My Tonight Show Adventure

Confession: I love the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.  I am a major fan of all things entertainment, and since episode 1 of the show, I have been a fan of how Jimmy Fallon has completely reinvented the Tonight Show and brought it to a newer generation.

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Back in May, my best friend and I took our senior trip to New York City.  After weeks of hovering over Facebook and the Tonight Show website, I had scored us two tickets to the Wednesday, May 14th taping.  That day has gone down as one of my favorite adventure memories.

We arrived at the NBC Experience Store around 2:30pm that afternoon and were escorted up the shiny staircase into an old cafe where we were about the 15th and 16th in line.  We waited there for about an hour until we check in, got our awesome Tonight Show wrist bands, and then were escorted back into the beautiful lobby of Rockefeller Center.  We were told to go to the bathroom and meet back at a different part of the building at a set time.

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After spending the next hour or so at Starbucks (where else?), Dakota and I found our meeting location and waited with the other 20 or so people who shared our group letter. I’ve never felt so much tension and excitement in my life as we waited in the hallway to be let up the elevators into the studio. But…I felt the urge to go to the bathroom.  After debating whether or not to try to risk my place in line, I finally sweet talked the security lady into letting me out of line and back into line.  Once I was back, I was ready for the Tonight Show.

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Promptly at about 4:45pm, they sent our group up the elevator and into another holding area and behind the doors was Studio 6B, the home of the Tonight Show.  After another spill about absolutely no phones, photography, or recording, they opened the doors and let us in small groups down the newly built studio audience seats.  An usher took Dakota and myself down the aisle…and down the aisle…and down the aisle until he pointed to our seats ON THE FRONT ROW.

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We could barely contain our excitement as we took our seats on the squeaky red vinyl seats and waited for the rest of the audience to quickly fill in the remaining 300 or so seats. The studio was neat, it was cool, and was much smaller than I imagined.  I took in every aspect of it.  From the writers desk right in front of us, to the handwritten cue cards propped against the railing.   After everyone was in, a rather crude comedian came out to warm up the audience.  It was clear Dakota and I were the loudest and the rowdiest in the crowd (go figure!).  After several jokes, the opening act welcomed the legendary Roots (Jimmy’s band) and they played a warm up show that was absolutely incredible.  (Seriously–I was ready to buy their album after hearing it.)

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After the Roots performed and took their places on the right of the stage, Steve Higgins, the Tonight Show announcer, came out to thunderous applause.  It was time for the Tonight Show to official begin.  The 10-second countdown started.  The studio went dark.  And the Roots kicked off.

“From Studio 6B in Rockefeller Center in the heart of New York City, It’s the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon..”

After the intro, from behind the blue curtain came the man, the legend, Jimmy Fallon. The next hour and 15 minutes was totally a blur as Jimmy interviewed Maya Rudolph and Lily Allen performed. Honestly, the commercial breaks were funnier than the show with Jimmy  interacting with Maya and Dakota yelling “yeah Jimmy!,” being pointed at by Jimmy, and then being scolded by a studio worker.   Throughout the whole time, I could not help but smile and enjoy every moment of watching The Tonight Show unfold live in front of me.

Just as quickly as it began, it seemed like it was time for it to end.  Jimmy ran through the crowd for the closing credits, shook my hand, and then was gone.  The comedian came back out as they took the studio audience out section by section.  We were the last section to leave and as we ascended the staircase, I was so glad that I got the chance to be at  a taping of the Tonight Show.

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Spring Break 2013: Viva Las Vegas

Tomorrow, I am boarding an airplane for another adventure.  While this one isn’t taking me out of the country, it’s taking me to a city that I’ve only seen in movies and cannot wait to explore:

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Las Vegas!

Now, I know it may seem sketchy that I’m headed to Vegas on spring break while most of my friends are in flight to international mission trips, but this is not going to be just an ordinary vacation.  For the first time since the summer of my 11th grade year, my parents and I are taking a real family vacation!  My mom’s 50th birthday is next week, and unfortunately I will not be able to spend it with her because of camp duties, so she had the idea that the three of us would spend spring break in Vegas!  I absolutely cannot wait!

So for the next week, my family will be chilling in style at Caesar’s Palace and taking advantage of the fun dining, shopping, relaxation, and shows that Las Vegas has to offer.   The part that excites me the most? You guessed it: the shows.

My mom has been fantastic in finding shows that we will enjoy while we’re there.  Here’s a sneak peak at what we’ll be seeing this week:

Celine Dion

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Sunday night, I will be hearing one of the greatest female performers ever…live!  I’m a major fan of Celine Dion’s music, and I can’t wait to finally see this lady perform.  Side note:  I will be running to the concert right after the big CentriKid staff reveal!  So Sunday night will be an amazing night for many reasons!

Rock of Ages

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This is a musical that I really wanted to see in London on the West End, but never got around to it because my schedule was too full with other shows.  I can’t wait to see this show and I feel like Vegas will be an amazing location to see a musical that features so many classic rock anthems.

O

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My parents are both big Cirque du Soleil fans, and since I was a kid, we have taken many trips to see the various different shows produced by them.  This family vacation will be no different as we are going to see “O” at the Bellagio Hotel.  This show is totally water based, so it will be a unique experience.

Expect tons of pictures when I get back, and maybe some show reviews! Join me in praying for all of my friends who are spending this break overseas in places like Haiti, Dubai, and the Dominican Republic.  I hope everyone has a fantastic spring break!

-Micheal