May 2, 2009

15 Tips to Make Your Talk Show Visit Successful.

Previously I told you about all the various shows you can get free tickets to when travel in New York, Los Angeles and even Chicago. It’s easier than you think.

However, in this article I will try to prep you for a visit to a talk show taping, providing you with dos and donts, so that you’re left with the right expectations, leaving the wrong perceptions at home.

I truly hope you will get some valuable information from these tips. And having been to quite a few live shows myself, from Judge Jude in Los Angeles to Carson Daly in New York (when he was still in the Big Apple; now his show tapes in Burbank, CA), I’d like to believe that I have sort of the right credibility to talk about it. Kick back and have fun with it!


(Be prepared to become part of the show taping as it happened when the talk show hostess Tyra Banks asked her studio audience to burn their bras in a bonfire in celebration of the book B.O.O.B.S about Breast Cancer Awareness.)


If you happen to go to a live taped show, a few things you should know:

1. Get to the show taping ahead of time, at certain shows, the crew would need you to be there in advance to sit everyone comfortably, prep the audience and the stage, provide pre-show entertainment (not always, but at Jimmy Kimmel’s show there is an indoor mini-concert prior taping.)
2. Any show has security, so that also takes time to go through. In 99 percent of the time, you would be required to leave all cameras (and recording devices) with the security behind the doors.
3. You must be 18 or older to attend.
4. Bring any kind of identification (if you are an American citizen, a Driver’s ID would do; if you are a foreigner, bring your passport.)
5. Don’t expect to be able to sneak any of your friends and/or relatives – just because you have a ticket, does not mean it would apply to your guests (so plan according for a big ‘family’ outing.)6. Dress accordingly – meaning, unless you are planning to make a show out of your presence (and be escorted out by the security), dress appropriately. I’m sure all the talk shows appreciate a nice dressed crowd, but that does not mean you need a tuxedo, a good pair of jeans and a clean t-shirt would do. Just no surprises. Those studios have a pretty good security (I recall a few of them…) And please, no sunglasses and hats in the audience, this is not a derby.
7. Always make sure you have some form of confirmation that you have tickets and/or your request for tickets have been processed and completed.
8. In some occasions you would need to respond to the show’s ticket confirmation to confirm the booking. Failure to do so might be taken as termination of your ticket(s) request.
9. Eat before hand, in most cases you might be spending some time in the studio, and most of them don’t offer any food services/vending machines, and the breaks are short. Since no food/drink allowed in the studio, have a meal beforehand.
10. Refrain from wearing white, beige, too bright or over-“pattern” cloths. This does not look good on camera; some shows might even a requirement of specific ‘color’ that you should or should not wear. Just take a look at what TV anchors and hosts wear on TV? Unless you are Cathy Gifford, too much pattern might not do for a talk show audience.
11. Always check for where the taping of the show takes place, and at what time. Usually the entrance/security check/taping takes at least an hour before the show, if not earlier. And sometimes it’s not at the location of where the official show is taking place.
12. And don’t be disappointed if you can’t get in standby.
13. In some occasions you Respond to the show’s ticket confirmation promptly.
14. Lastly, I don’t want to repeat myself, but please DO NOT bring cameras, recorders, cell phones should be off and in the bag (today’s technology does allow to take photos with a cell phone, and believe me, security IS aware of today’s technology advancements). Food and drinks would be a no-no as well.
15. For some shows, like with Live! with Regis and Kelly, the age of entrance can be as young as a 10-year old, so always check to see if you can bring someone younger than 18 with you. (I am assuming most of day time shows allow children.) If the shows do allow children, they should be accompanied by an adult 18 and older.

I hope these tips would make your show going a great fun experience; don’t let these tips scare you away. These are very simple rules, and easy to memorize.

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