Pink Bobblehead Bunny

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dr. Oz Show Audience Experience

A few weeks ago I received an email from the Dr. Oz show saying that I had gotten tickets to attend the August 13th taping in the morning! This was as a result of my sudden desire to attend any/all the TV shows that are taped in NYC. I didn't manage to get any of the highly coveted ones but somehow I managed to get ones for Dr. Oz. They asked for me to simply reply back with my name and the name of my guest (my mom).

Finally came "show time". The ticket says to arrive at the studio (320 W 66th St) before 8:45 am in order to get tickets to attend the taping. Being the worrywart that I am, I tried to convince my mom that we absolutely HAD to be there before 7:30 am (based on my experiences with movie screenings) but my mom thought that it would be fine for us to wake up at 6:00 am instead. I prepared the best "jewel colored" shirt I had in my closet and paired it with a black cardigan, black pants and black flats. I was ready for the morning rush to get to the studio.

When I woke up (thanks to my trust cellphone alarm at a little after 6) there was light rain outside. I quickly rushed my mom and we were out the door by 6:45am (thriving on a breakfast of cereal with milk) to catch the bus to get to the train station. Then we had to get onto the 1 train to get to 66th St-Lincoln Center but the 1 train took FOREVER to arrive at the station. After we got off, we weren't quite too sure which direction we should be walking in since the street addresses decreased rather than increased. But luckily I had studied the map a bit on Google Maps yesterday and remembered that we had to walk past Amsterdam Ave and West End Ave in order to get to ABC studios. After a few minutes of walking, we were there at a little before 8)!

There was barely any line (I think it might have been due to the rain) and a staff member confirmed my name and how many tickets I reserved. We got tickets 54 and 55. Then we were sent into the lobby of the side entrance where another staff member confirmed my name and wrote an O on the back of our tickets. We had our bags checked and had to walk through metal detectors. After that we walked down the hall to a sort of "waiting" area where people just clustered around (there was no real "line"). It was mostly women in attendance with a few men. We were instructed to use the bathroom nearby where we were waiting because once they took us upstairs to the studio, the bathroom wouldn't be in an easily accessible location. There are only 3 stalls but there was hardly a wait at certain times. Finally at a little before 9, they sent us up to the 3rd floor in groups of 8-12 where we would have to wait in another waiting area but at least this time there were seats to sit in.

The waiting room was quite spacious (at first) but when more and more people came, it felt a bit cramped. There were water bottles at the front of the room and also forms that people could fill out if they wanted to participate in a future taping of the show. There were chairs lined against the wall but most of the chairs were lined up in rows with two chairs with their backs against each other. So you couldn't really lean back unless you wanted to rub heads with the person behind you. In the corner of the room, there was a TV showing a past episode of the show. After waiting some more, we were finally let into the studio by groups. First was the VIPs. Then they finally called the O groups.

Wow, the studio is quite pretty. On the TV, we always see what the cameras see but we never really see what's behind it and how the show is taped so it was pretty cool observing the flow of how things worked. I was a bit iffy about yanking out my phone to snap pictures of the studio since there was sign that said we couldn't take pictures or record. But other people were doing it so I might as well since it's a once in a lifetime chance right? Snap snap snap! We were seated in the front two seats at the seats in the left corner of this seating area that was away from where the most of the action took place. On the right (as you walked in) there were a lot of seats and in the far corner on the left side there were about 30 seats (separated from the seats on the right side). Ooo exciting right? Now the whole world can know what shoes I'm wearing....not really. We snapped as many pictures as we could before the Richie, the warm up guy, came out to greet us and made sure we knew when to applause and such. He was okay, I laughed at a few of his jokes but not many of them because I was shivering a bit from the AC that was being blasted on high in the studio.

DR. OZ!!!!! Wooo! How the recording process works was pretty interesting because a few times the flow was interrupted and they had to re-shoot a scene. This episode started with a segment on Death Travelers, then on fatty liver disease, then to explain to a family that their CPR levels weren't good and what they could do to bring them down. The whole thing just felt like it went by so fast. Every time a segment was finished, Richie would come out again to tell some jokes. He would try to get Dr. Oz to talk to him but I think Dr. Oz was just really focused on getting the script down (yes it is scripted) and nailing everything in one shot. He did get an NG once when he was speaking a little bit too fast which he totally fixed in an instant. Most of the show I couldn't really see what was happening so I had to look up at the TV screen that would be showing what footage the show would have once it airs on TV.

After filming was done, Dr. Oz took a picture with each section of the audience (which should be posted on facebook soon, as they told us). As I was clapping for him, he ran over to our section of the audience and high fived me really quickly. I was caught really off guard so I quickly smiled for the picture and was just star struck? My mom reached out her hand as he finished posing in the photo and he quickly grabbed onto her hand too! Man, the man who saved countless lives in hospitals just high fived me. It certainly does make me feel like I can do the impossible all of a sudden! To be a better doctor! They also asked if any of us would like to attend the 3:00 taping as well but I think I was good for the day.

Waking up at 6, I was tired. We exited the building the same way we came in from. It was a fun experience. I can't wait to go on other shows!