On August 10th, 2015, I won two tickets to a live taping of The Big Bang Theory. It took me a couple months of trial and error before realizing what I needed to do to significantly increase my chances of winning the tickets. In this post, I'll recount exactly what I did so you gain the best chance of winning the tickets for yourself. A lot of people were bewildered by my luck, but as the quote goes, "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity." The opportunity is there, and now you'll know exactly what kind of preparation it takes to win!
If you have absolutely no interest in my awesome cookies and are only here to learn how to win tickets to a Big Bang Theory taping, scroll down to "How I Devised My Plan to Win Big Bang Theory Tickets and Actually Won." I promise I won't be offended :)
Making Big Bang Theory Cookies
I was on a Big Bang Theory high for a while after coming back from the taping in California so was extra excited to make these cookies. Inspired by some super cute Star Trek cookies I saw on Sugarbelle's blog, I was lucky enough to find the same cookie cutter she used via Ebay. It's a discontinued Wilton boy cookie cutter that looks like this:
It looked like there were quite a few buying options on Ebay though, so if you want to make these yourself, it shouldn't be too hard to find the exact cutter. I was able to get one for about $5.
The cookie dough I tried with these was found on AllRecipes. I have been on the hunt for the perfect sugar cookie recipe and am constantly experimenting with different kinds. This particular recipe didn't quite meet my standards, but they still ended up working perfectly well for this project.
I used this image of the cast to determine what kind of outfits I'd draw for the cookie characters and what colors I'd need to mix for the icing:
Needless to say I ended up mixing probably 15+ different colors and shades of colors just to complete the set of seven cookies I did!
I used Sweetopia's royal icing recipe and decorated the cookies all freehand after a quick and dirty sketch in my notebook to organize my visualization of how I imagined the cookies to turn out:
This wasn't really meant to be a step-by-step tutorial but more of a quick background on the process of how I created these cookies. If you're a fellow cookie decorator, I hope it's enough to inspire you to make these with your own artistic twist! If you have no inclination whatsoever to make your own and are more interested in how to acquire these cute and kickass cookies for yourself or as a gift for a fellow Big Bang Theory fan, you can contact me for a custom order!
Which is your favorite Big Bang Theory couple?
It still isn't too clear to me how long Raj and Emily will last, so my loyalty sticks to the unbreakable bromance between Raj and Howard instead. Can't imagine a better team than Thor and Dr. Jones! (If you don't know what I mean by this yet, it's because it's from the newest episode to air which was the one we got to see taped live!)
Now as promised, I'll tell you the steps you need to take to win tickets to The Big Bang Theory. Let's start by rewinding a few months back to when I first learned about the show, and how I first got the idea to attend a taping.
How I Became a Big Bang Theory Fan
My boyfriend Ryan is a BBT fanatic who got me to start watching the show with Episode 16 from Season 8, "The Intimacy Acceleration." If any of you remember, there was a viral article going around earlier this year about how to fall in love with 36 questions. This episode was centered around that article and was particularly relevant to Ryan and I, because we are living results of the 36 questions experiment. It was on our first date where I decided that if things went well, and I felt comfortable enough, I would mention the article to Ryan hoping he would try the questions with me. Before we ordered dinner, I started to ask Ryan, "Have you heard of this viral article going around.." to which Ryan abruptly chimed in with an enthusiastic, "The 36 questions!?" He evidently had the same idea but one-upped me by having them ready to go on his phone. The rest is history still in the making!
Penny: "Wow, I just felt this wave of affection for you." Sheldon: "Are you sure it's not too much Bible juice?" Penny: "...And the wave is gone." From Season 8, Episode 16 - "The Intimacy Acceleration"
So since that fateful first date and first Big Bang Theory episode, we've basically been binge watching the show over and over, season after season. He owns them all, including all the DVD bonus features. I learned how the show has become a way for him to de-stress and reset after work, and how he's basically recycled the seasons everyday for two years prior to meeting me. So, I concluded that the show is a pretty big deal to Ryan.
How I Devised My Plan to Win Big Bang Theory Tickets and Actually Won
We decided to switch things up after finishing the first few seasons and started watching some of the bonus features. The bonus features included a lot of live taping scenes, which led to the conversation between Ryan and I about how cool it would be to see the show being taped in the actual studio with the actors right in front of you. Ding! That was when I thought, "How insanely awesome would it be if I managed to get us to a live taping of The Big Bang Theory as a surprise gift for Ryan!?" From there I began my research on how to acquire tickets via the best way I knew how: Google.
I immediately learned that there is no way to score tickets other than to win them through a website called tvtickets.com (also known as Audiences Unlimited). So the process basically works as a first come, first serve lottery. There are a number of guaranteed tickets and a number of standby tickets that are available. The total number of tickets are extremely limited, and you are competing with people from all around the world to sign up for free tickets. Daunting? Yes. Impossible? Of course not, nothing is impossible!
The first step is to familiarize yourself with the Audiences Unlimited website and the process of signing up for tickets. First, head to the "30 DAY SCHEDULE" link on the homepage of the site:
You can start familiarizing yourself with the schedule which is posted 30 days in advance of a taping for all shows you can attend. You may see The Big Bang Theory listed, but most likely as "SOLD OUT," because this show sells out instantaneously. The trick is to figure out all the future taping times for the show and be ready on the right day at the right time. Before we get to that step though, familiarize yourself a bit with the actual ticket request screen. At the bottom of the schedule page, click on the "CLICK HERE TO ORDER TICKETS" link.
The process of requesting a ticket is very straightforward. You select the show you want to request tickets for in the drop down menu indicating "Select A Show." If there are no available tickets for a show, you won't see it as an option in the menu.
There is one super important crucial trick you need to know here. You can only request ONE TICKET AT A TIME. It was months of clicking again and again and sadly landing on error and timeout pages over and over, because I kept trying to request two tickets under my name for both Ryan and I. So the first trick to remember is only enter "1" for "NUMBER OF TICKETS," and enter each person's name separately. You'll definitely increase your chances if the two of you sit together at separate computers to do this at the same time! As I'll explain in further detail later on in this post, I got extra lucky being one person and entering twice for two tickets.
This ticket request link is the only page you'll really need to get to on the day you decide to enter, so definitely keep it in your browser's bookmarks. Now that you know how to request tickets, you can move onto devising a strategy for when to request your tickets.
Go back to the Audiences Unlimited home page, and this time click on the "SHOWS A-Z" link. This will take you to a list of all the possible shows you can score tickets for. Scroll down to find the link to The Big Bang Theory (alphabetically ordered under T and not B).
Once you pull up the show's homepage, click on "Future Show Dates" to see all upcoming tapings. Get out your calendar or planner to note these dates and then figure out the closest Monday date that would be 30 days prior to the taping you want to attend. This is how I was able to get tickets specifically for the taping after Labor Day, which was totally calculated so that our trip to California from Pittsburgh would fall conveniently around a holiday. (I realize I might sound crazy at this point with how meticulous I was with the process, but let's just say I was determined with laser focus on exactly what I wanted to manifest!)
Since I knew I wanted to attend the taping on Wednesday, Sept. 9th, I estimated that the tickets for this taping would become available around Monday, Aug. 3rd or Mon, Aug. 10th. It has to be Monday. After checking the site everyday and attempting to win tickets for months, I discovered that the tickets for The Big Bang Theory taping always become available between 8-8:30AM Pacific Time on the Monday thirty days before the taping date. So for me, I knew I'd have to be ready between 10-10:30AM Eastern Time on those Mondays. I'll confess now that I requested to leave for an early lunch from work these days to get in my car, drive to a nearby coffee shop, cop their WiFi, and get online to win my tickets lol. No regrets, it was all totally worth it!
So there you go! You pretty much know all that you need now to score your tickets. Let's recap the steps and things you can't forget!
1) Take note of all taping dates, then determine the Mondays that would be thirty days prior to these dates. Block off time on that Monday between 7:45-8:45AM Pacific (being that it is currently October, this would now be 11:45AM - 12:45PM Eastern). The tickets usually go live exactly at 8:00AM Pacific, but I've noticed it can be slightly earlier or later at random times.
2) Bookmark the ticket request link and have it ready to go on multiple tabs to refresh the pages as needed. You'll keep hitting refresh as you get close to 8:00AM Pacific so you can see The Big Bang Theory tickets become live as soon as it's time. It is exactly like the episode where the guys are trying to get into Comic Con. Refreshing my pages was especially important for me trying to score two tickets nearly simultaneously. If you're trying to go with others, make sure you sync so that you're all online at the same time!
3) Enter your name and request ONLY ONE TICKET. If you want to score tickets for others, you'll need to request them separately under their names with the number of tickets staying at one.
How I Got Extra Lucky & How You Might Be Able to Switch from a Standby Ticket to a Guaranteed One
Remember I said I got extra lucky? After I got my guaranteed ticket, my browser started timing out when I tried to request a ticket for Ryan. It's the number one sitcom in America and loved around the world, so the site crashes pretty much right as the tickets go live. I actually only managed to get a standby ticket for Ryan right before all the tickets sold out. I wrote into Audiences Unlimited to see if anything could be worked out, and they told me that although they try to accommodate parties that get split between guaranteed and standby seating, the show was sold out at capacity so they wouldn't be able to make any exceptions. I replied nearly pleading for a way to be guaranteed together because we'd be traveling all the way from Pittsburgh to see the show. They advised that I could ask closer to the show date to see if any cancellations happen that would allow both of us to be admitted into guaranteed seating.
Ryan has come to believe that I am a magical being who has an incomprehensible pact with the Universe where I can manifest anything I desire, so he put his faith in me when we went ahead and booked our trip to California. The week before we were leaving, I wrote back to Audiences Unlimited. To our absolute glee, we were told Ryan's name was moved to the guaranteed list. The lesson here is don't hesitate to persist and just ask! Audiences Unlimited was always prompt with responding and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you diehard Big Bang Theory fans, I hope all that I shared will truly help you score tickets to a live taping. Please let me know if you win tickets! It would be SO awesome to hear a mass of you winning tickets after following my tips. Stay tuned for next week when I write a follow up post on the actual experience at the Warner Bros Studios and what to expect at a Big Bang Theory taping!