Last night was terrible

Bazinga!

Just kidding.  It was awesome.

**Possible Spoiler Alert**
I’m not going to tell you everything, but if you don’t want to know anything about the episode, don’t read.

My Big Bang Theory Taping Day

We started the day getting up bright and early.  Partly so we could get ready to go and partly because we couldn’t sleep.  MJ was excited about Disney.
Because the kids were on spring break, MJ decided to take a vacation day to watch them and decided to break in our Disneyland passes.

We got to Anaheim around 11am.  I decided to hang out with them for a couple of hours.  Got our passes and pictures taken for them.  The park was super busy because of Spring Break so I only had time to wait for one ride with them.  I made my way back to car and left by 2.

Check in time at the studio wasn’t until 4:30 so I figured I had time.  Of course then I hit LA traffic.  Ugh.  Dead stop on the 5.  I looked up traffic on my phone and it looked like I was going to be sitting in it for awhile.  Hoping I would get there by the check in time.  Otherwise they put you into standby.  Luckily traffic started to clear and I remained amazing calm through it 😀

I got to Burbank around 3:30.  Found the “Lot 8” parking structure and a place to park.  Little did I know that the structure was the actual check in spot for the show.  Weird.  We all met on the first level where they had a big section roped off and benches.  It was a little crazy when I got there.  Probably 70 or so people sitting there.  I was trying to figure out where to go when a woman snipped at me and pointed behind her “there the end of the line”.  The guy she was with wasn’t much nicer.  I sat there for just a few minutes when one of the organizers said there were two lines.  Apparently the one I was sitting in was for standby.  I was kinda snotty to the woman when I stood up and said, “Oh, I’m not standby”.  She gave me the stink eye.

Once I was in the correct line I struck up conversation with an adorable couple from the UK.  I asked of they were here just for the show.  He said “not reeaally”, but yeah, it was “a big part of the reason” they were here.  WOW.
A woman came around to check us in, gave us numbers (I was 38) and “the rules”.  Basically, don’t try to bring anything in.  Anything.  I had a backpack with an extra shirt, sweatshirt and I brought a shirt for the cast to sign in case some of them hung out after which I heard they sometimes do.  But after the second announcement  decided I didn’t want to take a chance with it so I took it back to the car.

At 4:30 they lined us up to start taking us over to the studio. We had to go through security to get onto the lot.  I was at the head of the second line with the UK couple.  The woman from Audiences Unlimited who was leading us gave us a little tour of the lot as we passed the different studios.  She also told us that things were weird for our taping for some reason.  She said they normally leave around 50 seats for VIPs for each taping.  Tonight they had 137 VIPs.  There’s only 200 seats in the studio.  They weren’t even sure if they were going to get all the people in with priority tickets.  Yipes!  Glad I got in line when I did!

We weren’t allowed to bring our phones so I took some pictures from the internet to try and show what it was like.  Here’s what the Warner Lot looks like:

Warner_bros_studio_lot

Once we got to studio 25, we had to go through another security check as we went in.  And then we finally got to our seats!
I got a pretty decent seat.  I was almost in the center about 5 rows up.  I think there were only 8 rows?  And I was just about center to Lenard and Sheldon’s apartment.

While we waited they showed an episode that hasn’t aired yet on the monitors.  After the episode, Mark Sweet (the audience warm up guy) started a dance contest with members of the audience.  He constantly tried to keep things going.
And then…   They announced the cast!  And they came out one by one.  It was a bit surreal.

100954_WB_0058b

They started out with a scene they pre-taped.  We watched it on the monitors so they could record the audience reaction.
The first scene they filmed was in the cafeteria which is a set that’s next to the audience, so we had to watch it in the monitors.  It was a little bit of a tease.  We could hear them on the other side of the wall and could see them on the screen.  It was kinda weird.
The second scene was in Bernadette s apartment which was at the end of the studio.  You could see part of it, but not most of it.  We did get a chance to see Cinnamon Koothrappali, though.  Adorable.
The third scene was in Leonard’s bedroom which was on the opposite side of the stage.  Couldn’t see that one at all so we watched on the monitors again.  Again, such a tease!

They FINALLY got to center stage and stayed there for most of the rest of the scenes.  It was incredible to watch.  Of course you want to watch what’s happening on the stage but then you catch a glimpse in the monitors and everything looks so different.  They only did a few takes of each scene.  A few times they would get together and change the lines.  Some of the line changes were really funny.  I’m assuming they take the lines that get the best reactions.

big-bang-theory-behind-the-scenes3

I’m assuming the 137 VIPs in the audience had to do with the guest star of the episode, Bob Newhart.  Apparently he hasn’t done a sitcom in about 10 years, so this was a pretty big deal.  The reaction in his first appearance was huge.

http://tvline.com/2013/03/21/the-big-bang-theory-season-6-cast-bob-newhart-professor-proton/

About halfway through the taping they passed out pizza and water for everyone.  It was cold and not great, but it was still pizza.  Mark also passed out candy the whole time.  Trying to keep people going between takes.  He had all of the people who came from another country come up and sing a song their native language.  The UK guy sang a Beatles song.  It was cute.  They also had people come up and tell what the show meant to them or why they connected to the show.  I got up and told my story and he gave me a whole bag of candy haha.

The episode was great.  The whole experience was fun and just as amazing as I imagined.


A few notes:
The whole cast is very professional.  There was not a lot of goofing around.  Some of the scenes were long and filmed mostly in a single take.
Jim Parsons (Sheldon) really is amazing.  He’s kinda quiet and works on his lines between takes. As soon as they roll, he is very much in character and is a huge personality. He’s also very tall.
Johnny Galecki (Leonard) is a bit of a character between takes.  He dances and jumps around a lot.
Simon Helberg (Howard) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) have great chemistry and work really well off each other.  They are also both very little.
Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh) seems very sweet.  He was always smiling on set.
There was no Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler)  😦  I was sad she wasn’t there, but the chance to see Bob Newhart in action was worth it.
Kaley Cuoco (Penny) is HOT.  Wow.  I mean, she really is stunning.  And funny.
I got to hear a live “Soft Kitty”!  It’s in one of the scenes.
The first person in the standby line was wearing a bright green t-shirt.  I didn’t see him in the audience. That means at least 50 people waiting to get in did not.  I wonder if they even got all of the ticketed people in.  Once the taping was over all the VIPs got to go to the stage, meet the cast and get a tour.  I should’ve tried to sneak in with them.  I mean, there were 137 of them!  I heard that at least a few of the cast always hang out afterwards for autographs, but because Bob Newhart was there (and all his VIPs) they didn’t.  They shoo’d us out of the set area pretty quickly.

All was done by 10:30pm.  Disneyland was open until midnight so I was back in plenty of time to pick up MJ and kids.  An amazing day and an experience that I am so thankful to get the chance to be a part of.

The episode will air May 2.

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