Last night I managed to score a seat at the live taping of Piers Morgan‘s interview with the Donald.Admittedly I hadn’t yet watched Piers’ show in full — probably a good thing journalistically, as I was heading into the event with an “open mind.” Or something like that.
We were given these sartorial instructions pre-show:
Dress your best!
Ladies: Bright or jewel-toned, solid coloured tops photograph best on camera.
Men: Bright coloured polo or button down shirts and jeans or khakis are suggested.
Please refrain from wearing: LOGOS, dark or muted colours, suits, ties, shorts, busy patterns, or tank tops.
I was confused by the instructions because I envisioned an SNL-like audience — that is, shadow-bound. But I complied, and elected to wear one of the few non-black items in my wardrobe, a coral-coloured top that was definitely in need of a bit of a dry clean, but was really my only option — so on it went!I arrived at Columbus Circle at 6.45, escalated to the third floor of the CNN tower and found my banker friend — the one who had scored the tickets — and was immediately handed a release form by a CNN staffer. I gave it a once-over — it seemed fine — signed it and was given a red wrist band to prove I was a legitimate guest of Piersy.
I don’t know what I expected, but I didn’t think it was going to be one of those events with a lot whole lot of camera-panning-up-and-down-the-ecstactic-crowd-as-they-wait-in-line situations. But it was.
I respectfully declined to “woo” as the cameras passed us by a few times — as we were instructed to do — but at the behest of my woo-partial banker friend I gave a smile and wave and seemed to blend in with crowd.
Next we were led through to the waiting area, aka the “pump up” room. A table was loaded with Crumbs cup-cakes, cookies, brownies and celophane bags of absolutely stellar potato chips. I don’t know where they found those crisps (i.e. chips!) but they were phenomenal. A+ to Piersy for the food.
Except, there was an ulterior motive! To get us all sugared-up so we’d explode with enthusiasm en masse once inside the studio.
A man welcomed us and I can’t remember most of what he said except for the “energy, energy, energy” war cry. He encouraged us to eat more cupcakes, get more hopped up on sugar and of course, there was more “woo-ing.”
A woman yelled, “where’s the merlot?” Lol. And indeed.
What else? There were girls twittering, girls talking about how much they love Gawker Stalker [ed. does it even still exist?], and more pep-talks from the organisers, and a last-minute bathroom call.
En route to the ladies room I tried to extract some information from our escort (we had to be chaperoned to the bathroom) but all I could get was that our live-show was a trial run and if it went smoothly, it would probably become a regular thing.
Once we were all assembled back inside the pump-up room, were taken in small groups to the studio in an elevator with a lot of Secret Service-type men.
Then came the seating arrangements. Boy. Girl. Boy. Girl. At first, banker friend and I were seated in the front row, centre. Banker Friend was ecstatic. I was worried my bun was too high, but secretly excited we’d been selected for the best seat in the house.
Then we were moved. Not sure why. We were dispatched to the back row. Banker Friend was especially dejected. But we were still in the centre, so all was not lost.
There was music (some Dave Matthews to get us all in the mood), there was laughter (the stage manager was a bit of a comic I’ll admit) and some basic instructions, including:
- Clap harder.
- A little “woo-ing” never hurt anyone.
- And don’t yell anything abusive out at Donald or Piersy during the show or you’ll be removed and taken to the CNN dungeon.
Our pump-up man from earlier was also on hand. He asked us if anyone was chewing gum, said, “if you are, I’ll take it,” then cupped his hands. Because he really would take it.
And then, it was Piersy time! By this stage of course the indoctrination was complete and when he walked out onto that stage there was a huge standing ovations, a chorus of clapping and yep, major woo-time!!
Piersy thanked us all for being here, and told us how excited he was for us to be joining him, and then told us what a good-looking crowd we were. The stage manager had already told us this a few minutes earlier, but who’s complaining.
And then Trump, looking orange-purple in the face, strolled out onto the stage and there was more rounds of applause, though no standing this time, as per the stage manager’s request. We were a very well-behaved audience.
So well behaved in fact, that at one point during the show as we went to an ad break, I saw the stage manager signal for us to clap, so I clapped. Pretty hard actually. And then Banker Friend turned to me and exlplained I’d just pretty much given the equivalent of an A+ in applause-speak to the Donald’s rant about China. Which I certainly didn’t endorse. And the Donald’s jokes about Piersy’s table being plastic, not glass. Sigh.
So the interview was pretty entertaining and Piersy was great. Maybe it was just that British accent, but he certainly seemed to be a class act last night. If it were me, I would not have stayed so calm and collected with the Donald waxing on so aggressively about China at my table (especially after he mocked the surface of that table right in front of me… and my audience… and the millions of people watching at home).
At the end of the interview, the pair posed for a picture. And the Donald, true to form, sauntered over to a pretty brunette, shook her hand, and told her she looked like Sandra Bullock.
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