Wednesdays are my favorite days. They’re right in the middle of the week, so things are still calm or are looking really good for the weekend. Plus, I usually don’t have to work or have anywhere to be. Then there are those days when I get to go out of town and go to a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, like this past Wednesday.
My aunt got tickets several years back, but wasn’t able to go…So, my mom, best friend and I were able to go. We saw Eric Stonestreet and Bon Jovi performed. We got these random toys called Singa Ma Jig’s that sang when you pressed their belly and Bon Jovi’s Greatest Hits CD, which was exciting.
But, alas, it’s not important to go on about those details. Last Wednesday, we were able to go to a taping during her thirteenth season. We left the house around 9 a.m., just to ensure plenty of time and stopped a favorite spot of ours, Paty’s, for lunch.
We still had a bit of time before we NEEDED to be in line, but it never hurts to get there early. We drove over to Warner Brothers Studios, which was not far away and decided to check out the studio store, which is no longer. Instead, it has been turned into a mini timeline of the Warner Brothers history and is just where you buy tickets for the tour, so it only took a few minutes to look around. But, I’m a HUGE fan of Warner Brothers. Most of my favorite shows and movies have been filmed on the lot or produced by the studio, and I would love to work for them someday. There’s just this vibe that comes alive on the lot; so much history and creative juices are flowing everywhere you look.
We then went to the parking structure waiting station. We were able to check in, grab a snack, check out the shop and watch recent episodes of Ellen before going in. Unlike other check in lines, you don’t feel anxious or freaked out about getting in or this or that. Her team is extremely efficient and on top of things, so everything runs smoothly from top to bottom.
At 3 o’clock, they took us across the street to the studio lot – through X-ray machines and we sat along a wall filled with pictures of Ellen and past guests, including Gwen Stefani, Justin Bieber and the like. We didn’t have to wait long before they took us into the Riff Raff Room, which also doubles as the gift shop. Let’s just say, I wanted everything from sweatshirts to her ED line and everything in between. We had fun people watching, I bought a couple things and we even got our picture with Ari, one of Ellen’s employees who also does Movie Reviews on the show. He was incredibly nice and gracious to everyone who asked for a picture.
Finally, the moment we’d been waiting for…They led us into the studio! Ellen’s set looks exactly as you see it on TV, though a bit smaller, because camera angles do wonders. We were up closer to one of the Ellen signs and I got an aisle seat. I was freaking out because I would have a better shot of Ellen when she comes dancing through the aisles. A ‘hype guy’ got everyone’s energy up by making us do random things or challenging people to sing or dance along to the music. It’s such a fun place to be. You really do forget about everything else happening and just want to have a good time.
I’d had a headache for most of the day, but after all of the excitement and adrenaline from dancing, smiling and laughing, it hit a new level and was POUNDING. But, I knew I could make it through the show.
The guests for our show were Will Smith and Greyson Chance. We also got the bonuses, like Classic Joke Thursday and interviews from the CMA Red Carpet in Nashville, where she talked to artists for quite awhile (and that was edited for TV). During one of the commercial breaks, Will Smith ran through the audience, shaking hands with everyone on the ends of the aisles and I WAS ON THE END OF AN AISLE. Will Smith is seriously one of the coolest celebrities around and genuinely seems nice, which is kind of a rare trait in Hollywood with the level of fame that he has acquired. I was just genuinely impressed with him! I’m also pretty sure I made eye contact with Ellen when she came dancing up the aisle, so I’m going to roll with that.
We didn’t get any freebies, which was a bummer, but it was still fun! After exiting the stage, we took a tram over to the new studio store, which is in the middle of the lot. They’ve named the building Central Perk and it holds a Starbucks, a Jamba Juice, a small sitting area and of course, memorabilia from popular WB shows, such as “Pretty Little Liars,” “Friends” and others. I was in awe of the studio that I never get tired of, hoping to see John Stamos or Lori Loughlin since they were filming “Fuller House” earlier in the day. I just feel like Warner Brothers is such an accurate depiction of everything that the entertainment industry is. And getting to share in an experience like this at one of my favorite places with my favorite people is what it’s all about.
I hardly looked in the store, because my head was throbbing so bad. My mom waited in line to get me an iced tea and I sat down on one of the couches (which just happened to be under the framed “Friends” picture). I took some medicine and was just really praying to feel better.
We took the tram back to the front of the lot and walked across the street to the parking garage. The next taping was getting ready to go in and we thought if we could squeeze into that one, it would be fun. Unfortunately, they were out of space, but we tried. We tried thinking of places to eat, but ended up just heading near home. We stopped in Valencia for food – I got a Jamba Juice (I was feeling so sick, I couldn’t eat anything), Marissa got Starbucks and stopped at Wendy’s so my mom and aunt could grab something.
We got home just in time for the CMA Awards, which was the perfect ending to a really great day, headache aside and all. Gotta love day trips!
That’s all for now,