It’s official- the Big Apple finally got a taste of Boston. Dreams came true for many a Boston resident when NBC’s The Today Show did a live taping from Faneuil Hall Marketplace early on the morning of Friday February 15. Several Emerson students were present at the event. Though we were all groggy from the unwelcome sound of a pre-dawn alarm clock, or didn’t go to bed at all, the city was wide awake and smiling.
Filming began around 6:30 a.m. and lasted about three hours. I left the Little Building with a group of five people at 5 a.m., surprisingly chipper even at that early hour. Barricades had been set up in front of Quincy Market, the bright studio lights were visible from Park Street, and a line of people circled what would later be the set.
Word around campus had spread of a student’s social media campaign to meet Matt Lauer. Friends and classmates of Christian Bergren-Aragon gathered to help him achieve his dream, staying up late to make posters and leaving Emerson at 3 in the morning to rendez-vous in front of Faneuil Hall. “Christian BA on Today!” they shouted, quoting Christian’s Twitter handle. Not only did Christian get to meet Lauer, he was interviewed by two producers from The Today Show, and was able to hand over a folder containing his resume, head shots, and reel.
Dawn came, and the adrenaline rush that ensued in those early hours equated to having front row seats at a Beatles concert. First the audience watched crew members and other news source anchors piddling around, setting things up, tearing them down, and filming. But then Matt Lauer came out. Let’s just say that the playback audio from my camera was blaring. Who ever knew that a big-time news anchor was more than a reporter, but a celebrity? When Savannah Guthrie came out in her chic bright pink pea coat, and later Mindy Kaling of The Office and The Mindy Project, the crowd again went into an uproar.
Just as the audience grew accustomed to serving as a backdrop for Guthrie and Lauer’s faces, crew members began to come around telling us to go now if we wanted seats for a brief, free Dropkick Murphys concert. Of course, at least half of the audience made a beeline for inside Quincy Market. Many of us had to settle for a “seat” squashed between someone’s grandmother and someone else’s best friends on one of the two spiral staircases. The payoff, however, was excellent. The Boston-born-and-raised band delivered a searing live performance of “Rose Tattoo” from their new album Signed and Sealed in Blood. I think it’s safe to say that all the Bostonians awake and present left the stage with their own sense of stardom.