If you've checked something off your bucket list, does it mean that you can't do it again?
I sure hope not.
When John and I were in our long distance relationship years and I'd fly to LA to spend time with him, the next thing I do after I book tickets is to try and get myself tickets to watch an Ellen taping. It's literally taped a skip and a hop away from John's place, or like, home for me now, which is really really ideal. So, since I've booked my tickets to move to this side of the world, I've fervently applied to get tickets for an Ellen show taping - practically every day whenever a new date shows up on their site.
All that said, here's a low-down of everything you need to know about watching an Ellen Show taping:
HOW TO GET TICKETS
Tickets to watch the show are free and you get the tickets by balloting for them on Ellen's website.
There are VIP Tickets (which I've no idea how you get), Guaranteed Tickets and Standby Tickets. I got notice a month before the taping that I received guaranteed tickets for Mon, 9 March. Unfortunately, my husband has to work (and can't skip work, and then show up on TV). They contacted me again to let me know that the show on Monday was cancelled, and they gave me a ticket for Tuesday, 10 March instead. I was given a ticket that I had to print out and was told to be there by 2pm.
WHAT TO WEAR
You're going to be on TV, dress up. There was this girl who looked totally over the top - a too-tight romper with butt cheeks hanging out, super high wedges, heavy eye makeup with false lashes that look like camel lashes. I wish I had taken a photo to say 'what not to do'.
You're told to wear bright solid colours and you should. Avoid prints, dark colours and black and white. Bonus points if you're not White, because 90 percent of the audience is White.
WHAT TIME SHOULD I BE THERE
I am a bona fide Singaporean. I will never queue for doughnuts, I have never queued for an H&M collaboration, but if I have to, I will stand in line. I arrived at about 11.30am, when my ticket said I should be there by 2pm. I checked in with security and got a stamp and was told to be back there by 1.30pm if I wanted to leave.
I could walk back home and come back since home is ten minutes away, but since I had a book with me, I got comfortable and started reading. I was also strategically seating myself as close to the start of the guaranteed tickets line, of course.
WHAT HAPPENS AT 2PM
Production staff will come out about 1.30pm and let you know the protocol. At about 2pm, they will tell you to start queuing up. Since I was strategically seated, and alone, I manoeuvred myself to get in line. I let an old couple go in front of me to you know, because I don't want to bulldoze over seniors.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER?
VIPs get to go in first, but being VIP doesn't really determine where you sit. You're led through security - no tablets, no sharp objects, no cameras and basically - everything you can't and won't bring on a plane, you shouldn't bring to Ellen. You get seated in a long hallway that is lined with photos of Ellen and her guests
You sit there for a while, according to the order of your number tags before moving to what they call the riff raff room. This is the room where they house people who didn't get to sit in the show - they get to watch it from there and sometimes, they send the show's guests back there as well. These people are usually holding standby tickets and they get to watch the show taping on TV monitors.
AFTER WAITING FOR ABOUT TEN MINUTES...
You get ushered into the stage, according to your designated numbers. The VIPs went in first, but there were actual seaters in the audience. Like I said earlier, they want to make it seem like the audience is diverse, so if you're young, a minority, dressed bright, chances are, you'll be seated in front and in the aisles - basically, where the camera pans to the most.
I was in the front row corner. Here's proof:
WHAT FREE SH*T DID ELLEN SEND US HOME WITH?
The performing guest on the show was Earth, Wind and Fire and obviously they sent us home with a pair of tickets each to catch their Heart And Soul Tour in the summer. We also got $200 gift cards to Houzz.