March 30, 2013

Conan Taping

Monday morning, I woke up bright and early (which I never do) and got ready for LA (the only time it's really worth it...other than church). My friend, Viviyan, picked me up around 8, then we picked up our friend, Febe and headed back to Viviyan's house to meet up with the rest of our group. It was nice, because it gave the three of us (and Viv's sis) a chance to catch up, because we haven't been able to hang out in quite some time. So, that was good. Those girls make my heart happy! :) Just being around them, even without saying anything, makes me happy.

After everyone got there, we split into two cars. So, Febe and I went with Viviyan and her aunt, while everyone else drove in the other. We listened to Justin Timberlake's CD, which is amazing, and also great road trip music. We talked, laughed, and sang along to the music.

We made our way into LA, parked at the WB parking structure, and sat in the waiting area. It was a different spot than I've been to in the past, but in the same area of town and in the stretch of the studio. We waited for a couple hours before they checked us in and all that jazz, and we all had to use the bathroom so BAD, so that was an interesting time. As soon as someone checked us in and we got our tickets, we were free to go. In the meantime, we all brainstormed about how I'm going to have my own talk show, and the roles my friends will play with it. Febe will be my first guest, and Viviyan will be the girl that checks everyone in and books the guests. As soon as we could, we decided to have lunch at Carl's Jr, since it was just up the street and would be quick, so we could get back sooner. We were able to get in and get out in plenty of time, and even had a few minutes to spare, as we played "Four pics One word", which is a lot more fun than I realized it would be. It's kind of like pictionary...But, not really, I guess. Just look it up, it's definitely something to do when waiting!

When we finished lunch, we went over to CVS for a few minutes, to get some art supplies to make posters for the taping. I guess sometimes he pays attention to those and will come over and shake hands or whatever is being asked for on the paper! After we got the supplies, it was time to head back to the studio. We only waited 30 minutes or so, before they started lining up people to go into the taping. Everyone had their last bathroom break, snacks, etc. We all saw two gecko's while waiting for the restroom...SO CREEPY! Pretty soon, we were all anxiously awaiting to walk across the street to the lot. It's crazy how nervous/excited people get before a taping. You can definitely feel the energy, and honestly, I'm finding that there is nothing that fuels me more than a live audience. I want to feel that on a daily basis...Or weekly!
We waited in line and I realized that we were right across the way from the Gilmore Girl house (also used on Pretty Little Liars) and the Stars Hollow gazebo was right off to the side and in clear view (which made my heart hurt a little...jk), but thought it was so cool, even though I've seen it before! And we could also see the back of the facade of Rosewood, which is my favorite part of the studio, since it was Stars Hollow. After waiting awhile, the "pages" took us to Conan's stage! It almost felt like we had more freedom than when you're on the tour and just sitting on the cart. Obviously, we didn't and there were plenty of people watching, so there was no room for funny business! LOL. We walked past the sound stage for The Big Bang Theory, Two Broke Girls, and Two and a Half Men. I'm sure there were plenty of others, but those were the main ones. And all along the way, there were prop carts or doors open, and we'd all peek inside to see what we could see, and people running around with a purpose; probably on a mission to get the new script to the actors or to talk production with the team. There was so much excitement going on, and it's the kind of place that I want to be after college. Where it's enough of a routine that you're not too surprised, but never a dull moment.

We liked the mirror above us in the elevator!
Our group made it into the Conan taping. There was a lego statue of Conan when we first walked in, and a stack of books on a cart, which I'm assuming was for one of the segments he tried out that night. Then, they led us to our seats. We were split up into two rows, which kind of sucked, but it's not like we would've had a chance to talk much anyway, so it worked out. We were still close enough to everyone.

Before the show started, there was a guy that came out to warm up the audience. He told some jokes, talked to people in the audience (including us), and introduced the band to start playing. Wow! They are incredible; they're jazz style and had a lot of energy. They were going through the audience and really jamming! It got the crowd pumped up and helped the time go by faster. Soon, the show started. I know I talk about this a lot, but I absolutely love the process of how a TV show comes together. Each show has their own system; some work better than others, some are more entertaining than others, but the production team always comes together and puts on one heck of a show. And it's cool to observe the things you like and don't like when you start going to different tapings.

Most of the time at tapings, while the show is going on, I kind of zone out and watch all of the behind the scenes stuff that I can't at home. I love watching the cameras guys running around, trying to get that perfect shot of whoever's on stage, or the lighting guys working in places that you can't really see them but know they're there, and of course, you have the writing team that is always running up during commercial breaks to talk about what's coming up next or if they need to change anything. Everyone has their part, and that's why it works so well.

Conan did the monologue and a couple other segments, then brought out his first guest, Magic Johnson. It was exciting getting to hear about the Dodgers and the Lakers, and his viewpoint, since he's such a legend in the sports realm. The next guest was Thandie Newton, who I had heard of and seen before, but couldn't really remember what she was in, but she ended up being very delightful. She's so cute and petite, and has the most adorable British accent. The musical guest was Langhorne Slim, which sounded really interesting, but I ended up knowing the song they sang, because it was on a commercial. They were really good and had a lot of energy, which was fun! And Conan even joined them for a little while. The funniest part was watching him get ready, by bouncing up and down on stage, getting pumped up. He's so tall too, which made me chuckle a little more, with his hair flouncing back and forth.

The taping ended, and earlier some of Conan's crew, had said there would be a surprise. Well, the last time Viviyan and her sister went (and had invited me to go) Ryan Gosling ended up being a guest on the show, that they just had to film ahead of time. I was kicking myself for not being able to go and having class that day, so I knew I had to go this time since I was free. Conan came out and talked to the audience for a few minutes, and said he was going to be filming a segment that would be on his birthday show coming up in a few weeks, and also wanted to show us a video portion that they had just shot. He changed his blazer and tie, then came back out to shoot. We were all whispering and making faces at one another, trying to figure out who he could possibly be bringing out.

After the break was over, Conan sat back down at his desk, and made the introduction for the next guest, including, "one of the sexiest actresses in Hollywood!" It ended up being Eva Mendes, who I've never really been a fan of, but after this interview, I was really surprised with her. She really is gorgeous in person, so now I see why so many people talk about her all the time, and she seems fun to hang out with. She talked about her new glasses line, dish line (Vita) and her new clothing line with New York & Co. that she is working on. But, her primary goal was to promote her new movie that'll be coming out in a bit, with Ryan Gosling. We saw a clip from the movie, after she set it up, and told Conan she had a surprise for him... If you're a Conan fan, then I won't say anything else, and you can just watch it! But, it was pretty clever and hilarious. When the interview ended, Eva waved to the audience and did a little bow, thanking everyone. She truly seemed gracious; I might have become a fan that day!

We watched a short clip of something that Conan had just filmed of him at a "manner's school" because he's getting ready to go to Atlanta in a couple weeks! It was hilarious...He's a lot funnier than I gave him credit for, even though, I still don't think everything is appropriate, but what can you do?! That's late night television. It was exciting, because we were the first audience, outside of his team to see it; it's like we were testing it out, to see if it was any good! It was! I used to think he was so annoying, but he actually seemed really cool and more laid back, so that changed my view on him...In a good way.

After the taping, they had us file out and we walked back through the lot and across to the parking lot. I kept my eyes peeled for any celebrities as we were walking or any other action, and snapped a few pictures along the way, since we couldn't have our cameras out in the beginning. Never saw anyone, but it was still so good to be on the lot. Febe, Viviyan and I walked with one another, while the others trailed behind further in the back. We were talking all about the taping and how fun it was, and I was filling them in on how bad I want an internship at Warner Brothers! They agreed that would be a fun job!

We made it back to the parking structure and made plans on what to do for dinner and the ride back. We hit the road, got stuck in traffic, and made our way into Valencia to stop for bathrooms and dinner. We spent a few minutes in the gas station, picked up some snacks and went over to Taco Bell to eat. I have to say, they were playing some really good music, too! We were all talking about the day and other random topics, then decided to head back to town.
Let's just say it was REALLY cold on the way home...HAHA! I was busy brainstorming for my next story, because we were all tired from the day and just sort of quiet. It's always comforting knowing that you have friends that you don't have to talk with 24/7, that you can just enjoy each other's companies and understand one another in silence.

It was a really fun day, and I was wiped out by the time I got home. I told my parents about the experience, and decided to call it a night a little earlier than usual. 

I'm definitely looking forward to the next Conan taping, whenever that might be!

That's all for now,

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