Monday, April 18, 2011

Life in the Studio Audience

When I signed up our group to see a taping of the Chelsea Lately show, I thought, "This is going to be so awesome."  That was really where the thought ended - just a quickie.  Later I read the studio provided instructions - specifically the part on how to dress...

"Hip, upscale attire...."

Who exactly did they think was coming to see the show?  Oh, right - hip, upscale people.  OR....the four of us...faking it as best we could.

So, after we walked the littlest member of our party to school and continued walking a few extra miles to rid ourselves of some beer calories, we all came home to prep our hip, upscale attire.  Somehow, I was assigned as the bench march.  Which is hilarious.  Especially if you've seen my closet.

It only took us two hours to collect ourselves appropriately before we headed to the studio.  Requested arrival time was 1.30pm.  Being over the typical age of silliness (or so we thought), we did a drive by at noon just to make sure we knew where we were.

Then, to kill an hour we did a tour of the area, had a Larry David sighting and got ourselves in the audience line.  Turns out you don't get to just walk right in - you have to stand outside and sweat a bit, make friends with the people around you and pick out the ones you are going to make fun of later (no cell phones allowed, so we actually had to speak with each other during this time).

Big excitement during the wait - for me - was seeing Chunk!!  That's Chelsea's dog.  He was out for a pre-show whiz.

A few hours later, we were shuffled into the studio - which was WAY smaller than it plays on tv.  I mean, yeah, the camera adds ten pounds...I just didn't realize it made studios look larger than life as well.

The warm up dude...well, his mode of warm up was dropping the F-bomb as much as possible.  Which...you know I'm a huge fan of - so that just shows how overplayed it was.

I mean he didn't even appreciate when my partner in crime answered the "Anyone from out of the country?" question with a shove (to me) and a "She's from NORTH CAROLINA...."  It was funny.  Trust.

As he wrapped up - it became clear, this would be no casual viewing experience.  We were led through a series of hand signals - which we would have to know in order to properly view the show.  So we would know when to laugh, when to clap and how funny the jokes were.

Come again?

When I watch at home - I just laugh when it's funny.  No one even has to tell me to laugh.  I just know.  And if it's not funny, I don't.  But now we had to laugh no matter what.  Because a silent studio is evidently not great television.

First lesson - the golf clap.  This would serve as the background clapping during the round table comedian introductions.  When our audience tutors golf clapped, we too would golf clap.

Second lesson - the medium excitement cheering. Not quite a 12 on the scale of one to ten - but enough to audio-ize something better than a golf clap but not quite as awesome as, well, sometime really awesome.



Our cue here was for the dude to do a horizontal-armed-come-here kind of move with his hands.


The apex of excitement was when our cue dudes raised their hands way up - encouraging us to raise the studio roof.

Now here's the thing.

When you've got some guys giving you all these instructions and you're trying to peek around cameras and follow what the heck every one's doing - all of the sudden, you have zero idea as to whether what's happening on stage is actually funny or not. 

Of course, Chuy was there - smaller than on tv - if that's possible.  Oh wait, it is possible.

As it was Passover, he brought with him a Hasidic Jew to share his area. 

Our round table crew was Michael Yo, Natasha Legaro and Scott Wolf. They were pretty funny. I think? I was really too busy making sure I was animated enough for the cue dudes.

Luckily DVRs from here to Pennsylvania and North Cackalacky are set to record the show so we can try a normal viewing experience.


The for sure funny thing was - how dang tired the whole experience made us. We came home, stripped out of our hip, upscale wear and about collapsed for the day.  I've got no idea how we're going to handle the 5 hour taping of the Price is Right on Wednesday.  Thank goodness we have a low day of sight seeing tomorrow to rest up with. 

In our regular not-so-hip, sale wear.

2 comments:

Shelly said...

Okay I'm a nerd so I've never seen the show but now I'd like to watch a show of audience shots. Sounds like the audience does a lot of work. Did you get paid? You should get union rates I think.

Anonymous said...

when you texted that you were doing chelsea lately and the price is right, i thought you meant you were watching those shows in the weee-hours... didn't realize you were seeing them live!! fun stuff!
Lori