When visiting New York City, my brother and I had the opportunity to attend a live taping for “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” which airs on NBC. My brother is a fan of Seth Meyers, so we were both excited to attend the taping for his show after getting standby tickets. Today, I will be sharing my experience attending a live taping with visual impairment and how the NBC pages helped ensure that my brother and I had an awesome experience.
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Getting standby tickets
My brother and I walked to the 30 Rockefeller Plaza, also known as 30 Rock, at around 8:30 am so that we could get tickets for an NBC headquarters tour later in the week. While we were there, one of the staff members encouraged us to get in line for standby tickets to see Seth Meyers that night, so once I got the tour tickets my brother and I went outside to stand in line for the tickets. Since we were towards the front of the line, we didn’t have to wait very long for a staff member to give us our tickets, and they added our names to a list on a clipboard.
Option 2- online tickets
For those who don’t want to worry about getting standby tickets, many shows allow fans to purchase free tickets to a live taping online, though they tend to sell out weeks in advance. My friend did this when seeing a taping of a TV show in California and said that the process was super easy, but I have never done this myself.
What we grabbed before the show
A few items we grabbed before leaving for the live taping included:
- Our state identification cards that showed our names and birthday, since the tickets were non-transferable and there is a strict minimum age of 16 to attend “Late Night With Seth Meyers”
- A small purse that could easily be held during the show and that had my cell phone inside, since no phones are allowed once we get to the seating area
- A lightweight jacket for my brother and a lightweight cardigan for me- the studio can get cold!
- We also grabbed food right before the show since we weren’t sure when we would be eating next.
Returning to 30 Rock several hours later
After a fun day exploring New York City, my brother and I returned to 30 Rock around 5 PM, went through security, and were told to go to the gift shop area where one of the NBC pages would meet us. The first page we met noticed that I used a blindness cane to navigate and immediately offered to help my brother and I with any accessibility-related concerns we might have. I was worried about walking up and down the stairs, so they had us stand in a certain place in the line, so that when the doors opened, someone would be able to escort us to the elevator. We ended up talking to a few pages when we were in line, and everyone was super nice and willing to help.
Going to the waiting area
Before seating began, the pages escorted the standby audience members to a waiting area that was filled with large pictures and videos of different guests that had been on Seth Meyers’s show over the years. One of the pages had us take an elevator to this area and made sure that we knew where we were going. Once we sat down, my brother described the surrounding area to me and helped me with identifying various celebrities that had been on the show.
Another page came up to my brother and I before seating began and asked if we had any accessibility needs for seating. Since I have low vision, I asked to sit as close as possible so that I could hear what was going on, and we ended up sitting towards the front row of the second level of seats. This was perfect, because I could look up at the screens and get a vague idea of what was happening visually, and I didn’t have to angle my head weirdly.
A quick note on photosensitivity
I don’t quite remember when or where I was when I told one of the pages that I was sensitive to bright and flashing lights, but luckily I didn’t have to worry about encountering any flashing lights since the musical guest for this particular taping used slow moving lights that would not trigger a migraine. As for the bright lights, we were seated away from the signs that would light up telling people to laugh or applaud, but if that wasn’t the case I would have worn my sunglasses to the taping.
Let the show begin!
Once the cameras started rolling around 6:30 pm, I was able to follow along with what was going on and didn’t have to worry about relying on audio description or asking my brother questions, since most late-night shows aren’t heavy on visuals anyway. I had my blindness cane folded up in my lap so that I wouldn’t have to worry about anyone tripping on it.
My favorite part- questions from the audience
Many hosts will take questions from the audience during live tapings, and Seth Meyers was no exception. He actually walked through the audience taking questions and was right near my brother and I, so we decided to ask him what the strangest thing was that a fan had ever said to him. He seemed to enjoy this question and told us a fun story about when he was on “Saturday Night Live’ and someone asked him at a bar if he was indeed Seth Meyers. He excitedly told the fan that yes, it was him, and the so-called fan responded by saying “I don’t like you.” It was fun to listen to his answers to questions from other audience members, and to hear his encouraging words for others looking to be successful in the entertainment industry.
Leaving the show and final thoughts
Once the taping ended, another page helped us make sure that we exited safely and escorted us to the gift shop. My brother and I both agreed that watching the live taping of “Late Night with Seth Meyers” was an awesome experience, and I’m sure we’ll attend another taping whenever we return to New York City. I hope these tips are helpful for other people with visual impairments looking to attend a live taping of their favorite show- or maybe even a new favorite!