Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Being in the audience for the finale of "Penn and Teller Fool Us"

So, this is pretty much my first blog post that wasn’t directed from an article which I wrote for various other sites. Last Friday (Friday 20th 2011) I and a few friends went to be audience members in the show airing on ITV1 in England, “Penn & Teller Fool Us”.

These guys are real idols of mine (and I don’t have many; I’m not one to be easily star-struck, but these guys along with, for example, Derren Brown are some real inspirational people to me). I will honour the fact that, although obviously I’m not contractually obliged, they asked us not to disclose any specifics such as whether or not they were fooled or any other major specifics of the show. All I will say is it was a great show to be a part of and I can’t wait to see how it edits onto TV; we were told that the particular episode we were seeing (the finale of the series) was to be aired on the 18th June.

I say this in such high spirits, despite the fact that it was an extended wait of about 2 hours and we were in there for approximately 4-5 hours as they needed to do pick-up shots for earlier shows and such. The guys were absolute gems about it, Penn Jillette even literally came out and basically said “Look guys, we’re sorry about this, we’re only going to rehearse for 10 minutes and it’ll be shit, but we’ll get you in faster,” which I really appreciated and must say, they were spot on, even to the point of them deciding that to reward us for our patience in the re-shooting of introductions by Jonathan Ross, they’d give us a look at another one of their tricks (I won’t say which one) and it was absolutely brilliant. How Teller (it was Teller solo) managed to prepare and perform this trick on the cusp was beyond me.

It was even amplified for me from a personal perspective as, when they were preparing this trick, I was in pain I needed to go the toilet so bad, so I was taken to the toilets backstage, had a quick slash and wasn’t allowed back into my seat as it would involve interrupting the filming. Because of this, I was given the opportunity of watching from the side-lines which was absolutely brilliant. I even had Penn literally walking past me as I was watching. I thought about saying hello or patting him on the back or something but I was too intimidated to even make eye contact (again, not easily star-struck, so this was new to me). Also, I respected his privacy, I mean there was no security to speak of there, I could have just walked up to him, but I wouldn’t want little weirdoes salavating at the thought of meeting me.

Which brings me to my next point about the show: I was truly shocked by the incredible non-existence of the security whilst filming was going on. Literally not one bodyguard or any form of security staff – just the crew and the ushers. For this, I certainly respect them both – the fact that they hadn’t let fame go to their heads. Perhaps it was something to do with the fact that they are not as well known in England as they obviously are in America, so they don’t get rushed in the streets or anything, but I don’t know. It’s just speculation on my part.

About 2 hours or so before we were let in, in fact, the pair of them literally walked past the queue for their own show and the only person to notice was my friend, Mike who shouted “Waheyyy!” at them. They acknowledged him, perhaps out of duty and walked on their way without hindrance. I heard a rumour that they even got the tube in, but as I say, it’s an unconfirmed rumour.

Anyway, a quick mention of Jonathan Ross: he was funny, kept the crowd morale up in between filming and even gave us a little inside-look at one of his own magic tricks he later showed P&T…it all went wrong for him of course, but hey, he tried. ;)

On my friend’s behalf, I wish to apologise to Penn & Teller for the idiot he must have looked to them (he felt really bad about it afterwards) and want to thank them for a brilliant show and for thinking of the fans over themselves. Great show, tune in on ITV to watch it, I wish I could have had the courage to talk to them, but there ya go.

If anyone’s interested I got the tickets for free through the official website: www.sroaudiences.com Check ‘em out if you’re interested in being in the audience for any shows. 

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