By Dave Acosta
After two-and-a-half days of sessions at the College Media Advisers conference in New York on everything from sports reporting to how to optimize your résumé, the SHFW interns took some time before heading back to D.C. to take a tour of NBC’s studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Thanks to Bianca Fortis, our Hispanic Link intern, whose aunt Miriam Fortis manages the makeup and hair department for the shows taped at the studios, we were treated to a free tour that included the sets of the “Today” show, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live.”
The excitement, however, started before we even entered the building. Taping right outside of 30 Rock was, what else? An episode of “30 Rock.” We stood around for a few minutes and watched Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski and other cast members do a couple of takes. Some interns were so excited they had to be restrained.
Once we were inside, we were taken on what Ms. Fortis calls her “two-cent tour” of the studios. While not an official NBC tour led by a page, the quick, easy (and free! – thanks Bianca and Miriam!) tour took us inside and backstage of some of our favorite shows. We got to look out the famous “Today” show windows overlooking Rockefeller Plaza. We saw the makeup and dressing rooms of stars, including the Jimmy Fallon Show’s house band, The Roots, and caught a glimpse of band-leader Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson.
But the pièce de résistance of the tour was the makeup and costume lab for SNL. We saw the rooms where many of the show’s most memorable characters and costumes were created. We saw rubber prosthetics for the Coneheads, a retired Triumph the Insult Comic Dog hand puppet and dozens of false teeth labeled by the names of the many guest stars who had worn them.
After the tour was over, we hit the NBC gift store so Ham could buy some goodies from his favorite shows – “The Office,” SNL and “30 Rock.” The tour capped off a full weekend of conference sessions, time with family and friends in NYC and sightseeing for all of us in a highly memorable (and bloggable) way.