When my friend Sam texted me asking if I would like to attend The Ellen Show, I almost peed my pants. I had grown up watching Ellen Degeneres and it had been my dream to see a live taping. Every day after school, I would immediately run into the house, switch on the TV, and watch as Ellen and her guests played funny games and gave out amazing prizes to surprised guests.
So, I cancelled all my plans for Monday, October 16th and started mentally preparing.
We were given standby tickets which is not a guarantee that you will be in the studio. If you were one of the unlucky ticket holders at the end of the line, you were ushered into the riff raff room where you had to watch the show from TV screens. We crossed our fingers and prayed that wouldn’t become our fate. We wanted the real thing. We wanted Ellen.
I woke up at 4:00am that day with too much excitement to sleep. Realizing that the traffic would be horrendous, I left two hours early in hopes that I could skip the bumper-to-bumper mayhem. I was unsuccessful.
When I arrived, I parked in the parking garage and took the elevator down to the first floor where other standby guests were waiting to receive their ticket numbers. I was last in line so it worried me.
Once Sam and I got our tickets at around 9:00am, we set up shop at a cute coffee shop/ cafe called Red Maple. Check in wasn’t until 1:30pm so we had plenty of time to kill. If you ever attend the show, I would highly recommend bringing your laptop and hanging out at Red Maple for the day. There is free wifi and plenty of outlets to plug in your electronics.
After what seemed like days, it was finally time to return to the studio. About 400 people were now in the waiting area, so our concern grew. After announcing the celebrity guests – Snoop Dogg, Andrew Garfield, and Beck – we finally lined up in numerical order. Our number was 365 so we were pretty far back. Luckily there were plenty of people behind us.
As we walked over to the studio, we were led into another waiting room decorated with pictures of Ellen and her past guests. After about 30 minutes, the staff guided us to the actual set and it seemed like the seats were filled up fast.
When it was our turn to be seated, one of the staff members asked how many were in our party. We politely told her “Just two” and she pointed towards the front. We were so giddy. We got to sit right next to tWitch, the DJ!! I have always been a huge fan of his dancing so I couldn’t wait to see him up close and personal.
Then, the dance party started. Everyone was so pumped to be there that they pulled out their best dance moves. One girl even took off her shoes, socks, and jewelry for a back handspring. They film the entire thing and this girl ended up being featured on the show once it aired.
When Ellen walked out, I almost started crying. Her warm smile and bright blue eyes looked even more inviting in person so I couldn’t help but scream bloody murder.
The show went great. Snoop Dogg was high, Andrew Garfield was charming, and Beck put on an amazing performance. But, the real action started AFTER the filming was finished.
They announced that the episode was over and we were going home soon. I was so bummed that we didn’t win any cool prizes, but still so grateful for the opportunity of simply being there. The producer informed us that Ellen had to shoot some promo videos so we would just sit tight until she finished.
Ellen then looked into the camera and said “We want YOU to come to our 15 days of giveaways.”
I heard a sudden scream. Then more screams. Then I was screaming.
Did she just give us tickets to one of her famous Christmas shows??
I looked over at tWitch and mouthed “Is this forreal???” He looked at me with downcast eyes and shook his head. He was laughing at the miscommunication and couldn’t believe what had just happened.
Ellen looked like a deer in headlights. She started shaking her head as well and repeated “no, no, no…” She then started profusely apologizing. She was simply recording a line for one of the promos that would appear on a local news station. She wasn’t actually inviting us to 15 days of giveaways.
Everyone let out a “Awwww” and sat back down. The look in everyone’s eyes was sheer disappointment. To say that my hope had shattered into a million pieces is an understatement.
Ellen finished up her promos and then grabbed the microphone to tell us goodbye.
After more apologizing, she spoke these magical words: “I feel so horrible for what just happened. I don’t know what the capability is but…” She looked at her producer… “Can we get them tickets to 15 days?”
Everyone burst into cheers and screams. It was as if she had just given us all $1 million.
The producer nodded his head yes and then told us that he would have to print out some paperwork, but he would make it happen.
They gave us a sheet that said “One guaranteed ticket to 15 days of giveaways” and we filled out our information.
We then walked out of the studio, our legs shaking and jelly-like, and into the Ellen gift shop. I bought a pair of Ellen underwear in celebration and strolled to my car with a huge grin on my face.
I get to go back in December. For 15 days of giveaways….
If you’ve never heard of this, go look it up NOW. In the past, she has given away free flights to anywhere, a week in Cancun, $500 gift cards, hover boards, huge outdoor grills, and much more. AND THIS IS ALL IN ONE EPISODE. THERE ARE 15 DAYS OF THIS MADNESS. AND I GET TO GO!!
So, needless to say, I had the best experience of my life as an audience member on The Ellen Show. What turned into “Will we even get in?” flowered into “We’re in and we’re coming back in a month for the best show ever.”
Top that. I dare you.