November 30, 2010

Luxe Life: The Martha Stewart Show From a Guest's Perspective

Last week, Deacon had the pleasure of scoring tickets to a holiday taping of The Martha Stewart Show thanks to our good friend Kristina. We jetted up to NYC (see where we stayed, here) for a whirlwind trip, and our first live taping of a television show.

We'll begin by saying that Ms. Martha Stewart just might be our idol. She's THE homemaking goddess and we've been longtime fans of the show and the magazine(s) so this was really quite exciting. We thought we'd share a bit about the process:

How we nabbed tickets: You simply apply online and are notified up to three weeks in advance if you've scored tickets. Kristina was able to get a +1. You're asked to arrive no later than 1.5 hours before taping begins to line up outside and enter a small holding area, where you can surrender your jackets, sign release forms, and learn what segments are going to happen during that day's taping. Before arrival, there's an extensive list of "what Martha prefers," which, apparently, included bright (non patterned) colors, smiling faces, and an audience full of mostly women.

What the studio is like: If you've seen the show, it looks just like the sets you see on TV, each spread across a big warehouse-like stage with a back kitchen and rows of wooden chairs set up in raised format for the audience. It's COLD in there, so if you get a ticket, be sure to bring a sweater! Unless you have special VIP passes, you'll likely sit towards the back, but your actual time of arrival won't matter. The production crew appears to select where you'll sit (along the aisle, in the middle, ect.)

What happens during a taping? The show we watched was live taped, which means we got to watch Martha do her thang right as viewers we catching it on TV. Joey, the "warm up man," prepped the audience with hand signals that suggested when we should clap (loudly, softly, or "mediumly") and when we should make yumm, aww, laughing, or ohhh noises. Top 40 hits by artists like Martha fave Jay-Z played during commercial breaks, and various cameras and crew swarmed around four separate "stage" setups that looked like a kitchen, bar, craft room and greenhouse. In an hour, the show was over - the same amount of time it would have taken to watch it on TV. Martha stuck around for a few moments to answer questions from the audience and tape several promos for upcoming shows. True to what one has heard about Martha, she isn't the most patient woman around. At one point, she got fed up with what was on the prompter and stalked off the stage, not to return. In her defense, what she was being asked to read just wasn't that funny - we're pretty sure we wouldn't have wanted to read it either.

What happens after: Not much, actually. Martha doesn't stick around for photos or autographs, so you just file out and hail a cab. 

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