Become a Studio Audience Member of a Japanese Variety Show
You watch Japanese variety shows. Of course you do. Ever become so big a fan of a show that you wished you could see it in person, live, while it is recording? You’ve seen that most shows have studio audiences (they need a constant stream of “ehhhhhh~’s” after all). Wouldn’t you like to get tickets to shows like しゃべくり007, 世界の果てまでイッテQ, or 月曜から夜ふかし? Is it possible for a foreigner?
Yes. If you try your luck registering with the popular studio audience member site Applause.
Here are the steps to get in:
1. Register with Applause
Click the 番組観覧会員登録 (TV show viewing member registration) button.
2. Accept the e-mail terms
After reading through some of the terms regarding them sending you e-mails, click the 同意する (Agree) button at the bottom of the page.
3. Enter your e-mail
By entering your e-mail you accept that you can participate within 30 days from registering. If you can’t, your registration becomes null, and you can’t register again.
4. Click on the link from the e-mail sent to you
Verify your e-mail by clicking on the link provided to you in the e-mail.
5. Accept the terms of service
More terms to read before you click on the 同意する button.
A few of the major requirements:
● For those between the age of 16 and 69, you must be living in Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, or Kanagawa.
● For those between the age of 20-69, you can live outside of these regions.
● You must have no health problems.
● You must be able to speak/use Japanese.
● You must provide a valid form of identification.
● You must follow all the rules of the contract and provided by staff.
● You can’t already be a registered member.
● You must be able to receive e-mail, mailings, and phone calls.
Here’s where things get difficult.
In order to gain the freedom to apply for the more popular programs, you have to first accept whatever program is assigned to you within 30 days (I’m assuming it’s a lesser known program). This makes it difficult for you, a Japanese learner on a mere visit to Japan, to get into the audience. There have been plenty of foreigners in various studio audiences, but most likely they are living in Japan.
There might be a way to pull it off if you are visiting Japan for a few months and have a Japanese address you can use. But for that one or two week visit, the timing just won’t work. I’m sad too… trust me. You’ll just have to stick to comedy clubs.
One plus though. You get paid. Being a studio audience member is a job.
6. Enter your information
Enter all your personal info, and click on the registration button at the bottom. Then go through the registration verification page, and you’re done!
Once you’re in
You will be sent information about the first TV show they want you to appear on. After you properly follow through with this “first job,” you have the ability to apply for the shows you want. However, since everyone wants to get on the popular shows, it is a competitive process, involving a lot of luck.
Also, many studio audiences are comprised mostly of women. I’m not sure if this is coincidental, intentional (because their reactions are more energetic), or because there are that many more women applicants. But this may mean that as a woman, you have a higher chance of getting onto the shows you want.
Thought this was going to be easy?
It’s not as simple as just buying tickets. But if you time things right, and everything goes well, you could end up in the audience. Or as an alternative, just get in contact with a producer who you happen to be best friends with and skip the process (then send that producer my number!)
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
I also wonder what the actual reason behind the “mostly female in the audience” situation haha. I mean, is it just because its mostly women who apply, or is it intentional?? My guess is intentional haha. Still, great post, if I lived in Japan I would definitely apply right now!
Obviously because its TV and everything is very controlled it could be intentional. However there are plenty of places you can go in Tokyo, cafes in particular, where there customers are almost entirely female. These places don’t restrict their services at all so it’s purely a social and economic phenomenon. It could be likely like women just have more time and interest in being audience members.
I do think the fact that the guys they do bring are generally sat on the fringes is probably very intentional.
There’s one kind of funny side effect of it being a job. When a show does need Japanese speaking foreigners as members of the audience the producers will turn to the talent agencies. A buddy of mine got invited to be an audience member this way.
Thanks for your input on this subject Mike. I also noticed that the guys are usually in the back, out of sight. That’s why on 月曜から夜ふかし, when Matsuko engages the audience, you always see one line of guys in the last row who occasionally have something to say.
You better go and try this out and give us a further report :P
I’m definitely going to do this during the winter months when I have fewer engagements and can go to a show at any time I might be called. Although I hope it’s not during the day during the week while I work.
Please do! And let us know how it goes.
how much do they pay though? Is it worth it? :)
Probably not a lot. But I would think people do it for the experience, and not so much the money.
Is a passport considered a valid ID, or does it need to be a Japanese ID, like a residency card?
Sorry, I’m not sure really sure. You’d have to send an inquiry to them.