Author Topic: What happens at a TPiR taping, 2019 edition  (Read 3397 times)

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Online LiteBulb88

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What happens at a TPiR taping, 2019 edition
« on: April 05, 2019, 07:34:51 AM »
I attended a couple of TPiR tapings that will air soon and had a lot of fun at them, so I thought I'd report on the process. Let me preface this report by saying I’m a huge fan of TPiR. I’ve been watching as long as I can remember, and as a math geek, I love figuring out the patterns and strategies of the various pricing games. I’d only been to one taping before this one, all the way back in Bob Barker’s last season in 2006. I found myself with a one week vacation in LA in February of this year and figured I’d go and see how things have changed. So here we go…

GETTING TICKETS AND GETTING INTO THE STUDIO

So much easier now than back in 2006. You just go to the Price is Right website and get your tickets there; if you get them soon enough, you’ll get a priority ticket which guarantees entry into the studio as long as you’re on-time. No more 4 AM line ups! Even if priority tickets aren’t available, you can get a standby ticket, which gives you a very good chance of getting in. The website is here: http://on-camera-audiences.com/shows/The_Price_is_Right

I had a priority ticket for my first show, but not wanting to risk being late due to unpredictable LA traffic, I arrived at 2 PM for the 3:30 PM taping. They weren’t letting people in just yet, so there was a short line on Fairfax Avenue of people waiting to get in. They let us in around 2:30 PM, we showed IDs, and we went through the first metal detector.

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT WATCHES: No non-analog watches are allowed AT ALL. You can’t even check them—if they find you with one, you have to take it back to your car. This includes Fitbits, Apple Watches, any other smart watch, or even any digital watch. The only watch you can bring with you is an analog watch.

After going through the metal detector, they check your ticket to make sure it is a priority ticket, and hand out contestant numbers based on the order you arrive. I got #33 for my first taping. And then the waiting begins.

SET OF BENCHES #1: PAPERWORK AND PICTURES

The first thing you do after you get your contestant number is fill out a contestant form where you give your name, address, last 4 of your SS#, etc. Make sure to read the instructions! The form is easy if you read the instructions, but if you don’t, you’re probably going to fill it out wrong. Then a page checks your ID and writes your name tag, and then a different page reviews your form, checks your ID again, and takes your picture. Then you get a separate picture taken in front of a green screen; that ends up being a picture of you in front of the big wheel that you can buy for $20. There’s also a gift shop you can buy some TPiR swag at and get some food.

SET OF BENCHES #2: THE INTERVIEW

After you get that picture taken, you go around the corner, a page shows you the souvenir picture, and then after some waiting, it’s time to be interviewed by Stan! Stan Blits has been doing contestant interviews for a long time and has written a book about it. He has a crazy amount of energy and is looking for people who can match his energy. Make sure you're quiet when other people are being interviewed!

When he interviewed me, he asked me what I did. When I told him I live in Prague, he talked about how he’s been there, and joked that it’d be ironic if I won a trip to Prague. And then he moved on—each person gets about 15-30 seconds with him. After he interviews about 20 people, those people head to the next set of benches and he talks to another page about his thoughts on them. Don’t bother trying to listen—he’s good at using a crazy soft inside voice for that conversation.
An interesting note here: one person who’s been to many tapings said she’s noticed a pattern, which is that if Stan asks you what your favorite game is, he’s really interested in you, and you have a good shot of getting called if you keep your energy up. So make sure you have an answer to this question! One person in my group was asked for her favorite game on the show and said “Ummm…tic-tac-toe?” (Yes, there is a game on the show based around tic-tac-toe, but it’s not called that!) Stan said, “you really don’t watch the show, do you?” and she didn’t get picked.

SET OF BENCHES #3: GIVE UP YOUR CELL PHONE AND WAIT

After the interview, you go around another corner, go through one more metal detector, and give up your cell phone if you have it with you. They’ll check it and give it back to you at the end of the show. And this is where you wait some more. Since I had an early contestant number, I had to wait for Stan to interview another 200+ people (the studio holds 290 people and is always full). There was a definitely an energy drop as contestants came through—the early arrivers had a lot of energy, the later contestants not so much. After about an hour of waiting, they showed us an old episode of the show and then some funny moments hosted by George Gray.  BTW, there's something really fun about watching an old episode of the Price is Right with 200+ other fans of the show, especially when none of you has your cell phone to be distracted by.

ENTERING THE STUDIO AND GETTING A SEAT

After all that, it’s time to enter the studio! You’ve now been there for about 3 hours, but you’d better keep your energy level up if you hope to be called—they’re always watching and have been known to swap out people they initially thought would be good but didn’t keep their energy up during the taping.

Once you enter the studio, there are various pages and they tell you where to sit. They no longer sit you based on the order you arrive—they put the people they think would look best on camera in the front and spread people out after that. They do seem to make sure the contestants who will be called are spread out throughout the studio. There’s about 30 minutes to go before the taping begins after everyone has their seat. They play warm up music and George Gray (the announcer) comes out and says a few words to get everyone going. Then…

THE TAPING ITSELF

HERE IT COMES! From the Bob Barker studio…

The taping begins, the first four contestants are called on down, and Drew Carey comes out! It kind of feels like a dream—this show you’ve been watching for 30+ years is happening live in front of you. Both tapings I attended took about 90 minutes and didn’t need a lot of editing. During commercial breaks, Drew usually stays out on stage and chats with various people in the audience. One person during my first taping sold birth control pills for a living and then a separate group was a group of guys having a bachelor party. You can imagine Drew had fun with that one :). And of course, there are people on-stage but off-camera telling the audience when to go nuts, when to shout prices out, etc. One good change from 2006: it used to be that a stagehand had cue cards with the names of the first four contestants on them in case they couldn't hear the announcer call them down. But the last five contestants didn't have cue cards and so they had to hear their name only. With how loud the studio gets, that's hard to do. At some point, they added cue cards for all contestants, not just the first four.

(If this section seems short, it's because I don't want to spoil anything that happened on the show. I'll write more when the shows I went to air!)

AFTER THE TAPING ENDS

After the show, Drew shakes the hands of the contestants and various people in the audience, then gives individual shout outs to everyone on his crew, from George to each stagehand. Then he leaves and George explains that the contestants who didn’t make it onto the stage get $300 each just for being called. And finally, George randomly draws a number; the person in the audience who had that contestant number gets a $100 door prize, and he gives them their own “Come on down!”

On your way out, you get a piece of card stock with a spot to put your name tag on if you want to save it. Otherwise, you’ll pick up your phone if you checked it and head on out with lots of good memories and hopefully some new friends.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

The whole process takes about 5 hours from the time the taping starts (so if you go to a 1 PM taping, you'll be leaving around 6 PM). There's a lot of waiting, so use that time to talk to other fans of the show. Once the taping starts, it is a lot of fun. TV doesn't do it justice--the crowd is LOUD and ENERGETIC. That's what makes this show different from almost every other TV show you can go to a taping of--most audiences are instructed to be quiet except for prescribed applauding times, but not here! If you're at all a fan of the show, I highly recommend going at least once to see it and be part of it. More to come when the shows air!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 07:38:54 AM by LiteBulb88 »

Offline PIRfanSince72

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Re: What happens at a TPiR taping, 2019 edition
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2019, 02:03:39 PM »
Very well written!  You were able to make me feel like I was actually there with you during the entire process!  Thank you for sharing this with us :)

Online GR_Man_9009

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Re: What happens at a TPiR taping, 2019 edition
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2019, 02:43:46 PM »
LiteBulb88, do you know when your shows will air? If so, when?
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Online LiteBulb88

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Re: What happens at a TPiR taping, 2019 edition
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2019, 03:57:36 PM »
LiteBulb88, do you know when your shows will air? If so, when?

April 8 and 15 (this Monday and a week from this Monday)

Very well written!  You were able to make me feel like I was actually there with you during the entire process!  Thank you for sharing this with us :)

Thanks!

Offline Plinkoman

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Re: What happens at a TPiR taping, 2019 edition
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2019, 11:07:29 PM »
Sounds about like what I experienced last December. I will write my report after all the episodes air in May (Dream Car Week).

I also believe that those Stan is really interested in get asked about their favorite game. This happened once when I was there and the guy got called down- more on that in May.
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Offline b_masters8

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Re: What happens at a TPiR taping, 2019 edition
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2019, 04:32:46 AM »
Once you enter the studio, there are various pages and they tell you where to sit. They no longer sit you based on the order you arrive—they put the people they think would look best on camera in the front and spread people out after that.

Which doesn't seem fair to me-- I'm not sure I would want to have to squeeze through quite a few people to get down if George called me!

Offline Josh444

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Re: What happens at a TPiR taping, 2019 edition
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2019, 12:19:01 PM »
I also believe that those Stan is really interested in get asked about their favorite game. This happened once when I was there and the guy got called down- more on that in May.

This happened to me when I got called down. He asked what my favorite game was, and I knew I had to go with a more rarely mentioned game so I said Temptation. He said it was a great choice, and that it was won on the earlier show (back in 2014).

Offline Hoop

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Re: What happens at a TPiR taping, 2019 edition
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 01:22:12 PM »
LiteBulb88 did you get called down and was on the show so we can watch you today?

Online LiteBulb88

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Re: What happens at a TPiR taping, 2019 edition
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2019, 01:38:56 PM »
I don't think I can answer that question here for the next couple of hours without breaking spoiler rules on this site. But I can say if you go to the recap board you'll find your answer there.