BURBANK, Calif. - Most people never get to be an audience member on their favorite television shows, but because she was in the right place at the right time, Dawn Greene got to be part of one of her favorite shows twice.
Greene, who is from Painesdale, said she, her grandmother, Helen Tomasic, her aunt, Lindsay Tomasic, and Lindsay's friend, Lane Jensen, were audience members for The Ellen Show in April 2010.
The four women went to visit another aunt in California for her grandmother and Aunt Lindsay's birthdays, Greene said. When the Yoopers got out west, they were given tickets to the show, which is a favorite of theirs.
Photo courtesy Dawn Greene
From left, Dawn Greene, Greene’s grandmother, Helen Tomasic, and Greene’s aunt, Lindsay Tomasic, sit in a waiting area before going into the studio for the recording of the Ellen DeGeneres Show in Burbank, Calif. The group was on the show in April and December.
"We watch it all the time," Greene said. "We're big fans of the show."
Being part of the show was quite an experience, Greene said, because there were many strictly enforced rules.
"We had a packet we received that told us how to dress," she said.
When they got to the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, Calif., Greene said they had their wrists stamped,
"That's to show you went through the first part (of the screening process)," she said.
Greene said they then went through a security screening, which included walking through an airport-style metal detector.
"They really have very tight security," she said.
After the preliminaries were done, Greene said her group was taken into the studio where the show is recorded. They sat in the bleacher-style seats five rows back.
DeGeneres is famous for dancing into commercial breaks, and Greene said the audience also got involved during the breaks.
"You do a lot of dancing," she said.
During the recording of the show, Greene said DeGeneres would give out gifts to audience members.
The gifts didn't stop there, however, because DeGeneres was so impressed with that particular audience.
"That's when she said, 'You're all coming back for my 12 Days of Giveaways show,'" Greene said.
The April 10 show aired the next day, Greene said, and the recording for the next show was on Dec. 12. It aired the following day, also.
Unfortunately, Greene said she and the same three women who went to the April show recording, had to pay their own way to the December show.
However, Greene said being part of the December show - during which they sat in the first row - turned out to be fairly lucrative for her group.
The prizes they received for attending were a two-night, three-day stay at the Octavius Tower at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, $150 dining credit, $250 worth of tickets for a stage show, an iPod, a $250 gift certificate for Ticketmaster, a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, a Casio electronic keyboard and a Zephyr speaker.
Greene said the gifts followed a particular theme.
"She said, 'Today everything is about music,'" Greene said. "Everybody in the audience got the same thing."
Greene said she's selling some of the items she received, but she's keeping the trip to Las Vegas.
"We're actually going to Las Vegas in April," she said.
The trip will also be about celebrating her grandmother's 90th birthday and her son, Matt Jenkins,' 21st birthday, Greene said.
She may use the $250 gift certificate for Ticketmaster next year to attend a Minnesota Vikings football game, Greene said.
During the shows she attended, Greene said DeGeneres didn't spend much time talking to individual audience members.
"Because of time restraints, she doesn't interact with everybody," she said.
Although DeGeneres didn't interact with her, Greene said she recorded both the April and December shows. She even saw herself enjoying the show.
"I said, 'Yep. I was having a good time,'" she said.
Greene said she had a wonderful experience being part of the Ellen DeGeneres Show not just once, but twice.
"It was an experience of a lifetime," she said. "Most people don't get to go on a show once in a lifetime."