It’s Time To Bring Back Virtual Studio Audiences

Covid has brought the worst of times. Or have some been the best?

Does anybody enjoy distance learning? What about distance teaching? I certainly have enjoyed being in virtual studio audiences.

I had never considered trying to buy tickets to be in a regular studio audience before covid. About half of the studio audiences I would want to attend are in locations other than New York City, and getting to New York City from New Jersey with my hair and makeup intact in a “TV ready” way seemed arduous.

I like to run early to appointments, so I’d probably want to treat an in-studio audience gig like an airport departure. It seems besuiting to wake up before the rooster, pack two meals and snacks and a very long book. Of course, like the airport, you could also probably expect to arrive very early to wait for two hours before you wait again in some very long lines.

Online virtual studio audience culture is as easy as missing a flight. Isn’t that the modern dream, to miss your flight to Thanksgiving? What would you do instead? Sit at your desk in some comfy clothes and turn on your computer. That’s how easy it is to be in a virtual studio audience.

You don’t need to buy an expensive plane ticket to another city. You don’t need a germ-filled hotel room. You don’t need to then wake up again at airport time to get ready for what seems like the biggest emotional schlep of all time.

Virtual studio audiences are for the common people. Virtual studio audiences are for people who can only take one day off of work, and who can’t afford to travel. Virtual studio audiences are for friendly folks from around the world who filled out a short application online, and perhaps sent in a picture of them with better hair and makeup than they wore to the filming.

99% of people don’t live within a convenient distance of a TV studio, and yet many people would like to have that experience. Virtual studio audiences are a great opportunity not only to see yourself look like a happy idiot on TV. It could also be a great career credential for all the content creators out there today, for people making their own brands, and for people who aspire for jobs in the media.

So why is TV now ditching their virtual studio audiences, the big screens, the clapping to the side face? Covid cases are still prevalent.

We all want a return to normalcy. Things aren’t really normal yet anyway. However, are some covid accommodations we have made better than normal?

I will miss the days of being on TV moments after I have scooped the kitty litter. I am already nostalgic for my fellow studio audience members who seem to chug a beer during commercial breaks, or else that was a very quick bathroom trip. I’d still rather attend an online class as well so my professor can bathe her mom right afterwards.