Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
Aurora giving a sad face in her office

(Giving a sad face in my Nightly Show gear at my Nightly Show desk)

While I was sad on the last taping day, I was happy in knowing I got to come in the last day…

I forgot to mention this in my post about our last taping day. But I thought I’d be pretty okay… And then I literally cried as I walked out my door to go to work.

I remembered when I left my apartment on my first day as an editor – when I turned on my music and got amped up – ready to go.

And when I turned on my music to get amped up for this special day, that editor day just flashbacked to me so hard.

It seemed like yesterday!

And becoming an editor was one of the best things that ever happened to me… So, to know that was the last day was so sad…

So, on Friday, I didn’t amp up. I just quietly went to work. I was one of the first people there (’cause I had a lot to do).

I’d already cleaned out my office. I put up the last video on Facebook (from the previous night’s show), and delivered some paperwork to the network.

In the middle of the day, as things were exporting, I went down to the storage room and stocked up on just a wee lil more swag.

Then, I did some exports for the crew. I figured since they were things I want, other people might want them too.

I sent out Jon Stewart’s speech to all of us during rehearsal, and a bit he did. And after the taping, everybody hugged each other on stage. And I sent all the camera angles of that so everybody could find their hugs. (There were some really cute ones in there.)

I saved a bunch of episodes on my computer for my own reel. Basically, it was my last day to get anything for myself and others, and to turn anything else in to Viacom. It was busy, and thankfully I got everything done that I needed – just barely.

As I left 15 minutes late, one of the lovely security guards lovingly joked, “It wouldn’t be the last day if Aurora wasn’t working late!” – which was so true.

For my first months there, I was just always there and the last one out so often. So, it all really came full circle.

I even got to finally give that security guard a hug (since usually that’s against protocol – but I don’t work there anymore!).

And then I left. I walked down those steps one last time, looked up at the awning, and went home and cried.

I know I mention crying a lot. (We all cried a lot. This wasn’t just me being emotional…) But you know, it was all sad. And great. And weird. And bittersweet. It was just a lot. I dunno… Sigh.

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Aurora and crowd from Franchesca's snapchatMy heart is breaking even writing about it.

So, after rehearsal, rewrite happened (as per usual). Also, free margaritas in the alleyway happened (not usual).

There were no changes in my rolls, so I didn’t really have to do anything during rewrite.

Before you knew it, the show started.

I thought I was gonna be a wreck from moment one, but I was surprisingly calm(ish).

But once act 4 started, when Larry was doing his speech about the map being upside down, I cried – totally sobbed standing up (leaning over) in my bay.

Then, at the end of act 4, I saw the contributors run onstage… And then the staff ran on. I didn’t think I was gonna make it down. But I ran down to the studio anyway. I was a little late, of course. But I ran onstage too. It was magical to get to go town there.

I took a little video of the audience and everyone hugging around me. (Even though they cut the take, the cameras rolled to catch us all hugging and I feel silly taping stuff instead of hugging people… But other people were doing it too.)

I just wanted to take in and remember that moment.

Then I put down my phone and looked around with just my eyes, seeing this whole audience there for us for the last time as Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds (“’cause every little thing is gonna be all right”) played in the background. I wanted to live in that moment forever.

I started crying (of course) and I went around hugging people on set (and then backstage once we were all shooed off the set).

Then I went upstairs ’cause I actually had to do some work. And then I came back downstairs to grab my guests who’d come to the taping. (Naturally, they were people I met through twitter – who else would they be?)

I had exports going as I showed them around the building. They left. We all continued to do a little hugging. And people were taking things home from their offices.

And then we all met up at the final party – where there was mainly laughter and only slight bits of crying.

When The Nightly Show came on the televisions, people cheered so loudly.

It was a beautiful night – people walking around giving gorgeous monologues about what it was like to work together.

I left when the party started to seem like it was really dying down. I took one last look around as I walked out the door. And of course I cried a little on the way home – looking around at New York as I passed through it – thinking of all my memories of moving to the city, and the show, and all that jazz.

And I had one more day of work, which I will talk about tomorrow.

Sunday, August 21st, 2016
Aurora and Larry on 70s day

A throwback to ’70s day at work

While we’re talking about my talks with our famous senior staff on my last day of work…

Earlier in the day, when not a ton was going on, Larry had left his door wide open and sat at the big table in there, facing the door, ready to talk to people in and out (without us having to go through his assistant, as we would on a normal day – not ’cause he’s untouchable at all, but because he’s busy).

Anyway…

When it was my turn, I went in there and said I wasn’t sure if he’d gotten my card from Nicole (his assistant) yet. He hadn’t. But either way, I just wanted to reiterate that it was truly the best job I’ve ever worked.

I’d met Larry a few times before this – at the Christmas party, on ’70s day, and he came into my bay a few times to watch down cuts. So, he knew my name and everything. But we weren’t like super pals – not non-pals or anything, I just hadn’t spent a ton of time with him.

When I told him thanks for everything, he thanked me for everything!

It told me that it was wonderful having me around the building, and that he loved the bright & energetic spirit I brought to the building.

Then he laughed as he reminisced how into ’70s day I was. (What can I say? I love costumes!)

So we had a nice little laugh, a nice moment, and someone I was always slightly intimidated by (not because he’s intimidating in the least – in fact, he’s quite nice, but you know, he is the host/EP/and all that jazz)… anyway, someone I was kind of intimidated by gave me beautiful compliments.

Also, I asked if he was gonna go back to LA. And he said no – that he’d split his time there still, but that New York wasn’t gonna kick a brother out so easily, so fast. And I felt so inspired. I was all, “Yeah! I feel the same!”

Then we talked about LA a little. And then, alas, it was time to do other stuff…

Now, getting back to the rest of the day… this is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

Jon Stewart and his best friend AuroraBefore I freak out with excitement about my interaction with Jon, I just want to say that he is a delight.

He knew the names of tons of crew and staff members of all levels. It seemed like if he’d met them, he knew their name. He was friendly. He walked around and gave hugs. Just so lovely.

So, we’re in a late rehearsal. And I know the day is gonna be busy.

I don’t know when or how I’m gonna get to meet him. I thought maybe after the full staff picture. But figuring I didn’t have any time to lose, I just left rehearsal between acts 1 and 2, then I sprinted upstairs, grabbed my card and came back down.

At that point, I could still get in the back/side stage area that we see whenever we go in the studio, but with cameras and everything now in place for act 2, I couldn’t really go to the seating area – which is actually fantastic, because now I’ve just accidentally trapped myself side-stage with Jon Stewart (and other people).

He’s talking up/backstage to the contributors who are about to go out. Once they all leave, he’s standing there alone. And they’re just showing a clip package in the studio, so I’m not interrupting much to talk to him.

I walk up to him. “Hi, you don’t know me. But I’m an editor here,” I say a little nervously.

“What’s your name?” he asks.

“Oh my goodness. Not only did I forget to include my name. Jon Stewart wants to know my name!” – I think in my head.

“Aurora,” I tell him.

Then he says, “Aurora, it’s nice to meet you.”

“I wrote a card to everyone on staff, and since you’re our EP, here’s yours.”

He makes this fantastic big facial expression. “I get a card?!” he says enthusiastically. “I didn’t do anything though,” he adds.

“Well, you helped make the show possible!” I tell him.

Then he tells me he’ll humbly accept the card.

And this is the best part!

I tell him, “I say this in the card, but I also want to tell you, I’ve said to many people now, ‘Jon Stewart changed my life,’ and I’m so happy I finally get to tell it to you.”

He told me that was very sweet, “But no. You changed your own life. You earned your spot here.”

He then went on and told me every one of us in the building was incredible and one of best in the biz, and we all worked exceptionally hard to get to where we were. We did it ourselves. We earned it.

And I almost cried because it was the most beautiful mini-speech I’ve ever heard.

Then I asked for a picture and we looked around. Everyone was a little busy, so he suggested we selfie it. He thankfully took  beautiful angle so my face didn’t look humongous – because he seems to be one of the sweetest people on the planet.

I have built up meeting Jon Stewart in my head for ages. To have the meeting exceed my expectations was beyond wonderful.

Friday, August 19th, 2016
My letter to Jon Stewart

(My thank you card to Jon Stewart)

My head is exploding. It happened on Thursday, and even still, I still don’t know what to say.

Jon Stewart is my new best friend. (That sentence isn’t really true, but the rest of this post is.)

I’ve wanted to meet Jon Stewart forever and a day. (Okay, actually, again, that can’t even technically be true because I didn’t know who he was when I was a baby. Also, forever and a day is not a real measure of time… But still, you’re getting the gist of what’s true and what isn’t, right?)

So, I go down to rehearsal. (After all, that is where we left off yesterday).

Jon is supposed to get there at 5:15. I consider bringing his thank you card down to rehearsal. “You never know. He might be way super early.” Then I was doing some running around the building for various stuff, and trying to get something finished before I ran down. So, I just thought, “Forget the card! Get down there!”

In the script, it says that Jon will come out and the audience will go wild.

This is hilarious to me, because we’re just stating that they are going to go wild – ’cause we good and well know they are. (It’s Jon America’s-sweetheart Stewart.)

In the rehearsal, our head writer, Michael, is playing Jon.

I almost never have my phone camera going when rehearsal’s happening because I don’t need to. Sometimes cool, interesting, funny (and of course, never-makes-it-to-air) stuff happens. But what am I gonna do with all that video? I want to just sit and enjoy it, so I do…

Except today.

I honestly do not think Jon Stewart is coming. (No one does.) But one of the crew members informed our EP before rehearsal that they’d set up the dropbox above Larry to have tampons in it and some other old stuff, and they wondered if he wanted them to drop the box for the fun of it.

“Sure, after Michael comes out as Jon, go ahead and drop it. Why not?” he replies.

So, I grab my phone to try to get a fun last day video of Larry being kinda pranked.

And sure enough… Michael comes out as John… but then(!), he gets this look in his eye as it catches something (or someone?) behind a wall. And Jon Stewart himself surprises all of us!

WHAT?!

And of course(!) we go insane (just like it says in the script).

He came in, said hey to Larry, and the first thing he said when he addressed us as a group was, “I hope you guys know, you did a hell of a f*cking show.”

[Random side note: I only just realized typing that that I don’t curse a lot in this blog. I don’t think anything’s wrong with cursing, but keeping with the past, I’m just gonna go ahead and asterisk it.]

Anyway, he did the bit with Larry and then he gave us a beautiful speech about how wonderful we all were. (I have the whole thing on video.)

And then… This is where I’ll pick up next time.

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Aurora modeling on the set of The Nightly Show on the last dayThe perfect day.

The day started with a gorgeous staff meeting. Our EP gave us a beautiful speech about how we shouldn’t consider ourselves failures at all… It was kind of along the lines of what aired. He basically felt the same way about Jon Stewart – that cancellation is not failure.

I totally teared up. (But who didn’t?!)

Then people even started making jokes about how when we get to the wrap party, we should try not to cry the whole time… You know, “change it up a little” is what people said… Try to get some laughter in there too. (Which, spoiler alert: we did.)

I didn’t have that much work to do on the final day. (I mean, I did work Friday. So, I suppose I could’ve tried to get that work done early. But that’s not important here… I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to have one last day of talking to people around the building and taking all my last pictures and any last video tours to try to remember the place.

Aurora on a hoverboard on her last dayI even finally rode one of those hoverboards Rory and Ricky are always riding. It’s a little harder than I thought, but I didn’t fall! (Yay!)

Usually, the set is covered during the day. But on this day, it was uncovered… I don’t actually know why, but part of me guesses it was perhaps a nice little kind bonus since the crew maybe figured we’d all want our final pictures on the set. Who knows?

Aaaaanyway, people were milling about the studio during lunch. We soooo don’t usually just walk around set. (They work hard to keep it clean and working and all that jazz.) But today was a bit of a fun free-for-all.

After all the hoverboard riding, hugging, and picture taking, I went upstairs and actually kind of did my job for a little bit. I did the Ellen roll, and the Rick and Mike bumpers (in case you were wondering).

Then, I did a little actual more work. (See, it’s not like I didn’t do aaaany work. I did some stuff so I wouldn’t have to do it Friday.)

And then, alas, it was time for rehearsal.

And this is where I’ll pick up next time.

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016
Control room wall

(I don’t know if you can see, but my name is under one of the monitors – they have our names up under the monitors of our Avids!)

[Note: This is a post that was meant for Wednesday… but I was busy doing my job haha. Sorry!]

It’s all so surreal.

I’ve been taking stuff home every night. My office is slowly but surely getting more and more empty – which is weird.

My office feels more like my home than my apartment.

People don’t know what to do with themselves when they walk in and my huge Price is Right poster is not up.

…And I don’t know what to do with myself either!

It’s sad. It’s really sad. But doing it a little at a time is somehow, I think, making it less sad for me… (Of course, I don’t know how sad it would be otherwise. But the point is, this feels good… Well, as good as I can reasonably feel in this week.)

I passed out my thank you cards today. And there was a big sense of finality in that. I thought Wednesday would be better than Thursday because I had no idea if the very last day would be insane or chill or what. Also, it takes a long time to pass out thank you cards. So in case I couldn’t make it to the whole staff and crew in one day, I figured I should do it on Wednesday.

I thought I was just going to be dropping people’s cards at their desks. But no. Oftentimes we’d stop and chat and reminisce. It was lovely… and again, kind of surreal.

It also was hard to catch everybody (though I had a pretty good idea of when each department had the most downtime) and still get my own work done and all that jazz. (Although thankfully, my job is one of the jobs that got easier this week. Some got much harder. Some got easier. Mine was one of those.)

We also all hung out as a staff/crew together even more often than normal this week. Everyone keeps staying in the building basically until it closes. A bunch of us had the most fun at this 4th floor party last night where the EP kindly opened his office to anyone who wanted to join and talked all about his 20 months on the show.

Tonight was the one night people finally went home to rest (for the most part). We have a huge show and party tomorrow – plus, so many people have to pack! We were supposed to have a two week hiatus coming up. (Little did we know that hiatus was gonna be indefinite.) But a bunch of people (including me) had made plans and had plane tickets and all that jazz. People have to pack sometime!

I have moved stuff by a day and will pack Friday. And tonight, I stayed to get a little extra work done. (‘Cause tomorrow, I just wanna hang out. Let’s get real. ;))