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Monday, October 31, 2016

The Ellen Degeneres Show Taping

Another win in life! Here's my story of the taping of The Ellen Degeneres Show.

The beginning
I was planning my US trip many months ago and I knew I would have flexible time when I am in LA as that part would be a self-tour. I've always love watching The Ellen Degeneres Show, so her youtube channel is one of my most visited link! LOL

So with the self-tour and all, I kept wondering if I should get my hopes high by applying audience tickets to "The Ellen Degeneres Show" when I plan for my trip in LA. I know it's a one in probably a gazillion chances to win those tickets so I didnt want to put my hopes high. But then I couldn't help but to leave a space in my planning the whole time. 

So, I started googling to get tips to increase my chances on the tickets. After some research, I found out that September tickets would usually be out end of June. I put a reminder on 15th June in my phone to start checking out Ellen's website for tickets. My plan is to check at least once every day so that I don't miss out! #Perseverance #NeverGiveUp

I tried but the dates weren't open, until Aug when I finally see the calendar for Sept is out! After TWO months of checking daily on her website!! But the dates where I will be in LA (4-8th Sept) was still blank (no taping showed). The following week's tickets were already fully booked. Ellen tickets finished faster than hotcakes! I told myself that maybe we were not that lucky as the taping might only start after we left LA. But, I still continue to check a few times a day, because I didn't want to crush my heart.. 

Then suddenly on Wednesday (10th Aug) morning, the dates that I'm in LA was open! I quickly apply 4 tickets on 7th September and hope that I would get them. Then, I calm myself down as I do not want to give myself too much hope, as I do not want to be disappointed. After all, I'm competing with Ellen's gazillion fans. 

On Thursday (11th Aug) morning, I received an email from The Ellen Degeneres Show audience department! My heart skipped a beat! Or was it two beats? LOL! The email gave me more details about the taping date I requested and asked if I am still interested to go. OF COURSE I DO!! I replied quickly and gave them the name of guests attending as requested. 

After replying that email, I was so excited! Will I really get tickets to Ellen?! The email clearly states "This is not a confirmation email". But it also says "Once we receive your response, you will receive a confirmation email stating that you in fact have tickets for the taping". 

Okay, calm down! No concrete confirmation, better stay calm!

Woke up the next day at 6am instead of the usual 6.45am and quickly update my emails. OMG!! OMG!! I received a confirmation email that I will have 4 guarantee tickets to Ellen's taping on 7th Sept!! WOOHOOOOO!!!! Suddenly, I am wide awake and so excited! Quickly send messages to my friends and inform them that we are going to The Ellen Degeneres Show!!! And they are Guarantee Tickets, not Standby Tickets!

I was so happy for the whole day!! I'm not so unlucky after all!! 


6th September 2016
In the evening after we got back from our touring in LA for the day, we decided to read the instructions again for the Ellen taping the next day (although we have already read that for at least 5 times!). There are a few simple general instructions like no flip flops, no black and white clothes, no shorts, no hats, etc....but that's when we realised it says NO T-SHIRTS!!

Although we have read it like 5 times, somehow none of us noticed the NO T-SHIRT instruction and we were all actually plan to wear jeans and t-shirts the next day! We panicked as the shops were already closed so we couldn't go shopping for new clothes. Don't tell me, I was lucky to win the tickets and only to realised we don't get to attend because we do not have the right clothes with us!! T____T

After about 1 hour of fumbling here and there with the stressful moments, somehow we managed to find sort of the appropriate clothes by borrowing clothes among each other. I said sort of because we weren't completely sure. Like for me, I'm wearing a dress, with a sandal. Will they refuse me entry with the sandals? It was such a stressful moment, but we can only hope for the best!!


7th September 2016
In the morning, we had our Warner Bros Studio Tour. We passed by outside Ellen's sound stage and our tour guide mentioned that the queue for the audience ticket is 5 years. Me and my friends were grinning ear to ear! LOL #Win

After the WB Studio Tour, although we were in the same premise, we have to walked to Gate 3. We asked around and walked our way there. It was a brisk 15-20 minutes walks. When we reached the gate, we saw the signs for Ellen audiences.

The waiting space was located next to the carpark, and a big crowd was already gathered there! Very obvious Ellen have super devoted fans!

We waited for awhile and later the staff announce that we can start our registration. We proceed to our queue - Guarantee Tickets. There is another queue for Standby, where if there are empty space left, they will distribute the Standby tickets. When I was researching, I googled and it says that people started to queue for Standby tickets as early as 9am everyday! So grateful that I have the Guarantee Tickets!

We showed our confirmation, verified with our passport. We got our hands stamped with the UV ink stamp, and got our queue number.

I remember getting more and more excited, as it seems like it is really happening! The time is getting nearer and nearer! We then continue to wait for awhile in the waiting area. The staff do make us all hyped by finally announcing the Guest List for the day - Eddie Murphy and Alessia Cara!

Later on. the staff instructed us to queue according to our numbers and they brought us to the opposite building (studio) batch by batch. We went through the security check point, and were so glad when all of us went through.We passed the dress code! All the worry the night before... *relieved* After security, we were asked to wait in a room with photos of Ellen and celebrities throughout the past 13 seasons.
Then we proceed to the next room, which is The Ellen Shop!

The people seated were those in queue, and some took the waiting time to go shopping for Ellen goods. Me and my friends looked around as well. So many nice hoodies and T-shirts and Ellen underwears! I knew I must myself a souvenir or I would regret for life! Hahhahaha... So, I ended up buying for myself an Ellen water bottle and a shot glass for my sister (she collects them).

We waited for awhile, and then we were finally getting into THE studio. The scene was so familiar the moment I stepped in. It's like finally my YouTube screen becomes 3D!  =P

We were ushered to our seats (6th row from the front) and then the warm-up guy is there to brief us and that our taping will be aired the next day. No photography or video-taping from there onwards, so no more photos inside the studio to share!

Then we were up on our seats and dance.. halfway through, DJ Twitch came out! He started to walk around and danced with the audience. When he came towards our side, he walked all the way to our aisle . We got a bit nervous as you know la, Asians can't dance well.. or specifically, me and my friends don't dance well. Sweatttt.... Luckily Twitch called the audience on the opposite to come out and dance with him. And we got a good view as he was just dancing right next to us!!

Twitch walked back to the stage area and continued dancing when Ellen was introduced! We didn't realised that the taping already started! She walked out and toss her sweet to the air and caught it in her mouth. She thanked the audience and started her monologue - about the weather, the new iPhone 7 and Taylor Swift changing her boyfriend. Of course the monologue ended with a dance!

Ellen dance her way to the audience, all the way up the two aisles and yeap, it means that she danced her way right next to us! For that one moment, we were just 2 feet away from her! #StarStrucked

On her way down to the stage, she took two bags from the audience. She opened a bag and took selfie with the audience's phone!! That's so coooool!! When she opened the 2nd bag, she pulled the ID out and read Kerry Washington. YES!! She's a surprise guests for all of us!!!

After her interview, there was a commercial break, where all of us are up on our feet to dance again. Yes, we are required to dance in all the breaks to keep the energy up! After the break, it was the interview with the comedian, Eddie Murphy.

We have another commercial break after the interview with Eddie Murphy. They also explained that now they change the sequence of the taping, where they will record the ending first instead.

Ellen introduced Alessia Cara, and she performed her song 'Scars to Your Beautiful' before she proceed with the interview. And the end of the interview, she thanked her guests and said her tagline 'I'll see you tomorrow. Be Kind To One Another. Bye bye.'  

But as I said, the taping continued. After another break. Ellen introduced the next guest - which is the Orlando shooting victim.

He told the story of how he was shot four times in the back and pretended to be dead for an hour in the shooting and even died on the way to the hospital. Katy Perry's song 'Rise' inspires him, and Ellen surprised him by inviting Katy Perry!!

Not only was him surprised, but everyone in the audience too!! We did not expect another surprise guest after Kerry Washington!

The taping finished after Katy Perry joined the interview. After the taping is done, Ellen thanked the audience again for coming all the way, and hope we enjoyed ourselves. OF COURSE WE DID!! Twitch and Ellen danced again before waving goodbye to us and went backstage. 

On our way out, we collected our gift - Alessia Cara's CD - Know-It-All.

It was really a fun and memorable day. Would definitely go again if I have a chance to visit LA again, and lucky enough to get the tickets! Thanks Ellen and team for the opportunity!!


Printscreens of us in the episode - Season 14 Episode 3 that airs on 8th September 2016
When Ellen asked if anyone has a cracked screen on their phone
Ellen danced her way up our aisle where we were sitting
Ellen danced her way down back to stage and spied at an audience's handbag
Ellen took the audience's handbag and danced her way back to stage
The audience member who was talking to Ellen when she looks into her handbag and took out her belongings
Everyone was surprised with the appearance of Katy Perry!
Audience shot at almost the end of the show


Videos of our episode that we were in

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