After Sunday's concert, I enjoyed dinner and a small party before heading to bed - I had to get my beauty sleep for the Oprah Winfrey Show! Oprah was taping two shows at the Kennedy Center in DC and thanks to a friend of a friend I had three tickets! I have been a fan of Oprah for about 15 years and this truly was a dream come true! Looking back it almost feels surreal - did I really see her?
It was another chilly day in DC, J. and I even saw a little snow as we walked down to Foggy Bottom to meet my friend C. The information sheet had told us to get there before 11am, but no earlier than 10am. We got to the Kennedy Center around 10:10 and there were already tons of people outside! We had to line up after the color of our wristbands. It quickly became apparent that blue meant the proletariat because the blue line was loooong while the red and white lines were very short - actually they were pretty much going straight into the building. Not that I cared though - I would gladly have accepted a standing room ticket just to be there!
Luckily, we got in around 10:45, and we were happy to warm up. I checked my coat (and those with cameras had to check them - they were very strict on that) before we started waiting in another line, this time for security. We were pretty much at the front of that particular line at that time, but that didn't mean we got to go inside! No, no. After another half hour we were let into security - before we joined a third line. This one was looong and we realized we were pretty far back... We waited there until about 12noon, when they started letting people in. Unfortunately we were on the third and last balcony, but fortunately we were on the first row of that section - which meant we could actually see ourselves on TV later! We had been told to wear bright colors (apparently it looks good on TV) so there were lots of pinks and reds and yellows and greens. I have never seen such a colorful bunch of people! I of course followed Oprah's order and wore a bright pink sweater.
We waited for about half an hour before they started with announcements and warm-up. We were instructed to take off our wristbands so they wouldn't show but I decided to keep mine on as a souvenir. The warm up lady was nice and she got the crowd fired up - not that we weren't already! We knew that celebrities were going to be on the show, but it turned out there were several in the audience as well, such as Maria Shriver and Glenn Close. One really nice moment in the warm up was when the lady told us to give a hug to the person we had brought today, saying that we had probably all brought someone very special - we'd only give our tickets to someone really worth it! I hugged J. and C. and even got a little teary eyed - C. and I have been friends since working together in Nicaragua in 2002 and now she is moving to Paris. I will miss her!
Oprah herself came out before the show started and we all went crazy! She was very sweet and funny. People were yelling out the weirdest question but she was totally gracious about it. I really enjoyed seeing the energy on stage and all the different stuff happening - make up, cameras, security. It was pretty surreal to see Oprah live! She has an amazing way with people and it seems like she can make anybody comfortable, be it a famous guest or an audience member.
The show started and we all went wild once again. The first guests were Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, providing eye candy for women and men alike! Ashton was funny and Demi was rather nervous, but it was a nice interview. In between the live interviews they had video clips with lots of different celebrities talking about the elections, civil rights, Obama, etc.
The "surprise guests" turned out to be Joe and Jill Biden. (Joe and Dr. Biden as I like to call them.) They are very sweet but then Jill committed a big gaffe: she said that Joe had got the choice between being Secretary of State or Vice President! Ooops! The whole audience let out a gasp of "oh no she didn't" and Joe turned bright red. Pretty funny!
The America song was a little cheesy, but I was really excited to see Mary J. Blige and Seal. The crowd LOVED Mary and kept yelling "We love you Mary J.!" At the end we all stood and sang along while holding hands. Nice!
Then it was all over and it was time to head out. I felt a little bit like a deflated balloon! It was an amazing experience and I am so glad I got to go. The anticipation since November and the excitement of receiving my tickets all culminated in one awesome day. And I was excited to see that Oprah seems just as fun and nice off camera as she does on. I will always be a fan!!