About a week or maybe a little more or so ago, K emails me a link to a site and says, "Go here and sign up!!" I click the link and it was a sign up to be part of the live studio audience at Rockefeller Center for the live broadcast of SyFy's 100th episode of Ghost Hunters, an episode in which they were investigating Alcatraz.
Well, never someone to back down from a unique event, of course I signed up!! And last night was the big night, woo!
Now, do I watch Ghost Hunters, you might ask (or you might not but I'm going to tell you anyway)? And the answer is I have been known to Tivo reruns of it and watch the beginning and end and have the middle playing in the background as I go about doing other things, half paying attention, half not. If I were to be completely honest, I sort of feel like it's a 30 or 40 minute show crammed into 60 minutes. But that's what the fast forward button is for and I enjoy the show well enough.
And I have to tell you, though, watching the show with an audience and watching it with the stars? Allllll kinds of fun and entertaining! I really had a fun fun time, I really did. Watching anything with lots of people automatically makes it more fun but then to see all the behind the scenes stuff (which I just completely eat up) and seeing how it's all put together and hanging out with friends there and then coming home and seeing what the TV audience saw....well, it was all just fun fun fun.
Alright, so here's a few stories from the night.
Well, to begin, we weren't allowed to take pictures in the studio and we knew that going in, so we took geeky photos *outside* the studio of the wristbands and tickets they gave us, the signs in Rockefeller center, and the big disclaimer about using our oh-so-valuable images during the broadcast:
There will be a few more photos later, but not many, lol.
Okay, on with the show. First of all, they just all seemed genuinely blown away and taken with the whole studio audience thing and very gracious about it. At one point near the beginning one of the main guys (the non-bald one, lol) said to us all during a commercial break (I think it was a commercial break) "This is intense. We did a run through earlier today with five people in the audience. But...this is quite a bit different." And Steve when he first came out on stage just gazed and gazed into the audience really seeming to be loving it. The way it aired they had the camera more on the host during that time but Steve just gazed out at us like he couldn't believe he was there or we were there. Overall they seemed all very cool.
I'm not surprised that they didn't have the audience audio playing while they were showing the actual investigation, but it's really kind of too bad. Because the home audience missed out on all the laughter and clapping and cheering that we did! Yes, we laughed at them at times, LOL. And they seemed to laugh at themselves sometimes! For instance, at one point they in The Bird Man of Alcatraz's cell and Steve (one of the Ghost Hunters) says, "We don't have a bird, but we have a feather". Well, the audience *cracked up* at that, but on the air, it was all rather serious. Also, when they went onto ‘Broadway' (in Alcatraz) one of the female hunters says, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Broadway!" Well, on stage you could see her just put her head in her hands and shake her head embarrassed and laughing at herself for that cheesy comment and the audience chuckling with her. And the TV audience didn't get to see or hear any of this, which made it cool that we did. :)
Let's see...oh yeah, cool behind the scenes stuff! We were seated right next to where the main stage manager (or maybe she was the director, even) stood and so I could hear her talking in her earpiece and consulting with the others over the earpiece during commercial breaks about having to shorten one part or rearrange another. And she had a stop watch around her neck and timed to the second being on and off air (being a live event, they had to hit 2 hours exactly). And near the end she said something into the earpiece and the host yells back "I have to fill 50 seconds? Alright..." I suspect that meant they didn't have script for him but an extra 50 seconds of airtime to fill. As I said...I eat all that stuff right up!
If you watched the show, you know they took questions from the studio audience. Well, during several commercial breaks they also took questions from the audience. My absolute favorite question (and I think this was during a commercial break and not on air) was asking if they were ever afraid of getting seriously hurt by an entity. The question wasn't so funny as the answer. They were talking basically about how completely awesome it would be to get their butts kicked and be mauled by an entity and capture it on camera because what great evidence that would be! LOL They were practically giddy over the prospect! Too funny.
But, during the *real* on-air questions from the studio audience, it turns out that Shauna and I were on camera in the background! Oh yeah, that's right! Our national SyFy debut! LOL During the broadcast, I thought I might be on camera because I had a direct line of sight from one of their cameras to the person asking the question to me. So during commercial breaks Kristin and I were *cracking* ourselves up saying I should photobomb Ghost Hunters by putting rabbit or moose ears on the person in front of me or sticking out my tongue or making a funny face or pretending to go into convulsions or SOMETHING, LOL. We were shaking with laughter at the idea. And...well, in fact I did get in something of a photobomb.
See, during the first question from the audience, well, see I was looking up at these monitors above us where we could see what the TV audience was seeing. I had just noticed them maybe a minute earlier (and they were RIGHT) above us. So I was watching these monitors but as soon as I saw on the screen the angle of the camera I realized I might be ON camera and so looked down quickly. But not before this lovely national debut. *shakes head*
Then, I was hidden during the second question and during the third question, Kristin and I were realizing we could photobomb this thing but I was trying to behave but having trouble keeping a straight face but somehow managed to, lol.
Then it ended, alas. And when it was over, they shooed us out of the studio pretty quick and the cast appeared to be headed to an after party or something. But just outside the studio one of the ghost hunters from GH: International was just standing in the hallway and I said to Kristin, "Want your picture with him?" She said, "No, I'm too embarrassed." I handed her my camera and walked up to him and said, "Can I have my picture with you?" He was all, "Of course!! I don't see why not!" and put his arm around me and posed. Kristin took the pic and of course then said, "Can I have mine, too?" Uh-huh. Who would have guessed three years ago that now *I* am the one breaking the picture-taking-with-the-celebs-ice all the time? ;) And, as one of my friends said when I sent the picture around via email, "Dustin Pari [the person with me in the photo below] is about the geekiest one you could get your pic with." Ha!! But, you know, being a geek myself, I'm okay with that. :D
All in all, a grand time and so glad we got tickets and went!