Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Here's a Hollywood secret for you. Laughter.
Do you watch a favorite sitcom and notice the laughing? Yes, those are real people. And they are really laughing. It's not a laugh track or canned laughter. It's real.

I've sat in many studio audiences. Years ago, I got the very popular (and practically impossible to get) tickets to see a taping of Will&Grace. The writers on that show closely monitor the audience. When a funny line is delivered by the actors, the writers watch the audience. Did we laugh? Did we laugh enough? If not, they quickly rewrite the lines, hand them to the actors and they are delivered once again. If we still didn't laugh enough, they rewrite them again and whole process is repeated. Once I watched a scene rewritten and re-acted 6 times! So, needless to say, watching the filming of Will&Grace used to take hours and that's probably why that show won numerous awards.
When Daughter #2 worked on 6 episodes of a funny, but short-lived, sitcom, I sat in the audience laughing. It was lots of fun. Plus, seeing the whole process of a television production is quite amazing. You should try it sometime. Here's a website to get tickets to be in the audience of sitcoms and gameshows: AudiencesUnlimited.

Now here's the Hollywood secret! Did you know there are professional laughers? That's right. They are cast through an agency and placed in the studio audiences to laugh. In order to be cast, you have to have a good, distinctive laugh. Years ago, Daughter #2 got a phone call in the middle of the night. It was an emergency job. They didn't laughers first thing the next morning. The casting agent said, "Let me hear your laugh." So she tried. Have you ever been awakened from the a deep sleep and tried to laugh, on cue? Probably not. It's not easy. Her tired, half-asleep laugh didn't make it. She didn't get the job. Oh well, that's showbiz!

Laughers sit in the audience with the regular folk and laugh and laugh...even when the scene isn't that funny. That's what they're paid to do! Lately I've beening think that I need to pay a laugher to work for me. When things go wrong, wouldn't it be great to have someone laugh for you. On cue!
You see, I don't mention this very much in my blog, but I have Lyme disease. Sat morning it flared up again so I'm working a little slower and trying to take it easy this week. I'm in a support group and have learned a lot from it. I know I don't have it as bad as some. But I'm trying to keep a good attitude about it. I just deal with pain from one joint to another. It feels like someone is holding a hot flame against my joints. I contracted it from a tick bite in New Mexico, July 2007. I'm back on the antibiotics! Well, enough of that!
Anyone know a laugher I could hire?
Here are some pictures that made me laugh today. These are last years 'Christmas card pictures that never were!"
I told my hubby I wanted to flip my hair around and look sexy for our pictures. What do you think?
We just kept laughing.Finally I behaved myself, and took a decent picture, but we were too busy to get them sent out.This one below was my favorite. It's called "Behind Every Good Man, There's a Good Woman." That's the one we should have printed on our Christmas Cards, don't you think?
So in conclusion...I want to share two darling wall hangings I machine quilted. To me, they are saying, "Hang in there, Vivian!"
"Good cheer is a state of mind or mood that promotes happiness or joy... With God’s help, good cheer permits us to rise above the depressing present or difficult circumstances. It is a process of positive reassurance and reinforcement. It is sunshine when clouds block the light." --Marvin J. Ashton.


Summerset said...

A former colleague of mine has Lyme's and his flare ups are really bad, pretty incapacitating. I do hope you're feeling better soon and back to your regular self, laugher not needed!

dee said...

I'm sending you cyber hugs Vivian. I, too, have Lyme's but they caught it early on and I only needed mega doses of antibiotics.
I hope you are resting and being pampered a bit. Pampering always helps!

Material Mary said...

Great post Vivian. I know a person with Lyme disease and you do suffer. Laughter truly is the best medicine. Keep up the beautiful quilting.

Debra said...

Be gentle with yourself! I am sure the quilting can wait.

Your laughter post reminded me of my stint as an audience participant for a talk show. They had big cards that read, Clap, Clap Harder, Keep Clapping. I guess they weren't as sophisticated!

MARCIE said...

Those are great pics of you and hubby! Interesting about the studio audience. Good luck with the Lyme disease. My son had it at 15, but I don't think he has any symptoms anymore.