Giselle Beaton-Garcia didn't need much convincing to dress up as a cake and go crazy on television.
"I love wearing costumes," she said, "So I'm like, 'Yes, I can wear a costume!'"
Beaton-Garcia was an instructional assistant teaching reading at Mesa Grande Elementary School last fall. A teacher there had heard that the "Let's Make a Deal" game show would make charitable contributions to schools and other community groups that attended the tapings in large numbers, and wrangled dozens of teachers, staff and others to go the last weekend of winter break.
The Mesa Grande crowd split into several groups of themed costumes. Beaton-Garcia and her husband Steven — a well-known football coach for the Hesperia Recreation and Parks District — decided to go as a cake and baker.
"We really got into it," said Beaton-Garcia, who's now a family resource specialist at Cypress Academy of the Arts. "We even went to a costume rental down in Ontario."
That Saturday, Jan. 8, was a long day, with the group arriving in Studio City before 7 a.m. ready to be interviewed and evaluated by producers before the first of the day's two tapings.
"I can't say the best costume gets it, because I saw some incredible costumes that didn't get picked," Beaton-Garcia said.
None of the Mesa Grande crew got picked, although their group can be seen in the audience of the episode that aired Monday.
"I was a sad cake then," Beaton-Garcia said. Then she went online and saw they could get tickets for Sunday's taping. "We had the costumes until Monday."
She read up on tips on how to get picked for the show and convinced her husband to don his pink baker's outfit again and head back to Studio City for another try. Her plan this time: Be the most energetic and lively possible candidate, even when sitting in the audience watching the show.
"The second time I went, I made sure that I was the happiest cake, the delirious cake," Beaton-Garcia said. "The producers said, 'Weren't you just here?'"
This time it paid off, as host Wayne Brady chose her to compete in the final round of the show.
"I was in shock," she said. "It's really like an out-of-body experience."
After scoffing at game show contestants who spend all their time looking to friends and loved ones in the audience for help, Beaton-Garcia found her mind going blank.
"Afterward, I started hyperventilating. 'What did we lose? What did we win?'" she said. "It's exhausting being that peppy."
She walked away with an impressive prize and an even better story.
Beaton-Garcia's episode of "Let's Make a Deal" will air at 2 p.m. Tuesday on KCBS 2.
Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.