Last Wednesday was the final presidential debate of 2016. I had one of the best seats in the house to watch the fiasco. No, I was not in Las Vegas to watch it in person, but I did get to sit with the studio audience for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and view it from the many screens on set. Following the debate, Trevor Noah went live to talk about it. I was in the second row up from the set, so I got the experience of watching the making of a television show up close.
This experience was incredible for me. Since I was young I knew I wanted to work for a television show. Around my early high school years I started watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I instantly became hooked by the format of it. The mix of humor with “journalism” allured me. I knew I wanted to work for a show like that.
In 2014 a new show hit television that would completely convince me that I needed to work in television– Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The former Daily Show writer got his own series on HBO. It was the Daily Show but funnier, more informative, and more adult (Oliver loves to point out that he can say whatever he wants on HBO). I had never wanted to personally be on camera because the news bored me and I had no acting chops whatsoever. The idea of having a candid and passionate conversation laced with humor about current events sounded like my dream journal come to life.
This past week I had the privilege to glimpse this type of job without a screen in the way. Instead of watching Trevor Noah, the host, I focused on all the people working the production elements of the show. The camera operators, audio crew members, makeup artists, stage manager, etc. It amazes me how many people are required to produce such a simplistic episode. On tv it appears that Trevor Noah is the only one doing work, but from the studio you see that he is one of many many professionals producing the episode.
I cannot wait to begin my internships and start figuring out which aspect of television I want to do in my career, and in the meantime I will try to get tickets to the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight.