How to Attend a TV Show Taping
Sitting in for the taping of a live television program can be an exciting and unforgettable experience. Dozens of programs in the United States offer free or inexpensive tickets to be a member of their audiences, and with extra seating a frequent occurrence, it may be as simple as walking up to the studio and asking for a ticket.
This article offers some ways on how to join the audience of a TV program taping, and what to do once you've arrived at the studio.
Visit the program's website and find out if they offer audience tickets.Not all shows have audiences that are open to the public, or even at all. Be sure to find out well in advance if you can obtain tickets to attend a program taping, and if so, how much they will cost, or if they are free.
Plan your trip to where the studio is located.Almost all TV studios are located in big cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc., and your visit may require an overnight stay if you live far away. Consider choosing a hotel in the vicinity of the studio to ensure you can attend the taping on time, or work in extra travel time.
- If you're already visiting a city where your favorite TV program is taped and would like to be an audience member, visit the studio and ask if standby tickets are available. These are typically free and often are distributed on a first come, first served basis, and tend to run out quickly if the program is popular. If you find out these are available, arrive at the studio extra early to obtain one and return later in the day at the specified time.
Time your program attending accordingly.Most TV shows follow a strict taping schedule, so take care to plan your visit to coincide with the program's off-season. Shows are often taping during the fall and winter seasons and less commonly during the summer; however, many live talk shows and game shows are recording year-round for daily broadcast. Programs with studio audiences tape most frequently in the morning, late afternoon, and into the nighttime hours.
Learn more about the TV program you plan to attend.Even if you're a loyal daily viewer, there may be a handful of tidbits about the show you didn't know, and these can be helpful when you're attending the taping. Find out more about the studio audience experience, and determine if you want to be selected to appear onstage, if applicable (such as on a game show). It will all make the experience more enjoyable.
Arrive at the studio at least 45 minutes prior to taping, or as advised by the studio.Never rush to be there at the last minute or you risk your seats being given away to standby ticket holders. Your seat location will usually depend on your place in line, so be extra careful to arrive early to avoid being seated in an undesirable row. While everyone will get at least a moment or two to be visible on television, your best bet to get spotted is if you sit up front or at the end of a row.
Enjoy the program!Watch closely, listen to the hosts, clap along if a guest singer or band is performing, and enjoy the experience. For most people, attending their favorite programs live is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Where is the TV Station?
Why are there usually age restrictions in studio audiences?
What does a live studio audience cost?
||This video shows some of what it is like to be a member of the audience on the TV show Good Morning America.|
- If you're interested in TV production, but don't want to attend a program taping, many local and national studios offer free tours of their sets and backstage areas that aren't advertised but available if you call and ask to arrange one.
- Many programs tape more than one episode per day. Be prepared to sit in for two, three, or even four tapings of the same program during your visit. Additionally, this is why you should use the bathroom and have something to eat before the taping begins, as it could be several hours before you'll have access to either option.
- Once the taping has concluded, see if the hosts or guest stars are available to meet and greet. Oftentimes, they are and would be happy to talk with you, take pictures, etc.
- Always keep in mind the suitability of a program's content. Game shows and late night talk shows are a different environment than news and .
- Dress accordingly if the "studio audience" is actually outside the studio. Bring an umbrella if it rains and dress warmly if it's the wintertime; depending on how willing you are to see the show in action, you may end up not wanting to stand outdoors in the elements for more than a short while.
- Be mindful of restrictions such as age, or physical condition (for some game and reality shows) before inquiring about obtaining tickets. Many programs require audience members to be over the age of 16 to attend, depending on the show's content, and young children and preteens are often not permitted.
- Consider attending the taping of a local TV program, such as the morning news where you live or a public television show. It is great practice and preparedness for attending the taping of a nationally-broadcast program.
- Follow all regulations regarding what to wear, what to say, how to act, etc. While it's perfectly fine to laugh, cheer, and be excited at the appropriate times, you will not get famous for interrupting the show when only the hosts should be talking, and you risk embarrassment and frustration in the event that a scene has to be taped again because of you, or even worse, getting yourself escorted out of the studio!
- If allowed, get creative and bring a handmade sign or poster with you to the taping. If appropriate and eye-catching or clever enough, it might just get you on TV.
- If you attended a game show and won prizes as a contestant, you'll most likely have to meet with a program staffer as soon as the taping concludes to fill out paperwork.
- As explained in the second tip, remain quiet until the appropriate times to laugh, cheer, and get excited.
- Keep your camera in your bag while the taping is in progress. Almost all TV programs prohibit audience members from taking photos or recording the show while in the studio. Turn your cell phone off or switch it to silent mode as well.
- Avoid wearing shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, hats, etc. with brand names or logos embroidered on them. Unless the companies are paying you to advertise for them on air, it's best to stick with plain apparel when attending the program. Stick with light, neutral colors as well - TV cameras often badly contrast clothing with bright bold colors or patterned designs.
Video: BEHIND THE SCENES: FILMING A TV SHOW EPISODE | VLOG S02E03
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