

"If someone misses an answer, when I tell them the right answer, you want them to go, 'Oh, I knew that.' That's a good indication."

He finds questions in all sorts of places.

"I have a huge library that is constantly expanding. Tonight I will pick up some history books, for example, but I like to find a book that looks interesting and I'll read it. I do a whole lot of reading and I'm OK with that.

"There is a future in [the business.] There is room to grow and that makes me very happy."

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