After my first experience at a show taping (Martha Stewart’s show, to be exact), I decided to try for tickets to any of the local show tapings. I signed up for a few- I can’t recall which, but I know you can usually find ticket information on each show’s website, and forgot all about it. Imagine my surprise when I got an email a few weeks ago telling me that I was eligible for up to 4 tickets to the Rachael Ray Show! To sign up for your own tickets, since I know some of you may be interested, click here.
***For all you haters: I like Rachael Ray. She can be annoying, and I get tired of her burger recipes sometimes, but she has a lot of good ideas, and as a cook familiar and comfortable in the kitchen, I find myself using her recipes as idea starting points and go from there. I’ve made a couple of her recipes with my own tweaks and variations, and usually they are things that I wouldn’t have thought of making to begin with- eg, homemade sausage patties- so I actually learn from her. I can’t hate on anyone who’s all bubbly and perky like that anyway, because hand me some caffeine, and I’m there.
The dates they gave me as options were actually during the week I already had requested off in order to move, so this worked out perfectly for me. Unfortunately, no one could or wanted to go with me, so I went alone, but sometimes, that can be the best thing.
As the date to the show got closer, people started emailing me links to other blogs where they talk about going to the RR show taping and what a bitch RR can be. I shrugged because I can be a total bitch too, but I can also be a perky happy chica just chilling. I find that somewhat normal. I was keen on going to find out what the real deal was, and here is my … dun dun DUN … exposé on the truth as I found it!
I’m sorry to mention that I also spent a lot of time thinking and comparing the show experience to the Martha Stewart experience. I understand that Martha (and consequently, her people) have probably been doing this for years and years already, therefore know what to do to make it run smoothly, but RR could have hired people who knew what they were doing and better organized. I found it a bit ridiculous that to tape a one hour show that wasn’t even airing live or semi-live (going direct to TV with little to no editing, as Martha did for her morning taping), the audience had to be there from a little before 10 am until 2 pm. (That’s what they told us; we wound up leaving around 1:30 though.) Four hours? Seriously? Definitely an organizational issue here, which you’ll see in more detail in a minute.
Though the email says to be there by 10:15 am, learning my lesson from last time- that people line up way earlier anyway- I ran some errands first nearby and then arrived probably at 9:45 or so. While I was waiting, I people-watched to get a feel for the audience that RR has- mostly middle-aged women on vacation from the middle states as I call them (because I was politely corrected 15 million times that I can’t call all of the middle states “oh, the Midwest somewhere” when I’m being polite, or “Bumblef*ck” when I’m being rude). But I wasn’t the only one: one of the audience coordinators, who patrolled up and down the line to ask people’s names and send the VIPs inside ahead of us lowly peons, was also patrolling and staring at people’s shoes. She actually stopped the woman in front of me to ask if she had brought shoes with her, since she was sporting sneakers at that moment. (The woman had indeed brought shoes.) Our email ticket had clearly stated not to wear sneakers, among other things, but it was a bit much that the coordinator was literally walking up and down just staring at our shoes. I wondered if by some chance, someone was brought inside and shed their coat, only for the coordinators to find s/he was wearing a sleeveless shirt or a busy pattern, would they be kicked out?
When I finally- luckily, I was somehow pulled off the line to be a VIP and go inside ahead of the 20 people in front of me; I’m not sure if this was because I was alone or because they liked how I looked (bundled up, you couldn’t see what I was wearing, but I assure you I was dressed in my talk show finest!)- got inside, I was made to wait a bit longer in an unheated hallway. We finally trooped in and to my surprise, we were immediately shuffled into a large waiting room where Dunkin’ Donuts coffee waited for us, along with bottles of water and cold pre-packaged muffins and bagels.
I snagged a muffin because I was starving, having been up early and running around without a chance to stop for breakfast yet. It was cold and not that tasty… but I was wary of the packaged bagels because well, we’re in NY. Even a bagel at the deli around the corner would have been better tasting than anything packaged!
I was also a bit surprised to see that we hadn’t been asked to check our coats. It’s the middle of winter, and most of us had on bulky down jackets along with the normal winter accessories, scarves, mittens, hats, etc. I was even more surprised when a coordinator came by and informed us all that we would be stuffing our items underneath our seats in the studio. I guess they only shoot from your knees up… wait a second! If this is the case, why all the fuss about what shoes people are wearing?!?!?! …..
The disorganization continued when a woman came by and announced we’d be entering the studio shortly. Everyone stood up and lined up according to the colored line on our tickets, and waited… waited… waited… for about 30 minutes. Standing there. Yeah…. that’s shortly.
Again, I shouldn’t compare to Martha’s taping, but I can’t help but do so. Each show apparently has a comedian/warm-up guy to get you excited about the show and direct you. Martha’s guy was a bit short and well, dorky looking, but like a guy I could relate to (he’s actually in one of the pictures on my post about the show). He was funny in a corny but comfortable way, and he worked the crowd well, ramping us up over goodies, and especially directing us when and how to clap (yes, they tell you how to clap: loudly, excitedly, happily, cheering, ooh’ing, mm’ing, etc.). RR’s warm up guy was a bit too hipster-y for the crowd, I think- the crowd was mostly mid30s women and he was very young and well… covered in tattoos and piercings. His jokes were a bit raunchy at times as well.
The show itself aired today at 10am (I tried to post this before it aired, but I was really busy so I couldn’t! sorry!), and featured Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Apparently February is favorite things month, so we all got to take home Julia’s favorite thing: the Le Creuset Screwpull! and copies of Season 1 of her show, The New Adventures of Old Christine.
Not too bad, since my understanding is that on her show, you don’t normally get goodies. We were told we’d get these after the show, which didn’t phase me as that’s how it was done at Martha’s show.
Julia made an orange bundt cake for us to eat, and we all got to try a piece; it was pretty delicious even though not my normal style. We had to eat it on our laps, which was weird… but whatever. Right?
Later in the show, Rachael tells us about two new products in her homegoods line, a garbage bowl much like the ones on her original 30Minute Meals (Texas Fiestaware which has now become collectible items, hard to find and high priced, she said) but in plastic, and moppines, a large dish towel that on each end, contains hand holds to be used as pot holders! Very cool. And then the Yummettes (people wearing t-shirts that said things like Yum-O!) came out and distributed them to everyone. Which was dumb, because where the hell are we supposed to put them? In our laps, on the floor in front of our feet?
They also gave out the snack of the day at the same time, a bag of cookies, and told us that we could eat them now. Because although we weren’t allowed to chew gum in the studio, we could eat big messy cookies and be filmed looking like pigs, chewing, right? Yeah… that makes sense. (More on the cookies in a bit.)
Awesome items, though, I am definitely going to use the garbage bowl; I’ve loved that idea and FeistyMom employs something similar although she lines hers with a bag.
But what you’ve all really been reading this painfully long post for: IS RACHAEL RAY ACTUALLY A RAGING BITCH, a la the blogs I’ve read on this topic.
My firm response, with no bias, is a resounding no. She is, actually, very similar to myself in that she can be very impatient, make snarky comments, and she is very sarcastic. I don’t see anything wrong with this; she didn’t do it to the audience, but her interactions with the crew, she’s not always smiling. Sorry- no one can always be smiling!!! We knew that already. She’s just got a very NY attitude about her now- don’t waste my time, don’t be stupid about things, and I can be sarcastic.
She filmed a promo about the Superbowl, and they wanted her to re-shoot it because it wasn’t long enough. She was just like, guys, that’s all I can really say about the Superbowl, and one of the guys said, “Can you talk about what’s on the table?” and she shot him a look, and was like, “I am not telling people to buy SlimJims!” which I thought was hysterical. I could see why people think that’s bitchy though!
My final thoughts on the show were as we left, we were handed the rest of our goodies: the Screwpull and DVD. Like that. No bag or anything! Come on! If RR’s people were thinking, they’d push the Go Green concept and hand out canvas bags to hold our goodies in. Otherwise, a simple plain brown shopping bag (which is what Martha’s people did for one of the shows) would suffice! At least half of us were tourists and I must have been the only person who’d brought a bag big enough to fit the stuff in (I’d brought one of my Go Green bags with me since I planned on grocery shopping after the show). It was silliness, afterwards everyone had to lug around a big bowl filled with cookies, a moppine, the Screwpull and a DVD! How unwieldy! Seriously disorganized.
All in all, it was a fun experience and goodies always make it better! I highly recommend trying out for tickets if you’re in the NYC area or even planning a small trip to NYC if you manage to score tickets. Lots of fun.
As it happened to be today’s episode, here’s the link to their show information.
PS I also noticed her staff tends to pick up and start talking like her. A few of them said things like “How COOL is that?!” etc. Very RR phrases. Too funny.
***I’ll be doing a separate post about the cookies.