Most late night shows and even daytime talk shows need a little audience participation. However, clapping at the beginning of the show and commercials breaks is far easier than it looks. Today, I had the chance to see a live taping of a show that will be seen in September and I had a blast watching the behind the scenes magic of television. However, I could tell that the audience was having trouble keeping up with making all the noise.
Typically there is a full studio of people who make up an audience. Yet, it is summer in Hollywood and audience members won’t sit in for a show unless it is well known. The show I went to today had room for 200 people and maybe 35 were in attendance. Yeah, we had to be loud to make up for the missing masses.
The warm-up man had intentions to make the audience part of the show. Trying to bring out the best energy of everyone in the studio, he kept the clapping going. So much so that when the show actually started everyone was exhausted. Moving those hands is tougher than it looks. It reminded me about all the different claps used on television. There is the golfer clap (quiet but still heard,) the loud clap (easily perform by shaping your hands to create an air bubble) and then the flat clap (it’s the easiest, I suppose.) Add a few hoots and a couple of hollers and the audience can really build up some noise.
While the TV viewers only see a few seconds of clapping, sometimes the audience actually claps a minute or more at a time. It was that way for sure today. We carried on repeatedly and some folks were complaining their hands were sore after the taping. My hands weren’t sore at all and there is reason for that. When I first moved to Los Angeles I was an audience filler as that’s how I paid the bills. I went to every show I could to make money for rent. I filled seats and clapped at every segment. I realized early on that if you want to use your hands to type, you don’t want to be smacking them together repeatedly.
So I guess it’s safe to say there really is four clapping methods and I use the last one today — artificial clapping. The hands move and you smile wide, but those fingers never touch each other. As someone who writes 5,000 words a day, priorities need to be made to make sure the instruments of the craft aren’t ruined. Not to worry though. I did hoot a few times to make up for the need of the extra noise.