They say New York is the city that never sleeps.
Well, neither did my best friend Emily and I, when we were sleep-deprived the entire weekend we visited last August.
As I was planning our trip, I had to think about what we hadn’t already seen in the city. We had both been countless of times, so we definitely weren’t interested in any of the tourist attractions. But we were also trying to sightsee on a college student’s budget, so our options were limited.
Somehow, I stumbled across an opportunity to be in the audience of the Good Morning America show. I applied on a whim, and I was able to get Emily and I tickets for the last day we were in New York.
Several random people texted me that they saw me on their TVs while they were eating breakfast that day, which I thought was pretty funny.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can have your shot at being on the show!
Three weeks prior
GMA has live tapings Mondays through Fridays, and they schedule tickets through 1iota.com, where you can see available dates for the next month. By clicking on each date, you can also see who the guest stars will be. Slots fill up quickly, so signing up as early as possible will guarantee you a seat. If you have a large group of friends, you can even book tickets for up to 10 people. Reserving tickets is completely free.
The application process is quick and easy—there is a box where you can explain why you love Good Morning America. I made sure to be as personable as possible. I explained that we not only grew up watching the show, but we were both students at the University of North Carolina majoring in journalism. We wanted to see the live taping to also see the behind the scenes of a full production television show.
I received a confirmation email that I had been placed on the waitlist for tickets shortly after.
Two weeks prior
I received an email from 1iota saying that my ticket request status changed from “Waitlist” to “Available.” I immediately confirmed and printed my tickets, which gave us priority seats for the show!
Three days prior
I received another email confirming my check-in time as a priority ticket-holder. We were told to “dress as if we were going to a nice dinner.”
The Day of the Show
The check-in time for the show started at 6:45AM, but we had to be in line by 7:15AM. However, Emily and I wanted to be towards the front of the line, so we decided to get to the studio much earlier than we were supposed to.
After a mere two hours of sleep, Emily and I got up at 5AM. We took an Uber from her cousin’s apartment in Chelsea and got to the studio in Times Square shortly after.
When we arrived, there were only four other people in line. As the time got closer to check-in, the line grew longer and wrapped around the curb.
The show assistants finally let us in at 7:15AM, where we were escorted upstairs and checked in our jackets and bags. The wait was worth it, as we were sat up at front row.
Before the show started, the MC got to know everyone in the crowd and got us excited to be there. He even coached us on the expectations of being a part of GMA’s audience, meaning that we had to smile constantly, laugh at all of the jokes, and clap excessively.
The coolest part of the show was meeting the hosts, who I had seen on my TV screen for years. They walked around the entire show floor, talking to everyone as well as taking pictures. We got to meet Robin Roberts, Michael Strahan, and Ginger Zee!
The guest star of this episode was Nick Kroll, an actor featured on “Big Mouth” and “The League.” I was sitting right behind him, so I got lots of camera time while he was being interviewed by the host.
After the intermission, there was a segment about easy and healthy cooking on a college budget, based on a cookbook called “100 Days of Real Food on a Budget.” The author, Lisa Leake, demonstrated two different recipes. It was completely coincidental, but it seemed like the perfect episode for us, as two broke college students. Everyone in the audience also got a copy of her cookbook for free!
The taping was over by 10AM. Overall, it was a phenomenal experience, and it makes me want to apply to be a part of other audiences in other shows in the future (Dr. Phil? The Ellen Show?).