If you know me well, in real life, you probably know that dancing makes me very, very anxious. If you were at my wedding, you might remember that we didn't even have dancing - just a singer and a guitar and some conversation and lots of alcohol. If you invited me to a dance club, I'd probably fake an illness and curl up in my sweatpants and thank the lord I managed to wiggle my way out of it. So yeah, let's sum up this paragraph by saying dancing stinks.
When my friend Andrea invited me to the Ellen Show, I was so excited that I didn't think about the dancing - I just said "yes!" Then the security guard mentioned that it was like a nightclub on the set and I started to get a bit sweaty. I totally forgot about the dancing. I figured it would be okay though. Back in the middle of the crowd, I could sway a little and clap and woo. Fake it till you make it, right?
Later, when we were sitting on benches filling out surveys, one of Ellen's staffers came and started chatting with us. She, just like everyone else involved in the show, was SUPER nice and invited the both of us to come to an area under a tent with about twenty other people. We felt special, needless to say.
We went outside into the parking lot and the staffers told us we were made up of some of the most friendly and excited people in the crowd. From there, no hard feelings, they were going to go down the line and send some of us back to the crowd and some of us to the bungalow. Both Andrea and I got sent to the bungalow (we made it through cut number two!) and joined about ten other people in a little building.
The staffers chatted with us about the show and how high energy really makes it special and fun for everyone and that they wanted us to be the most excited people out there. They then said that if being called up on stage or being asked to play a game or having to dance on TV made us feel more nervous than excited, we could opt out then and go back to the big group. Now was our chance to leave.
Of course, having to dance on TV made me nervous. So while I sat there, contemplating raising my hand and weighing the pros and the cons as Libras do, knowing the right answer would come to me....yeah while I was doing that, the staffers moved on to the next thing. I lost my chance to opt out so maybe I'd have to dance on TV. No biggie. Right.
They went around and asked us more questions and had us role play how we'd act if Ellen called our name (lots of jumping, crying, dancing and high fives - even that was pretty hard for me to role play). I figured if Ellen called well my name, well adrenaline would carry me a long way. In a room with ten strangers, well, fake it till you make it again, right? Then we were done.
Andrea and I were seated in the second row right on the aisle, right behind the cameras and so stinking close to Ellen! She's beautiful and funny and radiates such great energy. I have to tell you, as nervous as dancing makes me, I danced my heart out (well, as much as a non-dancer can dance) and I sang and clapped and did a lot of wooing. There's something about all that energy and all the positivity that makes you want to move. It was just so much fun.
The guests were Dylan McDermott, Keke Palmer, Ryan Adams and this amazing high school football coach who has dedicated his entire life to making his students lives better. It all went by really fast and by halfway through, I realized that I was getting a serious cardio workout.
Neither one of us got called down to participate in the show, but it didn't matter. It was an amazing experience from start to finish.
We finished our day (to avoid driving though LA rush hour traffic) at The Smoke House - a historic restaurant right off the grounds of the studio. The walls were dark and paneled with wood. They had menu items like the "Sinatra Steak" and the biggest piece of Boston Cream Pie I've ever seen. The wine was expensive but the pours were generous. It was great.
I bought a tee to remind myself to "Have a little fun today."
I'm still feeling the energy from yesterday :-) Happy Wednesday! A big thanks to Andrea for the invite and to Oma for watching the girls. The show airs today.