Since I have bragged over the past couple weeks about lucking out and getting tickets to the Ellen Show, I thought I owed it to you all to write about what it was like. I'm sure there are at least a couple Ellen fans out there who will appreciate this....
Mainly, the experience can be summed up in three words: waiting, dancing, and laughing.
1. The Waiting.
A large part of being an audience member of the Ellen Show consists of waiting. We were going to see the 3 p.m. taping and were asked to arrive by noon. Being the eager Ellen fans that we were, we arrived at 11:35. And waited. With the other 300 or so people with guaranteed seats, we waited in the "holding area" which can only be described as some sort of fenced in holding pen for humans.
After checking us in, the staffers moved us all to another waiting area outside, where we watched episodes of Ellen while we waited.
Finally, at around 2:40 or so they took us into the studio to teach us how to be audience members. That is, they told us things that sounded like common sense to me, but that I'm sure some people needed to hear. Like: don't hoot and don't yell out words to Ellen during the show. "Those people" are some of my personal pet peeves. [Side rant beginning] Listen up, people who ruin shows by yelling asshole things out like "Marry me!" and "New York rules!": we all go to shows to watch the performer, not you. While I'm sure in your self-absorbed little head, you are having a personal relationship with the performer and/or are on the verge of "getting discovered" by the performer, the rest of us would prefer to live in reality and enjoy the show without your blatherings. Everyone else: don't laugh at such assholes. It only encourages them. If you laugh, you are guilty by association.[Side rant over].
Anyway, the most important lesson the stage crew told us was that we should dance, preferably while smiling and preferably by doing more than just standing there clapping our hands.....
2. The Dancing.
What we did almost as much as "waiting around" was dancing. But.... it was a forced-everyone-be-happy dancing that I, personally, cannot sustain. Come on. I have like three dance moves that I cannot vary enough to make them last more than 3 minutes. At least, not in the light of a television studio while I'm completely sober. Clearly, other people did not have a problem with "the dancing," however.
I am too self-conscious for a dance marathon that lasts more than 1 song. However, prior to Ellen's appearance in the studio, the DJ played like 6 songs while we were all expected to dance the whole time. I harbor no illusions of being on tv for real, but I don't want my 3 seconds to include me clapping out of beat while doing the frat-guy's overbite. Sigh... "dancing."
Fun for many. Anxiety-provoking for me.
3. The Laughing.
Finally, Ellen appeared around 3:10. She started with her monologue, per usual. And I don't know if it was the giddiness of actually seeing her live but everything she said seemed really funny. The stage crew wasn't even really telling us to laugh, we just were laughing at everything she said. I, too, found myself belting out a dorky guffaw over a few things I may not have laughed at while watching on television at home.
Had we been hypnotized?
This wasn't to say she wasn't funny. She was. As usual. But I also felt a little out of control of my laughter, perhaps because I was in awe that I was actually there.
Anyway, it was a neat experience and if anyone's ever in the Southern California area I would highly recommend trying to get tickets. Ellen is a true entertainer. She's positive and warm and that's something we all need a little more of, I think. Plus, we all walked away with the new Britney Spears CD and this cool grill thingy that's like a better George Foreman grill (or somethin')!
Woop woop, shoutout to Ellen!