The Ellen Experience
Note to self: If I’m lucky enough to be an active audience member at a live TV show again, do not consume a 5-hour energy drink 30 minutes before!
My co-workers can vouch for me on this one. I was like a rabbit on steroids waiting in line at the bottom of the stairs to the entrance of the Ellen set. I was so excited, that even the couple who stood in front of us called us “entertaining”. I think they were in reference to my practice dance moves that included “stacking the shelves” and the famous “sprinkler” move. To get those up to speed unfamiliar with Ellen, it’s the show’s ritual to dance as much as you can throughout the recording!
After waiting in the parking lot with the rest of the fans (some had been waiting in line for hours to get a guaranteed seat), we were escorted across the road like school children into the giant Ellen building in Burbank CA. There we waited in a long corridor for a good half an hour, unable to sit still with all the commotion and wishing we could use our cameras. Then we flocked into the merchandise room where the stairs led to the set, and was baffled by the welcome door mat on sale that quoted “live, laugh, dance”. Why not!?
We were taken to our seats on the second row, and the “warm up guy”, who of course was rather nice to look at, riled up the crowd and told us that Ellen, “feeds off the crowd’s energy”. T shirts were given to those that had the best dance moves. Unfortunately my “roll the dice” moves didn’t make the cut but it was somewhat as relief as I didn’t fancy joining the other T shirt winners on the stage to make a complete fool of myself.
Then it was time for Ellen. The show is timed with acute precision which was a surprise. I expected them to have to re-shoot scenes and script constantly. But it really was a very well rehearsed, perfectly fluent hour long show. Ellen was all smiles as she came bounding in with ease. It’s surreal when a celebrity is standing right there in front of you. Creepily, I couldn’t help but stare. She’s really pretty with a pair of bright blue eyes that grab your attention. With the many cameras, production crew and equipment it was hard to stay focused on the content of the show. The atmosphere of the whole room was electrifying and it was easy to maintain a grin from ear to ear throughout the whole recording. Especially when LL Cool J and Denzel Washington guest starred.
After all the over embellished laughter, clapping, dancing, cheering, grinning and excitement I think it’s safe to say I was exhausted. When the show was over, my ears rang, my hands were hot and itchy and my cheeks were sore. We picked up our freebies on the way out of the studios that included a set of snazzy headsets and a Grammy Nominee’s CD and we were escorted back across the road.
I had such an amazing day, and I would recommend the experience to anyone, it’s like none other! It was a long drive back to Yuma that night, but I have never been more awake! The next day at work however, was quite the contrary!
Next stop Jimmy Kimmel!
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