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Honors Club uncovers new fundraising ideas
Posted February 22, 2006

Matthew Loriso
Assistant Editor


When most people think of fundraisers, they think of bake sales, raffles and car washes, as well as the work that goes along with these activities. The University of La Verne Honors Club, however, is more likely to associate a fundraiser with enjoying a show for a few hours.

The ULV Honors Club has actively participated in attending television show tapings to earn money since last Spring.  

Companies such as Audiences Unlimited, Inc. are hired by each show’s production companies to fill in the audience so that they are able to record audience laughter and reactions.  Usually the tickets to the shows are given out for free, but the company is willing to pay when a large enough group volunteers to help fill out the 150 or more seats.

“On average, we bring a group of six or seven people, and the average amount per person is $16 per show,” said Honors Club President David Duong.  “We have made over $800 dollars so far.”

There are advantages in choosing to attend TV show tapings as a form of fundraising, as opposed to other activities such as bake sales.

“[Other fundraisers] require investments and preparation,” Duong said.  “Going to TV show tapings is financially easy with no risk at all.”

One concern with this form of fundraiser is that, unless the amount of people attending the shows is large, the funds raised are often significantly less than with other forms of fundraisers.

“If raising vast sums of money were the club’s highest priority, then I suppose there might be a more lucrative way,” said Honors Program Director Andrea Labinger.  “But a major motivation is just having fun and being together as a group, so I support whatever the students choose to do.”

The students end up having fun, partially because it is such a unique experience.

“It is interesting how a television show is made,” said sophomore business major Adam Elmayan, who has attended tapings for “Freddie” and “Lucky Louie.”  “You don’t get to see that side [of the shows] often.”

 “I liked seeing all of the different cameras and screens,” said sophomore psychology and biology double-major Emily Romo.  “I really liked seeing how the TV crew works together to create the show.”

Romo, who attended a sitcom taping with the Honors Club for the first time in January, has had previous experiences with television tapings.

“I’ve been to two other game show tapings before,” Romo said.  “The past experiences were fun, but I enjoyed the sitcom more.  There is a different atmosphere and tone with the audience…at the sitcom, every audience member seemed to be sincerely laughing at the jokes and enjoying themselves, rather than politely reacting.”

 Aside from the sitcom taping itself, audiences are also entertained by what is known as a “warm up guy,” which is generally a comedian that interacts with the audience before the show and between takes.

 “[The warm up guys] tell jokes, they tell stories, they even perform tricks sometimes,” Duong said.  “One particular guy spoke [a little bit of] every language in the world, which was interesting.”

These comedians are often a necessity to keep the audiences awake during breaks in between takes.

“[The breaks] could be anywhere from five minutes to 15 minutes,” Duong said.  “A good warm up guy entertains you, as well as the crew.”

Altogether, attending TV show tapings is a unique and rewarding way for a group to earn money.  There are definitely benefits from attending the tapings, especially for fans of television.

“You really get to see behind the scenes,” Duong said.  “You get to see how they tape a TV show episode, you get to see stars up-close, and some of the shows are really fun to watch.”

Matthew Loriso can be reached at mloriso@ulv.edu.