Cheers to my first official post of 2018! I took a bit of a break from consistently posting to my blog as I began contributing at HypeFresh (and doing some other pitching), but I am committed to posting more original content to ayminor.com this year.
So let’s get to it—I kicked off March by attending a taping of The Rundown with Robin Thede (pronounced Thee•dee), a late night comedy show that takes on politics and pop culture every Thursday on BET. Though I’ve attended a few live show tapings in my day (including two tapings of 106 & Park on the same sound stage), this was my first time attending a pre-recorded taping. To my surprise, it was a very different experience. If you’re planning on attending a pre-recorded taping anytime soon, read on. Things to know:
- Pre-recorded tapings can be VERY long. Based on my experiences attending live tapings, I incorrectly assumed we would be in and out the door in no more than an hour/hour fifteen, especially because the show is only 30 minutes (including commercials). We ended up being there for almost 2.5 hours (and we got there 30-45minutes late!) If you’re going to attend at taping, really commit to the time and the experience (and don’t be bumping back your dinner plans every 15 minutes, like me.)
- Be prepared to channel your inner Denzel. So imagine you hear a joke for the first time that’s hilarious, you crack up. But imagine hearing that joke five times in a row—are you still laughing? Probably not. Ultimately though, as an audience member it is your job to keep that same energy, so if they choose the fourth take and not the first, the audience energy still comes through for the viewers at home.
- Be on time if you want to be on camera. We got there late and ended up completely out of the camera range (as well as with a strained view of the stage). If your goal is to be seen, get there as early as possible with a good book and some water.
- TV is not magic. Despite how seamless it may appear when it airs, producing even one episode of a television show is a tremendous amount of work! Thankfully the The Rundown staff on hand was personable and good-spirited, from the security person to her producers. I was so impressed with Robin. In theory, saying a two-minute monologue with a prompter seems simple enough, but imagine trying to do it in front of 200+ people! During the taping she played two roles, not only was she taping the show for her audience at home, but she also went above and beyond to make sure that we, her live audience, enjoyed ourselves. She came out before the show, answered questions, chatted with us during breaks—she really made it an experience! Hopefully any taping you attend has an equally generous host!