Live, from New York, it’s every day of the week.
For a group of New York women, the magic of a live TV taping is a high they can’t get enough of. Zenja Alvarez, Denise Abramowitz, Jeanie Klein and Jacqueline Elbaz attend shows up to four times a week depending on the season, reveling in the wacky segments, celebrity guests and valuable swag. The women, who make time for the shows between part-time work and child care, contend that the best part of the morning show circuit is the excitement, and the unexpected bonds with fellow audience members.
“You meet all different types that you’d never be friends with,” says Abramowitz, who goes to shows such as “Wendy Williams,” “Rachael” and “The View” religiously, adding “I fell in love with everybody.”
Abramowitz, 60, began going to tapings 15 years ago, starting with “The Montel Williams Show,” “Maury” and “The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet,” among others, with free tickets she reserves online through 1iota, which describes itself as an “Audience Casting and Fan Engagement Agency.” Waking up as early as 5 a.m. to get ready and travel from her Midwood apartment to the network shows, Abramowitz, who’s won luggage, luxury weekend getaways, “droves of toys” and her pièce de résistance, a “Big Chill” refrigerator from “Rachael,” is sure to arrive to the Manhattan studios by 8.
Sometimes she brings her sister-in-law, Klein, who says “there’s a few people I met through the shows,” who she texts when she scores tickets. “It’s first come, first served,” says Klein, and they’ve been burned before. “During Christmastime at ‘The View’ a few years ago, they cut off the line right before me and Denise,” says Klein. “We heard they were giving out a Ninja blender, and we missed out on it. We learned our lesson.”
On line, Abramowitz and Klein converge with their fellow daytime fans of all ages “from 16 to late 70s,” says Abramowitz, who loves to schmooze in the audience holding rooms before the show. “You talk about how often you go, which shows you go to, everybody talks to everybody.” One such friend is Alvarez, 49, who Abramowitz calls “the nicest girl in the world.”
‘You meet all different types that you’d never be friends with.’
Alvarez, a Brooklyn native, says, “I’ve been watching television since I was 6, from ‘Marie Osmond’ to ‘Saturday Night Live,’ I love it all.” Now she strategizes how to get good seats at the tapings. “It’s always good to wear bright colors,” she says.
“We started running into each other a lot,” says Alvarez of her audience-member companions. “Denise, I love her. Eventually we exchanged numbers, we take pictures of each other when we see each other on TV at home . . . you start meeting up for lunch or drinks.”
Alvarez says the sisterhood was solidified after the cancellation of “Megyn Kelly Today.”
“A lot of people went through withdrawal after what happened with Megyn, because it was a daily thing for us,” she says. Alvarez credits the spacious waiting area and good atmosphere at Kelly’s 30 Rock studio with many of her audience friendships.
Elbaz, 37, a Brooklyn-based chef and mom of four, who first went to “Rachael” 11 years ago and now goes once or twice a month, says the shows “are good clean fun. I met a lot of friends” such as Denise and Zenja. “I also grew up with Jeanie’s daughter, but now we’ve become close,” she says. “So the daughter texts me and says ‘I heard you see my mom a lot.’”
All the women enjoy a range of segments on subjects such as getting fitted correctly for a bra, making the perfect hamburger or shoveling in the winter, and tend to veer away from the more topical ones. Elbaz prefers the jovial energy of “Wendy Williams” — there’s a live DJ and plenty of audience involvement — and thinks “The View” “is way too political.”
“They only talk about Trump,” says Abramowitz of the roundtable style ABC show. She adds, “Whether you like him or not, do you want to hear about it every day?”
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