3 Simple and Not At All Confusing Rules for GMA
by Jack Archambault
Every once in a while at the paper, we get emails about fun goings-on in New York City. Being the paper, these are usually right up our alley, meaning they’re any combination of quirky, fringe, and downright bizarre. My favorite of these emails are the ones we get every week from Kostas Salomidis, a publicist for the Greece-based death metal band Lachrimae, and a man who I believe is actually the paper’s resident metalhead Christian Decker in disguise. While I will probably never know how an obscure Greek band found out about an obscure American newspaper, that’s beside the point. These emails are appreciated because they give us an opportunity to go into the city and see shows and exhibitions we otherwise would not. I wish we could go to all of them, but alas, we have a small staff and it just isn’t always possible.
In January, however, we got an email from Good Morning America, saying they would love to have our group at their show. It had to be a mistake, I thought. There’s no way in hell that GMA would want us at their show. But, I also thought, what if we got invited and The Ram didn’t?? But despite the fleeting (and certainly false) sense of superiority I got from this email, it turned out I was right. GMA did not want us at their show. And they were going to rub our faces in it.
I sent GMA three follow-up emails saying yes, we would be interested in attending a taping of their show, but was greeted by silence. Assuming the email was sent by a bot or by mistake and needing to back up the premature promise I made to the rest of the staff that we were going to meet Michael Strahan, I decided to request tickets the regular way.
The regular way, for anyone who doesn’t know, involves going on 1iota.com and putting in a request for tickets. You can get free tickets for all sorts of events this way, such as Late Night with Seth Meyers, The View, and even Pickler & Ben (which I’ve never seen, but based on my knowledge of Kelly Pickler from American Idol, consists solely of her trying to pronounce ‘calamari’).
Well, I got the tickets and we were eight dedicated individuals ready to leave Fordham at 6 a.m. to head down to Times Square. Trudging through temperatures in the teens and a ferocious crosswind, we finally made it to the studio exterior at 6:44, one minute before our check-in deadline of 6:45. I think now would be a good time to mention that we had priority tickets, which essentially means you are privy to an early entrance period, from 6:15 to 6:45, before the general ticket holders. So, you can imagine my shock when we arrived and were greeted by a man named Peter, with whom I had a conversation that went something like this:
“Hi, we have priority tickets for the show, did we make it in time?”
(Peter, not even humoring a glance at his watch) “Well, unfortunately…”
(Peter leaves to talk to another group that was evidently a greater priority. A woman walks over to us.)
“Hi, what was he saying to you?”
“He just said, unfortunately. That doesn’t sound too good.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
“Yes, unfortunately, we’re all full for this showing, but if you let me scan your ticket, I can make sure you have priority tickets to another showing.”
“We already have priority tickets to this showing.”
“I’m sorry, but you really should have arrived at least an hour earlier.”
“But on the ticket it said between 6:15 and 6:45.”
“When you come back, arrive at least an hour earlier. The people who got in have been waiting since 5.”
“That’s really sad, and if you have to show up at 5 why does it say between 6:15 and 6:45 on the ticket?”
“I’m sorry, but I can offer you priority tickets to another showing.”
“Do you know what the word priority means, Peter?”
“It means arrive at least an hour earlier.”
And so it went. We didn’t get to see Good Morning America, and I can’t talk to anyone named Peter for another month, maybe two. But at least now I’m wise to their game, and I can pass along that wisdom. If you are planning on going to see GMA, make sure to follow these three rules:
1. Arrive at 5:30, but really 4:30 just to be safe.
Coaches of sports teams love the saying, “If you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re late.” I always thought this was stupid. Just tell people what time they should show up and stick to it. GMA does not agree with me and even takes that saying four steps farther. Whatever time it says to arrive on your ticket, subtract an hour. Then another, just to be safe.
2. If you arrive too late, Peter will tell you to wait outside because apparently, sometimes Robin Roberts comes outside and says ‘hi’ to the crowd.
We didn’t wait to find out, but I can promise that this is a lie. More likely, Robin steps outside, asks where the priority ticket holders are, and then ignores them and greets everyone else.
3. When you inevitably show up too late and Peter tells you that you can’t get in, there’s a nice diner a few blocks away called The Red Flame. Eat breakfast there.
We did and we had a wonderful time. The food was great, the staff friendly, and the bathroom glistening.
If you keep these three rules in mind, you should have a great experience at GMA. When you get there, tell Peter I say hi.
P.S. If anyone from ABC reads this and I end up applying for an internship or job at Good Morning America, consider this my cover letter. And don’t worry, now I know to arrive at least an hour early for my interview.