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Shamika Sanders on the Jennifer Hudson Show

Source: TheJenniferHudsonShow / TheJenniferHudsonShow

When my good friend Danielle Young asked me if I wanted to attend a taping of The Jennifer Hudson Show, instead of the typical lunch date we had on the calendar, I jumped at the opportunity. I was in town for HB x MN’s Women To Know dinner and eager to make the most of my time in LA. She picked me up from where I was staying, Hotel Indigo, and we drove to Burbank in her electric car. It started feeling real Hollywood approaching the Warner Bros. Lot. Billboards and movie posters span the sides of the studio. In the mix is a larger-than-life promo for The Jennifer Hudson Show. 

We park across the street, and I’m second guessing wearing 4-inch heels. Me and Danielle made our way to the lot and we were greeted by a lovely woman who gave us a tour of the waiting room, then we realized this wasn’t just a regular audience experience, we were getting the VIP treatment.

Shamika Sanders on the Jennifer Hudson Show

Source: TheJenniferHudsonShow / TheJenniferHudsonShow

The tour began in the waiting room where dozens of fans picked-up merchandise, saw the sparkling mailbox in-person or mingled with their fellow audience member. Energy in the room was high. We walked past a group in full cowboy core and past a backdrop where you can take photos. Brittany Rodgers, who invited us, came to meet us before our tour. Then we took a left behind the walls where production actually happens. We waved to the producers, saw multiple green rooms and got a glimpse of the set before lights, camera, action! We visited the celebrity entrance where Cedric The Entertainer, a guest on the episode we’d be viewing, appeared in a creme Christian Dior sweater. We sat in a plush chair area decorated with florals.

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Before heading to set, we visited one more cozy green room with a full length mirror and snack refrigerator. The good vibes kept going when we were joined by Gia Peppers and Dominique Fluker. As if that experience was rewarding enough, we had prime seats to the show where watched Toni Braxton serenade Cedric in her icon low register without breaking eye contact and playing the piano at the same time. I was even compelled to check out “The Girls On The Bus,” after hearing the cast dish on the journalist-centered show. We danced, laughed, joked in between takes and sang Toni Braxton joints like it was the 90s. (There’s actual footage of this). And then the cherry on top, we individually took photos with J Hud and a group shot for the social media books.

Shamika Sanders on the Jennifer Hudson Show

Source: TheJenniferHudsonShow / TheJenniferHudsonShow

Brittany revealed she pitched for Black media to visit the set and get the VIP experience for Women’s History Month. As a Black woman in media, it’s a rare to feel so appreciated and celebrated. Thank you to Brittany and the PR folks we been rocking with for years reaching back. We love to see it!

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I Went Backstage At ‘The Jennifer Hudson Show’  was originally published on hellobeautiful.com