Yesterday I woke up at 3:30am in order to leave Hyde Park with Erin by 4:15. We had to be at Harpo Studios to check in by 5:00am. Despite the storm the night before, the roads weren't in terrible shape, so we made it to the West Loop and found FREE parking! As show participants, instead of audience members, we had to enter the building through a side garage door. Then we checked in, showing our IDs and going through the metal detectors. After checking our coats we went down the hall to a warehouse-style room directly behind the stage. The staff had chairs set up along with a big breakfast spread for the 100 of us "Bubble People", as we were called.
We signed our lives away on several forms, which mostly just stated that all footage of us while in the building was property of Harpo...FOREVER (seriously, it said that in all-caps on the form). About 6:30am we lined up to go to rehearsal. For those of you who watched the show, you saw that it wasn't just one huge bubble around all of us. Instead, there were island platforms set into a shallow pool of bubble solution. There was a big island in the center and several four-person island surrounding it. Erin and I were at the back edge of the main island. Unfortunately that meant that we didn't get much face time on camera. I managed to stand on my tiptoes twice to peek over the shoulder of the person in front of me in order to get my face on camera for a millisecond (but it was still there!). However, in a more positive light, Erin and I were on camera at least four times...just not the fronts of us. To capture the whole group, they used a camera that was above and slightly behind us. That means that you could see the backs of us and the tops of our heads quite clearly. And we were part of a world record!!
After our segment, we were led offstage (but not before seeing Oprah a few feet away getting her nose re-powdered), and taken back to the area behind the stage to watch the rest of the show from a big-screen TV. Erin and I only made it through the next segment before we decided we were too tired, and that we should go home and just watch the show later on when it aired again. I know for most of you it aired at 4:00pm local, but for us Chicagoans, it airs at 9:00am and again at 11:05pm. On our way out of the studio, we were surprised by receiving copies of two Oprah Book Club books. Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth was the book they were discussing on the second half of yesterday's show, and Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth is the book that they are just starting.
Even though I'm still exhausted, I'm so glad that Erin and I got to be on Oprah. It's so much fun to say that I helped break a world record by being in a bubble with 99 other people on live television on Oprah! And we got free books, and we get to go back to a taping next week that will air later! It was definitely a crazy and memorable experience. I'm sorry that I have no pictures to post from it, but cameras and cell phones aren't allowed into Harpo Studios, so I didn't bother taking mine. Thanks, everybody, for sharing in my excitement over being on Oprah!