I work in theatre and as such I’m very used to going to see shows, I’ll even go on my own if it’s something I’m really interested in seeing. Last year alone I saw almost 50 stage shows on Broadway and around the US. One thing I’d never been in the audience for though was the filming of a TV show.
As part of this list of 50 Awesome Melbourne things I’m looking for as many free things to do as possible. Sometimes the best things don’t cost any money, and they’re still a lot of fun!
I’d been meaning to attend a TV show filming for some time, there’s always been lots to choose from, and many are filmed in Melbourne. The great thing is, being part of a studio audience is a free activity!
I decided I wanted to go to a taping of The Project, which films at Channel Ten’s studios on the corner of Chapel Street and Toorak Road in South Yarra. The Project is on nightly so they’re always looking for an audience (about 40 people a night) so if clapping and laughing is your kind of thing, this is a great activity for you.
Getting tickets is simple, you email audience@theprojectTV.com.au with the date you’d like to attend, and the amount of tickets you require, and they’ll then email you a confirmation with all the details you need to attend.
I took my Dad along for the ride. When we travelled to NYC together we got to watch Jimmy Fallon do a rehearsal of his monologues and jokes for his late show at NBC. It was interesting in seeing the development and being a test audience for the jokes that would be said that night. The filming of The Project would be different though, we’d be seeing what we’d normally be watching from our couch at home, live!
When you arrive at the studio an incredibly nice (and funny) security guard ticks you off the list and gives you the basic run down of what’s going to be happening. Everyone involved in the process is friendly and funny, they’re warming you up for the night, and it’s great. You go briefly to a green room, where you finish the sign in process and get to eat some lollies and have a mingle with the rest of the audience before the official warmup guy, applause wrangler, whatever the official job title is, gets you rehearsing your claps and laughs as a group. Again it’s another hilarious person, which really gets you in the mood. He reminds us that this is a job- if we think something is funny, laugh, if we don’t get a joke, laugh anyway, then think about it on the ride home.
We go up to the studio, which is far smaller than TV makes it look. There getting into make up are Carrie Bickmore, Charlie Pickering and Lehmo. We’ve attended on a Friday night, so Dave Hughes isn’t hosting. That disappoints some, but Dad and I are cool about it. Lehmo comes over every so often to talk to us and tell some jokes.
What’s great to see is how the show goes together. Some satellite crosses are filmed in advance, but made to look live, which is odd when you’re sitting in the studio, and how sometimes the stars make it back to their seats just in time after the return from an ad break.
There’s also some special guests at our showing- Rebecca Gibney and Anthony Lapaglia, promoting their latest movie. It’s pretty cool.
Then before you know it, the show’s finished, and you’re back on Chapel Street in time for dinner!
The Project isn’t the only show that films in Melbourne. You could also find yourself in the audience at some of these shows too (if they’re filming at the time, and I’m sure there’s many others):
First Tuesday Book Club
Many other shows are filmed around Australia in different cities. Check out the network’s websites to find out more.