Thursday, October 15, 2009


Now that I am living in Palm Springs working on the Palm Springs West Fest, I am in within easy driving range of a number of interesting destinations. Since it was August and the new Ellen season was approaching, I went to her website to see if there were any tickets available. My friend, Kim, who I wanted to take with me, has Tuesday and Thursday off so I aimed for one of those two days of the week.

October 7th and 8th were available, so I choose the 7th. I used my Washington address feeling that might give me a leg up on tickets. Two days later, I got a call from her office asking if I would be able to go on the 8th instead for we would be guaranteed tickets instead of being on the Stand-by list. No problem.

Two weeks before the date, the letter arrived. Interesting, it said to wear “nice casual”, no Ellen logos, or logos of any kind and no matching shirts and no flip-flops. Anyone who has seen Ellen have people in some of the games knows why.

We arrived at the assigned time 1:30 p.m. and were given a number. We were 20 and d 21 and as we suspected it meant the order you entered the studio. After sitting in a non-descriptive holding area for 2 hours --- they showed the Ellen show that was on TV that day. We learned the staff was watching us like a hawk and chose 15 people to go a trailer. These 15 people were the ones that were being considered to play the game.

We were ushered into the Riff Raff Room—quite the impressive place, that also houses the Ellen Store that was stocked with things to support Breast Cancer. We were there for about 15 minutes and then Kim and I were ushered in – front and center five rows back.

The set is exactly as you see on TV – really beautiful and no fake walks. Tony was the first one to come out AND he looks exactly like he does when we see him on TV. A crew member was excellent at presenting the rules and explaining what was going to happen. He led us all into lively dance routines. We were pepped up to welcome Ellen.

She came out and much to our great joy, not only did Ellen look as we expected, her personality radiated throughout the room. She took the microphone and talked directly to the audience after the taping was done.


If anyone thinks a talk show host job is easy, think again. We watched Ellen change topics with each guest. She was phenomenal with a nine-year old who is sure to be a singing sensation for years to come.

During commercial breaks, she talked with the guests until a staff member urged her to move on. Then it was on to directions for the next segment. She was constantly on for the entire hour, and all the while, her famous smile was there. We also commented on how nice her staff was to everyone. Not the slightest hint of frustration and always smiles. Terrific customer service.

At the end of the show, we were told we could pick up our gifts: A CD from Joe Perry of Arrowsmith, IHome earphones/speaker for our computer, an accessory kit for the new Netbooks, and a new game “Bop” that taking the country by storm.

We went out the backdoor and hopped the cart to the Warner Brothers' gift shop and coffee shop. A word of warning when you go to tapings, be sure to take a sweater, it is freezing in there. Coffee warmed us up and then we marveled at seeing so much “stuff” related to TV shows that we were familiar with over the years.

The cart was waiting for us to take back to the entrance…the guide was terrific and drove us by many studio stages…one that sticks out is where the Mentalist is filmed. Alas, they were out on location for a shoot.

On the two hour drive home back to Palm Springs, Kim and I finally had time to talk about the day. The best way to sum it up is “There were no disappointments. It was day of relaxing, and learning how television tapings are done.”

PS We watched the show the next day on television. The only glimpse of us was the back of our heads at the beginning of the show—stardom obviously was not to be this time.


Networking means you are ALWAYS on your best behavior. You never know when the person you just met will become a big help in our profession or an opportunity to develop a new friendship.

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