My Experience as an Audience Member at Katie

My Experience as an Audience Member at Katie

When I was in college studying magazine journalism, I once had a project where I had to read one of my articles out loud and have it taped as if I were a broadcast journalist. This had to be one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my collegiate career. So, I admire those who chose that side of the profession—making it seem almost effortless as they verbally deliver a news report to the masses. As with most of my contemporaries, I grew up watching Katie Couric—one of the venerable broadcast journalists who flawlessly delivers a story on-air—first on The Today Show and later on CBS Evening Newsand 60 Minutes. When given the chance to attend a taping of her relatively new talk show,Katie, this past week, I was curious to see if it all comes together as effortlessly as what I grew up watching on TV.

I got to ABC Studios, tucked away on the Upper West Side near Central Park, early Friday morning and was almost immediately ushered into a large waiting area with other audience members. Not long after arriving, groups were systematically taken down a long corridor to the colorful set—complete with upbeat music, like Icona Pop’s “I Love It” emanating from the sound system to get the crowd pumped. During lulls between takes Tracey Locke, the show’s Warm Up Comedian, entertained the crowd with a number of activities that relied heavily on audience participation, including movie trivia and dancing. At one point, I was even pulled on stage for a dance contest with some of the other crowd members.

Remember when I said I was curious to see how a show comes together? Well, I wasn’t disappointed. Katie effortlessly delivered her lines from a teleprompter and at some points didn’t even need it. Her interaction with guests—including actors Dylan McDermott, promoting his new show HostagesBenedict Cumberbatch, toting his much-buzzed-about new film The Fifth Estate; and the cast of the AMC zombie hit The Walking Dead —was incredibly professional and sincere. One eager fan of The Walking Dead was even brought on stage made up by the show’s special makeup effects guru Greg Nicotero to look like one of the program’s menacing zombies. All in all, it was a great experience and definitely a “must” to do in NYC. Also make sure not to miss the Benedict Cumberbatch interview when it airs on Oct. 16 and the Dylan McDermott and Walking Dead cast interviews on Oct. 18. For tickets to a taping, click here.

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