07 February 2011

Oprah and Me

By: Jessica B.

Yes, it sounds like the title of a new best-selling book but actually, I’m talking about one of the most surreal experiences I’ve had in Chicago, going to a taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Oprah tapes her show in Chicago and let’s just say that you stand an easier chance of winning the lottery AND getting struck by lightening in the same day than getting tickets. Demand (especially for the final season) is out of control, all the time.

I’ve tried on and off for the last two years to get tickets all to no luck. BUT last week Oprah’s website had last minute ticket reservations due to Snowmageddon so I submitted my name and then Thursday I got the email. Oprah herself (or as I like to think so) selected me and there was space for me in the Friday afternoon taping. Work was awesome and let me go and Friday afternoon, I was on my way here.

And once I got to Harpo, I got to wait in this line.

Here’s the thing about going to TV show taping. Yes, they’re fun but you also have to be prepared to wait. You wait AWHILE to get in, go through security and then be seated. It’s a process. And yes, this one was tedious too. I waited more than 90 minutes before I was inside the studio and seated.

And Harpo security was more thorough than any TSA agent out there, for good reason. My iPhone, Blackberry, iPod, pens, paper, camera and tissues were all taken. Fortunately, I passed security’s “wand” test.

The really exciting part is when you’re seated. Production staff strategically seats everyone strategically in the studio and apparently my hot pinky/purple Gap top was attractive because I got to walk across the stage and was seated right against the aisle, right behind Oprah’s chair.

And I’ll say this, looking around the set, was pretty cool. And women were EXCITED to be there. Crying, hugging, screaming, jumping up and down. It was like an adult-only Justin Bieber concert. It was a little overwhelming.

Then, Oprah appeared, sadly with no fog or entrance music, in the studio and she walked RIGHT BY ME because I was sitting against she aisle she walked down.

We made eye contact (with my mouth gaping open) and had our moment. I won’t lie, it was pretty magical. I had another eye moment as she exited the studio and left feeling a little tired and dazed.

Overall, it was a fun experience and I’m so glad I got to go.

The show I went to airs February 16 so check it out! Apparently I was in “prime camera area” too so who knows if I’ll be on there but you never know!


  1. Lil' Woman says:

    HOW EXCITING!!!! :)

  2. erin - heart in ireland says:

    That is so awesome! Hopefully I can catch that episode! So jealous, I would love to see oprah!

  3. Lisa C. says:

    WHAT. You were here and I didn’t know it?? Btw, the schedule moved around a bit so none of that Fri’s tapings are airing on the 16th. Which show was yours?

  4. Grace says:

    AH! SO AWESOME!!! I hope you make it on TV!

  5. Sara says:

    I have always wanted to go to one of her shows but I still have never been to Chicago and I highly doubt I’ll make it before the season is over nor will I get tickets if I’m lucky enough to make that trip. So jealous!!

    Sounds like a great experience though!

    Uh, but why did they take pens, paper and tissues?!

  6. Nora says:

    That’s so cool! I’ve always wanted to go to a taping of a show. I’ll have to remember to have the show in my breakroom at work next week so hopefully I can see you :)

  7. Allison says:

    did you like the show and I DVR every episode of the big O – I’ll have to watch

  8. Allie says:

    Neat! If I still lived in the Oprahood, I would have brought you a treat to kill time while you waited. Sounds like fun!

  9. Julianne says:

    Jealous! I have a huge backlog of Oprah on my DVR that I need to catch up on.

    PS: Congrats on the SB win!

  10. A Super Girl says:

    So jealous! I wish I had DVR. Or that O would enter the 21st century and put her shows online!

  11. ahhh you are so lucky! i will set up the dvr :)

  12. katelin says:

    my dvr will be set, can’t wait!! woo to you and the big O!

  13. Yahpee says:

    I am so jealous. SO SO SO jealous. So much so, I came out of lurkdom to tell you so.

  14. Cool!

    But tissues?? Really??

  15. Kathleen says:

    Wow so cool! I want to hear more about what the taping was like. I don’t really watch Oprah but doesn’t she give stuff away to the audience? Did you get anything?

  16. That’s pretty awesome! I didn’t even realize she was still filming–for some reason, I thought the show was done. I’m so glad you squeezed it in right before the end!

  17. Suz says:

    How Cool!! I am so jealous…I love me some Oprah!

  18. Very exciting! There used to be a lame Oprah-like show here in Canada many years ago called “Shirley”. Tickets were easy to get and my sister and I used to go a lot (they taped in the evening). The best part? On Tuesday nights they taped two shows and gave everyone KFC for supper in between them. Ha!

  19. you and Lady O (that’s what I call her) under the same roof?!!?! how were you able to keep all of that so under the radar? can’t wait to see the show!

  20. Kez says:

    That is SOOOOOO cool!!!! Can you tell us about what it was like during taping (after it airs)??? I want another post!!! :)

  21. Wow! I’m not an Oprah watcher, but I’d totally go to a taping if I got the opportunity. Jerry Springer tapes in Chicago too, and Jason got to be in his audience a couple of years ago. I never got to see the episode, unfortunately, because of course he didn’t find out when it was airing. Typical!

  22. mandy says:

    AAAAAHHHH!!!!! That is amazing!!! I have always wanted to attend an Oprah show and have tried an obscene amount of times to get tickets. I am so glad that you were able to experience this.

  23. super fun! what was the topic???

  24. Stephanie says:

    Were you at the soap opera show? My friend was at that taping on Friday. I had the pleasure of going twice (first one: Paula Deen & Carson Kressley… Second : Dr Oz and Michael J Fox)… I’m hoping to make it this season too!

  25. Pam says:

    You are SO lucky that you got a rockstar, up-close-and-personal seat! I went to an Oprah show taping a couple of years ago and despite the fact that we looked like the cast of Rainbow Brite, we were stuck in the very last row. We barely got on camera, but it was still the coolest thing ever. I felt more powerful for breathing Oprah’s air. It sounds weird, but it’s true. She’s like a force of nature. Did she carry her shoes in? And was she really demanding? I hope you got a great show! We had Katherine Heigl and a private screening of 27 Dresses, which was pretty cool. I’ll have to tune in and see if I can spot you on TV!

  26. Akirah says:

    That’s soooo awesome! I love it! You’ll hafta remind me to watch out for the episode next week.

  27. Stevie says:

    Oh my god, that is SO COOL. I am VERY easily starstruck (I even go nuts for my local news anchors) so I’m not sure how I would react if I got that close to Oprah! I’ve been to several tapings of The Tonight Show over the years and they were pretty cool, but Oprah is like The Big Show. Amazing. Did the audience get any gifts or anything?