What It's Really Like Being In A Show's Virtual Audience

If you watched the Voice the week of April 19th, 2021 you probably saw me. No, I wasn't one of the incredibly talented singers...I was in the audience. You're probably thinking...how can this girl who lives in IOWA get to a taping of this show that is shot in CALIFORNIA and make it to work the next day...

Well...it's all virtual. Can you see me? CAN YOU SEE ME? I'm wearing pink close to the middle, more towards the left.

NBC/UNIVERSAL

One of the few perks of the pandemic is that these major productions are relying more on virtual audiences. While we do see in person audiences slowly returning, there are still quite a few shows still pulling their audience members from all across the country thanks to the internet.

Here's what I had to do to get to see them tape this singing competition show.

The setup

After nabbing tickets to the virtual show, you'll receive a message with all of the information you'll need to check in. Producers will send a confirmation email a few minutes before the check in time to remind you that it's time for you to hop on.

Producers will contact you to test out your camera and microphone. Then after that it's pretty much all waiting. You just hang out in a virtual waiting room until the show starts.

I usually like to make sure the lighting is super flattering. Depending on the time of day you can sit yourself near a window and use the natural light. I use something called a ring light for video calls, videos that I'm making or just when I want to get a good selfie.

A few tips

You're going to do a LOT of clapping, so be prepared for that. It will feel like you're clapping FOREVER, but they need the cutaway shots for going into commercial breaks. Always clap a bit higher than what you'd do normally. Even if they don't use your audio, they'll use your video for sure since you're clapping in frame.

That's another thing you have to know about virtual audiences! The producer usually picks who will appear as well as where and when you'll see them. If you look like you're falling asleep, you'll probably be put to the back or they'll kick you off completely. If you look like you're having fun and really getting into it, then they'll put you right up front.


If you go in person...

I've been on plenty of these shows before. I spent a lot of time in New York City where a good chunk of these shows are taped. I've seen Seth Meyers a few times, Stephen Colbert, the View, and I've even been to see the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Sometimes you even get free gifts! The show usually is doing a giveaway to support a celeb's brand or they've reached some promotional deal with a company. A few summers ago, I went to see the View during a summer beach read giveaway, and I got a slew of books and audiobooks. Each week they did one of the host's favorite summer picks. When I went those books were actually picked out by Whoopi!  

Other perks of going to an in person show is that you can usually snag a pic at one of these photo booth setups. You are not allowed to have your phone or a camera on during the taping, but the staff usually sets something up so you can get a sweet post for Instagram.

How do I get the tickets?

This is the best/worst kept secret in Hollywood. Whether it's in person or virtual, the process right now is the same. Years ago you would have to wait outside of the box office for hours or "know a guy" to get into these shows. Nowadays, you just have to look them up online.

I know...seems like a big cop-out.

BUT! You have to know where to look and most importantly WHEN.

During specific times of the month tickets for these shows will go up on the website 1iota. They have tickets for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.

Going to be in California the week that Dwayne Johnson premieres his latest action movie? You can probably get tickets to see a premiere screening in Hollywood.

Are you heading to New York City the week of the VMAs and want to see if you can snag tickets to the show? You can apply to be a seat filler.

My friends and I have had such great luck with this site. If you continue to go to shows then they'll reward you with point for your profile that will prove to producers of other shows that you're reliable. Then you'll be more likely to go to even MORE shows.

How much does it cost to go?

Here's the thing...it's absolutely free. Of course you have to get there and pay for your own transportation. Whoopi Goldberg isn't going to pay for your flight to NYC, but the tickets are COMPLETELY FREE.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.