One of my favorite things to do here in Los Angles is be in the audience of a TV show. First of all, it’s free! Obviously I’m a huge fan of that. Secondly, it’s really interesting and a heck of a lot of fun to get to see what goes on behind the scenes in the entertainment industry – what the sets look like, how a show gets made, etc.). Lastly, you are guaranteed the opportunity to see a celebrity or two. And if you’re really lucky, you may even end up on TV yourself. What’s there not to love?
I recently went to a taping of The “Jeff Probst Show” at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood. Honestly, it was completely on a whim. I had never seen the show before, but I was in the mood to go do something and figured, “Why not?” It ended up being one of the best experiences I have ever had at a show taping.
For starters, there’s the “party room“. The “Jeff Probst Show” is really trying to do something new and different for it’s audience members, and they have succeeded in doing so. Normally when you go to a show taping, you end up forced to wait in line until they finally corral you into cramped quarters for the duration of the taping. You can’t really complain because it is, after all, free, but that doesn’t make it the most ideal situation. But at the JPS, instead of waiting around outside until the show staff are ready to seat you, everybody in the audience gets ushered into the party room
The party room is a magical place where you get free food and drinks provided generously by General Mills (this is no joke – I even walked away with two full containers of some awesome cookies to take home with me!) When you’re not snacking, you can get into a relaxed mood before the show and enjoy a massage chair, or gussy yourself up with a free mini makeover so that you look good if the camera catches you on screen. My husband and I had a particularly wonderful time snapping ridiculous pictures of ourselves in the JPS photo booth. And of course, I had to log onto one of the laptops provided in the room so that I could “check in” on Facebook.
After we had finished having ourselves a grand ol’ time in the party room, the friendly JPS staff started calling us in to be seated. Let me tell you – the seating is much more spacious and comfortable than other studio audiences I have been a part of. Of course, they’ve got an adorable girl who comes out and keeps everybody entertained before Jeff Probst comes out and the show begins. She was actually quite funny, and there wasn’t a big time lag between the point when we were seated and when cameras actually started rolling.
Jeff Probst himself is an excellent host. It shouldn’t be too surprising since he’s been handling “Survivor” for all these years, but I was nevertheless pleasantly surprised. He was interactive with the audience in moments between taping, and did a great job of keeping the ball rolling. His determination to make his show something “real” and unique is also impressive. There was a good chunk of time during our taping spent on Jeff battling his show’s lawyer for the ability to use a particular “Guys on the Couch” segment which culminated in the asker to call her husband for permission to allude to him on television. All in all, it was an extremely entertaining experience.
I know a lot of people who go to tapings tend to hone in on the more “glamorous” shows, but tickets for these can sometimes be difficult to come by (I defy you to get tickets to “The Big Bang Theory” – it’s friggin’ impossible!) and often require a time commitment of 4 hours to complete taping. I think from start to finish I was at the JPS for about 2 -2.5 hours including my time in the party room. Plus, like I said before…the freebies!
I even ended up on screen in a few of the shots of the episode I was present for.
(*All photo credits go to jeffprobst.com*)