I surprisingly had a number of people write me to finish my experience as a member of Fast Money’s live audience. I was a little surprised because I got the feeling that I was going off topic for a personal finance blog. Alas you requested and I can’t make you wait any longer, so I hope enjoy part 3 of the story. For those who missed part 1 and/or part 2, where have you been?
We last left off with my ticket not really being a ticket and despite being early, I’m a member of the standby audience to see the live broadcast of CNBC’s Fast Money.
1:10 – I finally get to the front of the line and receive my standby ticket. I’m the 14th standby person. I tell myself that’s actually not bad. There are at least a hundred people behind me, probably closer to 150.
1:12 – What is this? It is food! I thought for sure that I’d starve since this took place right through lunch. Unfortunately, it’s what my anti-PC friend would call, “fat people’s food.” I don’t care, chocolate chip cookies and regular coke (I have switched to diet years ago) will shoot my blood sugar to about a billion (or whatever is a high measure of blood sugar).
1:20 – Friends of Charles Schuab are being let in first.
1:25 – Everyone else with a regular ticket is being let in.
1:30 – They are calling the rest of the standbys to go in. Yay!
1:31 – Trickery! It’s just another room where we wait and they pick and choose people at the front of the bunch to go in rather than go by the numbers.
1:41 – As a person by myself, I get priority. People catch on quickly and decide that they are now there by themselves rather than as part of the group they came with.
1:43 – The show starts in 17 minutes. A female staff member in a navy blue shirt has the toughest job in the place. She’s trying to find everyone a place in the studio. She’s rising to the occasion like a champion, politely shuttling people all over the place. Tom Brady would be impressed by her leadership and execution.
1:45 – I’m going in! It’s standing room only at this point, but I don’t care. Everyone else is coming in as well as we line up along a wall.
1:46 – I find a place in the back where I can see a little better than the side wall. At least I’ve got a head on view at this point.
1:48 – Twelve minutes to the show start and Navy Blue Shirt Woman spots me and moves me up to an empty chair near the front of the room! I’m on an aisle to top it off. The suit paid off after all.
1:49 – There’s a huge camera on a robot arm in the center of the room. It sweeps a few feet above the audience controlled by a camera man. If the camera on top falls, it will surely do some damage. People are scurrying all over the place.
1:50 – Dylan Ratigan comes out to talk to the audience. He tells us pretty much what to expect. He also says that the event is sponsored by Charles Schwab. All of a sudden, I don’t mind the Charles Schwab customers getting preferential treatment. He’s cracking a few jokes that are genuinely good. He tells us about the first Google server in the museum downstairs with a plague of 1999 on it like it’s from ancient Egypt.
1:55 – The rest of the panel comes out and they have a couple of things to say to the audience. However, with five minutes to show start, they are rightfully more concerned that they look right and have there stuff in order.
1:59 – There’s a minute to go and Dylan’s ear piece just broke down. You’d think he’d freak out. I’m freaking out. I guess this happens from time to time, but they on the road instead of being at home with their usual set-up.
1:59:20 – They are going to try fix it and are starting to get the back-up system in place.
1:59:45 – It looks like it’s not going to be fixed in time. Dylan takes some parts of it out with just 15 second to the live broadcast.
2:00:00 – Showtime! Dylan gives his usual intro to the show.
2:00:40 – Dylan says he’s going to take the rest of the ear piece out since it’s more of an ear plug.
2:050 – I’m amazed about everything going on. There are big plasmas on the sides of the studio which are showing the actual broadcast. You can tell there’s about a 2 second delay. If I were to throw a nerf ball off of Dylan’s head, it would be on TV. Of course I wouldn’t do such a thing, but it can’t hurt for me to think it.
2:07 – I should have mentioned this earlier, but Karen Finerman is really hot in person. I think her business success helps with this male-heavy audience.
2:20 – At some point in the previous 20 minutes a camera has been in my face. I try to ignore it and focus on the panel, but it’s only 18 inches away. I think to myself, “If I can only hold this out for a little bit, I’ll be on TV.” When I watch the tape at home later on in the evening, I was right! I was on national TV for a good 1-2 seconds, just me, no one else in the picture. I’ve still got at 14 minutes and 58 seconds of fame left to cash in.
2:30 – Things are relatively uneventful. The panelists do their thing and everyone else just watches. Some parts are interesting to me like the SanDisk being a possible take-over target for someone like Apple. They seem to think that oil is going to go down over the long term and are bullish on big pharmacies. This is stuff you could have gotten from watching the show though.
2:35 – They have the CEO of Intel in the studio and he’s there now. He has a cool gadget that looks from my vantage-point to be like a iPhone, but bigger. It’s made by BenQ and can run Windows. It’s not a stripped down version of Windows, but full-out windows. I would love to have this kind of gadget. Interestingly a couple of times during the day the panelists got the CEO of Intel’s name wrong.
There’s more to the show and the post-show activities in part 4, hopefully coming soon.