Monday, September 28, 2009

We Went to Oprah!!! Chicago, Illinois





So what was Oprah like? Well, it was quite the experience ~ and we actually saw two shows! Here’s the scoop………..

So when Oprah tapes, she usually takes two shows, A and B. The A show requires you to be at Harpo Studios between 7 and 7:30 am (however when we showed up at 7am, there was already quite the line – lesson learned – go early!) and the B show starts processing people between 11 and 11:30am. So after showing ID (and realizing that Brad was maybe one of 5 men in that audience), we sat upstairs for about an hour watching Oprah show moments and chatting with other audience members. Finally, we were let in and give seats in the studio. What to say about the studio – well, there’s her light yellow couch, and as in the other studios we’ve been in, it’s much smaller than it seems on television. We listened to a women chat about what to do when talking, how to act, etc…, then out of nowhere, Oprah appeared (carrying her shoes). There was no, “Heeeerrrrreeeee’s Oprah!” announcement – just Oprah, her shoes, and a bunch of people fussing about her hair, clothes and make-up. Pretty quickly she put on her very high-heeled shows and did the monologue into the camera as you see on television. Then during the commercial break, she walked the 10’ to her couch, the guests sat as well, as the show began, with commercial interruptions planned, and all that.

The first show we saw (actually both shows) wasn’t a happy – it was about a man on Indiana death row for the mid-1990’s killing of his wife, her brother and brother’s wife while the children slept in the bedrooms. The children of the brother and his wife, as well as a niece who lived in the house at the time, were on the show, and the killer (their uncle) was shown from prison in Indiana, with his son by his side. Since the man was on death row and slated for execution in a few weeks, the family (those mentioned, along with other aunts, uncles and grandmothers) were torn with whether or not he should be executed. To be honest – it was very “Jerry Springer-like” – not really to our liking, and not a show we would watch if we were flipping channels in the comfort of our own home (or RV, whatever the case may be).

One thing that was very interesting to watch was Oprah watching the family members for reactions (off camera) and asking questions/following-up with the convicted killer, in response to those reactions. It was interesting to see her mind working, and to see the interviews progress.

The BEST part was that after the show (maybe because Oprah was in the mood, or knew the show wasn’t going great – no one could answer a question with more than 5 words) she took off her shows, kicked up her feet, and chatted with the audience for a good 30 minutes! People asked her about her recent interview with Whitney Houston, her season premier with the flash mob dance, and more. She was very chatty, sharing stories of her own life, asked us questions – it was all very cool to see her in this light.

As said, we saw two shows. As the audience was being dismissed from this show, there was an announcement that there were stand-by seats for the second show of the day, so Brad ran and got our names on the list – out of 4 seats available, we were numbers 3 and 4! The second show was more interesting, but not any more light-hearted or fun, and was about a group of 5 women (ages ranging from early 40’s to early 60’s) who were among a group of nine women who unknowingly dated the same man for years who infected all of them with HIV. Since he knew he was HIV positive and with reckless abandon infected these women (and maybe more), the women took him to court on the grounds of endangerment with a deadly weapon and won! He is now in prison and serving a 20+ year sentence. As said, this was much more interesting, especially the legal aspects of the case, and the stories were hear-breaking, but it really would have been nice to see Oprah on a day where the topics were a bit more casual and fun, and not so serious.

When done with all the Oprah watching, we went to the Oprah Store! More on that in the next few days (as well as the GREAT food we ate, tip for getting tickets to The Oprah Winfrey Show, and our trip 4 hours south to Springfield, Illinois).

2 comments:

Jerry and Suzy said...

Different strokes for different folks! If that's a thing you like to do, go for it, tell us all about it, and we'll enjoy your story. But never in a gazillion years would we knowngly and willingly put ourselves through somethiung like that, and then run to get tickets to do it all again!

Glad you had the experience and shared it with us! Where do you go next?

Suzanne and Brad said...

Hi Guys!

Not sure where we go next...... but we had more posts about Chicago (and Springfield) coming up!

Always great to hear from you!!

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