Virtual TV Show Tapings Are More Fun Than You Would Think

I have always been an avid live event goer. From theatrical productions, live talk show tapings, to concerts; I always seemed to have something planned ahead in my calendar to attend. However once the pandemic began back in March, my live entertainment plans were put on pause. Even today, I’m not sure just when they will come back. 

World closed sign Edwin Hooper

Recently however, many television shows that usually have live studio audiences have started to film them with virtual ones instead. I've been lucky enough to participate in a couple of them and have had some wonderful experiences! In this article, I’ll explain how you too can get involved and also give some details about the tapings I have been a part of!

Becoming an Audience Member:

Let’s start with how I was able to participate in these tapings. There are two ways I have done this, the first being through a site called 1iota. 

This website allows you to request free tickets to a wide variety of TV shows. Before the pandemic, I used it to attend tapings of Good Morning America as well as Live with Kelly and Ryan in New York City. Although those ones are not currently filming with virtual audiences, many others are, including The View, The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Voice, Tamron Hall, and even the NBA playoffs. 

Getting access to these tapings is pretty easy. All you have to do is sign up for an account! Once you do so, it’s important to add as many details as possible to your profile to increase your chance of being casted. When your profile is complete, you can go on the homepage, select the show you're interested in attending, and view all available filming times. Submit a ticket request on the ones that fit your schedule and you’re all set! It’s that easy!

Some shows have their own casting process however. For example, I was recently a part of a Dr. Phil taping and had to make a reservation through his website. The process was pretty straightforward though. Once on the site, you select the month you are interested in and fill out the corresponding form. After you submit it, an audience coordinator will be in touch with you about the next steps!

My Experiences:

I have attended two tapings so far; one with Dr. Phil and one with The Voice. Both were amazing, but also differed greatly from one another.

Dr. Phil, for instance, actually had me do a screen test before my designated film date. This allowed the team to check my lighting, background, and camera quality, while also figuring out technical glitches and positioning all the virtual audience members on the screens behind the Dr. Phil stage. The process took about 45 minutes, but was definitely worth it! 

The actual taping lasted about two hours. I only stayed for the taping of one show, but you could stay for two which would be about five hours or so. Although I can’t say too much about the details of the episode, I can say it was super entertaining! 

The coolest part was that being a part of the audience wasn’t simply being a face on the screen, but that Dr. Phil and his guests could actually hear your reactions as you watched! This way it was much more interactive, allowing the virtual audience to applaud, gasp, or laugh as we watched the show. After our taping, Dr. Phil even came out to talk to us and looked at me multiple times. I was lowkey freaking out the whole time, but luckily kept my cool. 

The Voice on the other hand was a lot different, but just as fun! There was no screen test prior and instead all the testing was done during the first hour of the taping. As they did that, the show's "hype man"—who also worked on shows like Hannah Montana and Big Brother—explained to us how the taping would work and allowed us to ask him questions about his career. Throughout the taping, he would give us stage directions about when to applaud and when the cameras were off. The taping itself was about five hours, but it flew by so quickly!

Again I can't give details of the taping itself, but I got to watch some of the blind auditions, all of which were incredible! It was also cool to see the judge panel interact with one another live. They have really good chemistry together. Although they weren't as interactive with us as on Dr. Phil, Kelly Clarkson did talk to a few fans in between takes on ocassion! After attending, I would defintely suggest watching The Voice when it premeires this fall. The talent this season is so unreal you have to watch for yourself!  Woman sitting in chair on laptop Photo by Cottonbro from Pexels

Overall, attending these virtual events has filled a void in my life caused by the pandemic. Since many of these shows film on the west coast, I never would have been able to attend if they weren't virtual. Therefore, I can really thank COVID-19 for giving me the chance to partake in them! I truly felt immersed in my experiences and hope to attend more soon. Now that you know how to as well, perhaps I'll see you at one!