How does one not freak out while meeting Joel McHale?
Today was one of the absolute best days ever (there can be like 50 of those, right?) because I saw a live taping of the infamously satiric show—The Soup—and it was so meaty.
My dad used to watch the show religiously. So growing up in my house, it was on every week.
I guess you could say I was pretty excited.
We gathered in the lobby of NBCUniversal, went through a security check and were handed badges, and then escorted through the doors of the studio. The E! News set was completely covered, and the studio-look was replaced by a hanging green screen, black curtains, and rows of chairs on each side of two large cameras.
A few minutes after we were seated and hyped up by the awesome and hilarious producer, Joel McHale walks onto set: in the flesh and as hot as ever (I think he looks even better with age…….and facial hair).
And who was by his side as tonight’s special guest?
Oh, only JANE LYNCH.
GLEE STAR, GAME SHOW HOST, AND MY IDOL.
As I turned to my friends Wells and Shelby, I had to cover my mouth to keep from screaming any louder than I already was because all of my dreams were coming true and I didn’t want to be carried out on a stretcher—or worse—by security.
Joel was extremely funny and incredibly charming. During commercial breaks, he would talk to the audience, make us laugh, and tell us stories. In between takes, he would run over to a little stool, take a sip of his Starbucks tea, and then run back to the “X” on the floor and tell a joke to the camera like he never left. I’m pretty sure we should either be married or best friends or both.
After the show, Joel invited everyone in the audience to come up, meet him, and take pictures. He told everyone to not be shy and meek and like “hicanitakeapicturewithyou.” His exact words, and I quote, were, “Be bold.” It’s my mom’s birthday today (Happy Birthday, I love you!), so I asked if he could wish her a Happy Birthday. He told me he couldn’t do video, so I asked if I could take a selfie with him instead and put text under it or something, and he was like “Sure?”
I hope he still wants to marry me.
Even though today was super cool, and Jane Lynch is really awesome, and Joel McHale is the greatest—
we already knew those things.
Or at least, I did.
So what’s the real lesson?
There’s always something going on behind the scenes.
When watching The Soup growing up at home, I laughed at Joel, laughed at the clip he was talking about, laughed at him again, watched a commercial or two, then did it over again until the show was over.
Today—and like the day I shadowed in the control room at my internship—I realized that there’s so much going on that we don’t even see; that we don’t even know about. At home, you don’t see the stage manager handing the wig to Jane to wear in the next sketch. You don’t see Giuliana and Jason talking to each other or laughing or checking Twitter in-between graphics and live takes. You don’t see Joel running to sip his drink or him pacing the floor in between two takes. You don’t see the producers scratch out two or three lines because they’re running short on air time.
There are so many cool intricacies. And I while I could have guessed what happens behind the scenes when the cameras aren’t rolling, how would I have truly ever known?
This goes for everything in life: people, places, stories, things. Just because you think (or assume) you know someone, it doesn’t mean you really do. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life. Sometimes you have no idea what they’ve been through that day, or that month, or that year. You might not always know the story behind a person, or a place, or a thing.
While we may not get to figure out everything that happens behind every scene,
it’s a lesson in itself to just realize that things are happening behind what you can visibly see in front of you—whether those things are good or bad.
So be nice to people, realize that everyone and everything has something going on in one way or another, and that everything has a story.
You never know—it may be worth finding out about.