What's the Difference Between Award Show Seat Fillers and Local Seat Fillers?

Most People Are Aware of Award Show Seat Fillers, But There's OTL!

By Lu, OTL City Guides & Seat Fillers

Most people aren’t devoting computer time to Google searches about seat fillers. That’s because until about ten years ago, “award show seat fillers” were four words that always went together.

These days, seat filling is different, though. So, I wanted to devote this blog post to fill you in on the differences between award show and local seat fillers, like members of OTL Seat Fillers.

What are Award Show Seat Fillers?

Have you ever watched an award show like the Grammys, Oscars, or Emmys and noticed that the audience seems to be so compliant? You never see an empty chair.

These celebrities must be so engrossed in the show that they never get up to use the restroom. And, how is it possible that they accept awards and head backstage for interviews, but the audience is miraculously intact?

Seat Fillers and More

A packed house is ideal for the TV cameras, so event producers turn to seat filling agencies, notably seatfillersandmore.com.

Seat Fillers and More takes applications from wannabe seat fillers and then dispatches them to award shows and other studio audiences upon request. The events can be in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, Washington DC, and New York City.

When you’re an award show seat filler through seatfillersandmore.com, you’ve got a non-paying job. But you’re in exciting events where tickets can be as high as five figures each!

seat fillers, local seat fillers, OTL seat fillers, seat fillers are audience members

Local Seat Fillers? What Does That Mean?

I’ll get into all of the distinctions between community and award show seat filling. But first, you’ll want to know what local (or community) seat filling is all about, as it’s nothing like what Seat Fillers and More provides.

Local seat fillers belong to clubs like OTL. In Las Vegas, PlugIn Vegas is the top choice. And Minneapolis, DC-Baltimore, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland are serviced by SeatStir.

OTL Seat Fillers covers everywhere else with 10 Preferred (the busiest) locations, On-Call options for other markets, and a club in London.

Don't Miss Anything

Add Your Email to OTL's Private List

Seat Filler Clubs Where Everyone is Welcome

All three support the local arts and entertainment communities while providing the most entertaining clubs around. As you’ll soon find out, local seat fillers don’t apply for consideration. They get to attend all kinds of live shows and events by private invitation of local venues and event promoters.

Oh, and local seat fillers attend with guests and are treated just like every other audience member.

The one difference? They never pay for tickets!

award show statue, awards show, academy award

Filling Seats for Someone or Just Filling Seats?

Aside from attending star-studded shows versus local events, there’s one significant difference that I have to point out right off the bat.

Award Show Seat Fillers – “temporarily” fill seats for someone else

OTL Seat Fillers (and other club members) – fill seats, period

What does that mean?

Filling Seats at Awards Shows

If you’re fortunate to work at an event like the Academy Awards, you’ll stand by waiting for an assignment. Then, you hurry over to occupy an empty chair temporarily.

You might get lucky enough to catch a good part of the show. But, you might only be used for a few minutes and wait in the wings again.

It’s Not a Job to Attend Local Events

Community seat fillers, like OTL members, have a simple assignment. They receive free pairs of tickets to theater, music, comedy, and other shows in exchange for showing up.

The “job” of a local seat filler is to add to the audience just like paying patrons and enjoy the show (the whole show!).

They don’t move around from place to place. Instead, they pick up tickets and walk in just like everyone else. The venue assigns the seats based on what’s available, but each OTL member sits with their guest or guests (not alone).

local events, seat filler events, theater tickets

Different Seat Filler Events

I’ve already touched on the differences in events. But I thought it would be helpful to get into more detail so you get a better idea of how it all works.

Awards Show Seat Fillers – work at big-ticket, typically star-studded events like the Emmys

OTL Seat Fillers – have free ticket opportunities to a variety of local shows and events

This one might surprise you. Even in music capitals like Austin, Texas, seat fillers get invited to more plays and musicals than anything else.

OTL seat fillers, OTL City Guides

Can You Guess What's the Number One Show for Local Seat Fillers?

Unless you’re a local theater buff, the chances are that you might not realize how many incredible actors and actresses are on stage just miles from you. Some theater troupes have their own venues, while others rent spaces at various theaters or makeshift ones.

With so many shows on the books, you can see why there wouldn’t be night after night of sell-outs, and that’s where OTL can help.

In addition to plays and musicals, local seat fillers have attended some expected and unexpected events. Over the years, they’ve received complimentary tickets to comedy shows, film festivals, concerts, sporting events, classes, conferences, book signings, burlesque, opera, ballet, escape rooms, the list goes on.

One Award Show Job or Endless Pairs of Free Tickets?

You probably get the gist of the benefits of the two types of seat fillers and how they differ. But I thought I’d put together a handy comparison list.

One Sweet Gig

There are benefits to both types of scenarios, but they’re really nothing alike. Award show seat fillers receive once-in-a-lifetime assignments. But there are some drawbacks, as they’re never guaranteed admittance, and they can’t talk to the high-profile audience members surrounding them.

Surprise Shows and Free Tickets

Local seat fillers don’t get the glitz and glamour accompanying award shows. However, they have fun seeing what pops up out of the blue each month. If it’s something they want to attend, they get to go without worrying about how much the tickets cost. Plus, family and friends are comp ticket VIPs, too!

Award Show Seat FillersLocal Seat Fillers
Used at award shows and other big-ticket, once-a-year eventsAttend various local events including plays, musicals, comedy, sports, and more
Applications and head shots requiredNo application required; just club registration
Attend shows aloneBring guests - parties are seated together
Admission isn't always guaranteed (some seat fillers show up and don't get in)Comp tickets are reserved in advance in the member area and seat fillers with tickets are guaranteed admission
Fill seats for someone else (and move around)Are invited to fill empty seats for the entire show (treated like every other audience member)
Application is good for one year of opportunities (no money exchanged)OTL Seat Fillers memberships auto-renew monthly (cancel anytime) and dues range from $3.65 to $15 (2-4 tickets per event)
Can sometimes catch the show (or part of it)Always enjoy the entertainment (start to finish)
No talking to other audience membersHave fun; talk to other audience members (just don't tell them about the free tickets you received!)
The fun is the televised event and star-studded audienceLocal seat fillers have fun seeing what pops up out of the blue, and being introduced to new shows and events
how to be a seat filler, be a seat filler, join seat filling club

How Can I Be a Seat Filler?

If you live in one of the five Seat Fillers and More locations, you can turn in an application with Seat Fillers and More. When you apply, you’re on board for a year. You don’t pay, nor are you paid anything. It’s a volunteer opportunity.

To be a local seat filler, you register a membership, but you’re not applying. Everyone 18 and over can participate.

OTL Seat Fillers pay an average of $10 to $15 per month for two or four-ticket memberships in Preferred cities. On-call dues are only $3.65 a month and are also £3.65/monthly in London. Membership dues are all you pay, as they’re all-inclusive. Whether you attend zero events or five events in a month, all tickets are included and complimentary.

OTL Seat Fillers list