I’m couchsurfing here in Tallinn. It’s great to hang out with locals and occasionally you get to do something totally random. Like when my host asked me if I wanted to go to the TV station, where he worked, to watch a live show. Why not? It was only when we had arrived however, that it dawned on my I would be part of a live audience. Also, not only would I have to look like I understood what was happening, I would need to clap periodically. That would all be fine if I actually understood Estonian but this language is so hard to decipher, I don’t even know how to say “hello”.
No matter, I’ve previously been an extra on an episode of Power Rangers (in Auckland) and in the second Hulk movie (in Toronto), so with screen credits like those I’m almost a professional actor. All I need to do is act like an Estonian audience member!
The show started and I was very confused in the beginning. All I did was clap whenever other people clapped and cheered whenever anyone cheered. It’s not rocket science really, to be part of a live audience. I did seem to always look the wrong way however. Maybe you’re not meant to look around the studio.
As the show progressed, I got the gist of the show. It was a reality TV series called “Filmitalgud” (Movie Factory), where ordinary people were selected to compete to become movie stars. This was the series finale where two winners would be selected. The final male contestants were the army officer and dorky mechanic. And the final female contestants were the law student and super-hot model. I was rooting for the super-hot model (with questionable acting skills) and dorky mechanic.
Halfway through, I started to lose interest and tried my best not to fall asleep on live Estonian TV. The producers were trying to drag the show out so that people at home had a chance to text in their votes. Finally, the result came through: the army officer and law student won. Now they get a movie deal with both of them in leading roles. Pretty good idea for a reality TV series.
The best part of being part of a live audience though, is the after-party. There was champagne, cake and a variety of finger food. Seeing that I can’t speak Estonian and Estonians seem to be quite shy to speak English (even though many are fluent), I didn’t bother mingling. Instead, I decided to get drunk and stuff my face with food. Estonian rye bread is amazing by the way. And cheese. And meatballs.
Pretty sweet deal, to clap for an hour in exchange for champagne and finger food.
Have you ever been an extra or part of a live audience?