Oprah, Oprah, Oprah. What can I say? After 25 years and all that stuff and all those things. How can I ever put this into words? Oh, I know:
(The following is a blog I wrote after having watched a bit of a particularly revved-up episode. I was amazed. I was intrigued. Mostly, though, I was alarmed.)
Ok, what the in the name of Steadman’s mother does Oprah feed her audience? Seriously. I have never, ever been whipped into a screaming, jumping, lightheaded, foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy as these soccer moms in attendance. Well, not in public. Much.
I mean, what must the days leading up to the Oprah show be like for these easily excitable women? I venture to guess they are forwarded a to-do/to-don’t list along with their tickets and “suggestions” in preparation for their big a-ha! moments with the ‘Rah.
Maybe something like this:
Are you ready for the most life-altering, earth-shattering moment known to woman? This is truly your first big O! You have been chosen (because you know all things led to this) to witness the power of Oprah, upfront and personal.
Please note: You will not touch Oprah unless she touches you first. You will do nothing to distract Oprah from bringing her vision to the masses. We ask that you do not actually look directly at Oprah, as the long-term effects of her preferred lighting have not yet been determined. Uncontrollable sobbing, fanning yourself and blinking too fast are also strongly discouraged.
Here are some suggestions to make your visit to Harpo Studios most rewarding for you and, of course, Oprah. Be advised: Entrance to Harpo Studios is not guaranteed by this ticket. Failure to meet specific standards may result in your denied access. We can’t tell you exactly what these stipulations are, as they change with Oprah’s moods, weight and hairstyles. Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to sharing the Oprah-mysticism with (some) of you.
1) We encourage frequent trips to your local mall to find your Oprah-cam-friendly/skin-tone complementing bright top/festive scarf/quirky lapel pin. Please refrain from wearing any colors that Ms. Winfrey herself may wear during taping. These include (but are not limited to): Navy, Black, Red, White, Off-White, Cream, Eggshell, Candlelight, Oatmeal, Ochre, Rice, Coral, Fuschia, Eggplant, Sage, Emerald Green, Kelly Green, Hunter Green, Mint Green, Apple Green, Turquoise, French Blue, Blue Blue, Yellow (any shade), Orange, Teal, Brown, Sand, Beige, Taupe, Peach, Pink (light or dark), Sky Blue, Violet, Chartreuse, Caramel, Rust, Tan, Purple, Grape, Lilac, Purpley Pink, Dusty Rose or any shade or combination of the above.
Also, use care when selecting the fabric for your audience-day outfit. Cashmere, wool, tweed, gabardine, chiffon, silk, satin, lace, leather (including suede), fur and cotton are all off limits, depending on the day. However, bear in mind that Oprah doesn’t wear synthetic fabrics, nor should you. Please do not call in advance with wardrobe inquiries. If you were meant to be in the audience, it will be so, by Oprah.
2) We advise a trip(s) to the salon for camera-friendly hair, such as a conservative bob, styles with wispy face-framing layers, a demure French twist and anything that adds ethnic flavor. However, this season, we strongly discourage curls of any sort.
Also, do not try to compete with or copy Oprah’s hairstyle (past or present) in any way. We ask that your hair be shiny and glossy. The light that is reflected and bounced off your bowed head will serve to make Oprah glow brighter. Do not wear distracting hair ornaments, hats or the like. And please, no visible roots or distracting weaves.
3) We ask that you refrain from sleep for at least 3 days prior to the show taping. This will ensure your emotional fragility and vulnerability, slow your reaction time and boost your excitability.
4) We recommend professional teeth whitening.
5) Do not eat the following foods for at least 3 weeks prior to show taping: fast-, Mexican, Southern, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, French or “fusion.” Specifically, refrain from poultry, fish, beef, pork, garlic, spices of any sort, salt (causes unsightly bloating), carbohydrates and dairy. Certain vegetables are acceptable in moderation. No, we can’t tell you what they are.
6) If you are prone to fainting, please alert one of the staff upon your arrival. You may be asked to sit in the front row; you may be escorted from the premises.
7) If you even fleetingly consider the notion that you may be a part of an Oprah’s Favorite Things show, you will be immediately asked to leave Harpo Studios.
If and when you have satisfactorily passed the required evaluation and security and are assigned a seat, you must not expect to be in said seat for more than 3.4 minutes at a time. Screaming, jumping, hugging (each other, never Oprah unless she specifically hugs you first. Yes, we’ll know.), whooping, stomping (gently), clapping, praying, crying (no mucus) and over-zealous laughing are all encouraged at specific times. We can not tell you when these times will be. You will just know–or you will be escorted from Harpo.
You will be expected to sign a waiver, releasing Harpo Enterprises and all connected with it, from any responsibility of any kind forever. Failure to do so will result in your ejection from the Harpo premises.
Your image, likeness, name, address, phone number, email address, cell phone number, children, mother’s maiden name, social security number and soul may be used and/or distributed at Oprah’s discretion.
Thank you and (possibly) enjoy the show.