Is there anything more famous in the entertainment world than the Hollywood sign? Sitting atop Mount Lee in the Santa Monica Mountains, the iconic nine letters that spell success (and failure) for so many are a must-see during any trip to the Los Angeles area. Though going anywhere near the sign is forbidden (it’s guarded by gates and security cameras) embodying the message of entertainment success implicit in it as a landmark is easier than you might think. Though you may not be the next Marilyn Monroe or Clark Gable, you can be on television or even in a movie when you visit the Los Angeles area, and here’s how:
- Be an Unpaid Extra.
Though it’s not a great choice if you’re looking for a “big break,” if you’ve always wondered where they get all those people needed for large group shots in the movies, you needn’t look far. There are actually websites that handle these voluntary casting calls, the most famous of which is BeInAMovie.com. By signing up before you head out, you can get the chance to be filmed in a real Hollywood movie. You won’t get paid, but it will make for a great story and you may meet some of those who do.
- Watch a Live Taping.
Several of your favorite talk shows, game shows and sitcoms are filmed nearby to Los Angeles in Burbank, CA. Among them are The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Phil and The Tonight Show. As well as popular game shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and many sitcoms.If you’ve never had the opportunity to see a live taping it is a worthwhile experience. Generally, there are refreshments provided, there’s always the chance of huge giveaways at the talk shows and you are generally given the chance to ask questions of the hosts and/or actors both on and off tape. The best part is that tickets are free and standby tickets can often be obtained the day of taping. However, if you have a favorite show, then request tickets in advance through each show’s website.
- Go on a Studio Tour.
For those simply content to view the glamour of Hollywood vicariously, visiting the individual studios can provide that experience. The big four of Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. all call LA home. The Los Angeles Go Card includes all four studio tours in its price as well as tour options that include a trip to look at Hollywood stars’ homes.
A Trip to Remember
Los Angeles and Hollywood specifically represent some of the greatest allure to us all. Is there any little girl out there who hasn’t rehearsed her Academy Award acceptance speech in front of the mirror? Who among us hasn’t yearned for the glory of celebrity at least once? Though these options won’t get you a house in Hollywood Hills, they will certainly make for a memorable trip and an amazing tale once you get home.