Social Engagement: Medium
What’s What: When the camera pans over the audience at the Oscars or the MTV Music Awards, have you ever noticed there’s always a packed house? A seat filler fills all empty seats for award shows and televised specials, so when the cameras show the audience, home viewers don’t see any empty seats. Seat fillers also fill up Broadway theaters, baseball stadiums, concerts and more.
Amava Take: There is nothing quite like a live event, be it baseball or Broadway, and it’s even better when it’s free or just a few dollars. Award shows take on a whole new meaning when you can put on a gown or a tux and rub elbows with the rich and famous. All it takes is an application or a membership and the ability to be spontaneous and you could be right there when someone says “And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to…”
From the Front Lines:
What kinds of people are they looking for?
People who are enthusiastic, dependable, well-dressed and truly enjoy a variety of entertainment possibilities.
Are there requirements and does it cost anything?
Most organizations have a membership fee in the range of of $99 and require a photo ID when tickets are picked up. Some tickets are free with membership, others have a handling fee of $4 per ticket. Some are totally free but you need to send in a letter of introduction explaining why you want to be a seat filler and include a full body photo of yourself.
Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?
The more popular shows tend to fill up quickly, so it’s recommended to check websites often if there is something you’re really interested in and apply far in advance for major live shows.
From the Trenches:
What’s the most satisfying part of the experience?
Getting to see lots of live shows for $4 a pop has enriched my life immensely.
What’s the downside?
You have to be ready to go the same day or the day before a show. For live events, you might get five days notice.
What’s your most memorable experience?
I was a seat filler at the Daytime Emmy Awards and almost bumped directly into into Susan Lucci. I was pretty excited.
Special Requirements: Generally you must be over 18 and follow the requirements of the organization, whether it’s a membership fee, an application, a photo or all three.
Finding a Position: Most opportunities are in major cities but if you search the internet using the terms “seat filler” and your city and state, you might might something local, especially if a live show is touring the area. The Seat Filler Network services 30 cities including London. Membership dues vary by location but seats are for two and are free. Seat Fillers and More serves productions in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, Washington, DC and New York City. They also handle the Grammy Awards and some other big shows. There is no fee to join and you could be chosen to be a talent escort or crew member. 1 Iota is another avenue for free tickets to music festivals, awards shows, talks shows and more. Membership is free. Here’s an article about what it’s like to be a seat filler at the Oscars, including tips on how to get in on the action. Here’s an article on how to be a seat filler for the Emmys.