My best friend and I have been friends since the 5th grade. Since our high school graduation we always said that one of our bucket list items was to go on the long running hit game show ” The Price Is Right”.
A little over a week ago we embarked on a week long vacation to Las Vegas and made the four drive to Los Angeles to do just that. I’ll share about our Vegas vacation later, but here’s our experience.
Get Your Priority Tickets
A month prior to our trip my BFF went HERE to get our FREE priority tickets. This is important because when we arrived at the gate there was one hell of a line. I automatically wanted to make a b-line back to the car because me and crowds don’t mix. However, we showed our tickets to the guard and he informed us that priority tickets automatically equal entry. We got to go around the long line. TPIR lets in about 280-300 people per taping. Be aware that not every ticket will be priority. Some will be general which means you aren’t automatically guaranteed entry, but as long as you get there early enough you should be able to get in. We arrived at about 11:45 for the 3:30 ish taping. Get there early!
Once you get pass the hoopla you are ushered into a shaded area where you stand in line and fill out a confidentiality agreement of some sort. The form basically asks you things like do you have anyone that works for the show, CBS etc. It makes sure you are aware that you will be on TV and your face may be shown, as well as informing you what happens should you win a prize. A bunch of other legal mumbo jumbo is included as well. You are also given your famous yellow name tag . After this point you wait in line some more (bathrooms are available) and then head on to a podium area where staff members ask for your ID and enter your info into their system. You are then issued a sticker with a number on it. You can also take this opportunity to visit “The Price Is Right Gift Shop”. After this point you are ushered over to take a picture in front of a green screen which will be sold to you at the end of the taping. They will insert “The Price Is Right” stage and big wheel behind you. Don’t think you can pose cute and quietly because they are looking for screams, jumps and cheers! This was fun but nerve wracking to me because everyone else is waiting in line looking at you. Frankly I felt stupid, but hey if you like the attention then you’ll love it.
Wear Closed Toe Shoes!!!!!
Before I get to the other important parts let me tell you that I now know how it feels to walk around in public naked.
I am normally a researcher and researched everything I possibly could about going to TPIR. Somewhere along the lines I missed researching if there was a dress code. There in fact was one which included not wearing white and wearing closed toe shoes inside CBS Studios. In all fairness it’s listed on the tickets, but my friend printed the tickets so I never bothered to look. Of course I figured it’s LA and 67 degrees it shouldn’t be a big deal and I won’t be the only one wearing flip flops. I was extremely wrong and spent the next 6 hours hiding my feet. I was so nervous I felt sick. Every time a TPIR employee passed by me I just knew I was going to be dragged out by security. Thank goodness for my 5’ft 10 inch tall bestie and the heavy set guy behind me who hid me well. Needless to say I got in after lots of praying and shoo-ing away a group of “Golden Girls” who decided to read me the rules of the show, as if I didn’t know I had a Scarlet letter on my chest. My suggestion is wear sneakers and don’t torture yourself like I did. The nearest store with shoes is a Barney’s and I am pretty sure you don’t want to throw down a few hundred for one day.
After you sign agreements and take pictures you are then ushered to another area with silver benches to sit and wait on. It’s at this point where the producer and his casting person take groups of 20 and begin to interview them. You are basically asked a simple question such as “what do you do for a living?” or “where are you from?”. The producer stands in front of you kind of cracking and jokes and asking questions while the important person in the director’s chair sits with her pen and pad taking notes. How they cast contestants is covered in mystery, but I guess our group was lame because no one from it got chosen. I thought for sure me and my bestie would would have charmed them. Best thing I can say is get hyped and wear an awesome shirt because that plays a big part.
Search…No Rescue from Boredom… and Hunger
The final part before you actually get into the studio is going through security. It’s at this point where they take your phones from you. Don’t worry they are safe and tagged with numbers. You receive a ticket to claim the phone at the end.
You never realize how much technology has taken over until you ask what time it is and no one has a watch. Speaking of watches you are no longer allowed to wear fit bits or smart watches to their tapings so don’t think you will rely on those. Once you get get searched you are ushered to more benches to sit and wait for about another one to two hours (I estimated). They do have TV’s above your head playing old episodes of TPIR so you do have a bit of entertainment. Remember that shoe situation I mentioned earlier. This is where people not having their phones literally almost gave me an anxiety attack. If ever I thought I was going to be dragged to my embarrassment by TPIR security–it was now. When people don’t have their phones they notice everything. On another note you don’t have to worry about being hungry as they do sell food . You’ll find things like pizza and quesadillas plus drinks. It’s a bit pricey but when you are sitting for an eternity with no phone you won’t care. Bring cash to pay! Everyone is friendly and excited though so it’s a good environment! I should mention that the area you are sitting in is shaded, so if it’s warm weather it shouldn’t be too bad.
We’re In…The Taping
After what seemed like an eternity we were ushered into the CBS building, up two flights of stairs, and finally into the shockingly small TPIR studio. I quickly learned that cameras make everything look bigger. The studio was very reminiscent of the 70’s with very colorful Austin Powers like decor. A TPIR employee tells you where to sit based on what I can only assume is how you are dressed. It seemed like the people with fun customized shirts were placed in the front and middle of the studio where the cameras tend to focus most. We were sat on the right side of the studio directly under the announcer’s booth and right in front of the stage. I didn’t see the camera come our way a whole lot, but there were several cameras, so who knows. Either way the taping was super fun. I will say get your hands and throats ready because you will be clapping and screaming a lot. The hype girl will make sure of it! It appears the contestants are already chosen and written on white cards beforehand. So, if you thought they chose them randomly from the audience during the taping then I am sorry to disappoint you. This is why it’s so important to make your mark during those interviews I mentioned earlier.
The show begins and the lights come on and the announcer begins to speak. Drew Carey comes onstage –who by the way is handsome in person. The first set of contestants are called down to the mics. Honestly you can barely hear anything on stage because the mic that Drew is holding is more for the people on TV to hear then it is for you in the audience. During the breaks Drew interacts with the audience and seems genuinely interested in chatting with us. At one point one of the gorgeous TPIR models had to come in stand by me and OMG she was beautiful. Not one hair was out of place and her sequined rose gold body con mini dress was to die for. Other interesting tidbits I observed and learned were that the famous “big wheel” is not built into the stage. It’s rolled out and a red carpet is laid down that is spot cleaned and treated right in front of us. It’s also amazing how many people are working on stage and behind the stage too. I really gained a newfound appreciation for how hard these people work. We also learned that Carol Burnett’s show used to be filmed on TPIR’s stage.
All in all it was a fun time and I think I would have enjoyed more if I wasn’t worried about getting stoned and dragged out the gates of CBS over the shoe situation. I definitely want to go back.
Final Tips To Note
- You can park at The Grove which is about 2 blocks away. You enter the studios on Fairfax. Parking ran us about $24 for the 5 hours we were there. I believe if you are handicapped you can actually go through the CBS gates and park.
- Eat beforehand
- Wear close toed shoes
- Buy the picture they take of you because you can’t take picture in the studios. It runs about $20.