Earlier this week, due to my 9-5, I attended a panel taping about women in the military that will air later this spring. The taping lasted almost two hours and will most likely be cut down to a half-hour show. Lots of editing needs to be done. And part of that editing will involve reaction shots.
Once the panel was seated on stage but before they started filming, the audience was instructed to react. The two cameras that were facing the stage and panelists, swung around to capture us. We were told to clap, which we did for several minutes. We were told to look thoughtful and then we were told to laugh. There were two takes of us laughing. And those were the hardest. It’s pretty easy to clap, and it wasn’t hard to look thoughtful given the subject we were about to hear. The event was sold out, so everyone there was interested. I got a little theatrical: hand on chin and nodding ever so slightly. That, I suppose, was my bid to get on TV. However, I was in the first balcony row, so I’m pretty sure that there’s a railing through my face. Oh well. Dreams of stardom get crushed every day.
What was the hardest, was laughing. The titters I heard around me were, at first, very unsure and quiet. Then, people started looking at their neighbors, realizing how bizarre it was to laugh on cue and actually started laughing. When we were instructed to laugh for the second time, we were much more into it. The laughter was strong and hearty.
After the panel taping was over, though, there weren’t many lines that could have used our laughing as a cut-away. But I guess it’s good to be prepared for anything.
Have you ever been to the taping of a TV show? What was your experience like?