Previous: Turtles All the Way Down!!! A Reunion Video
Next: Look at Tiny Baby Hank



View count:193,495
Last sync:2023-01-29 05:01
In which Hank takes you behind the scenes at the McGlohon Theater for a discussion of what "behind the scenes" is and why it's romanticized despite being...a little gross, and also why it's beautiful despite being ugly.

Subscribe to our newsletter!
And join the community at
Help transcribe videos -
John's twitter -
John's tumblr -
Hank's twitter -
Hank's tumblr -

Preorder John's new book, Turtles All the Way Down, out October 10th 2017! You can find links to both the signed and unsigned editions here: and information on how to (probably) get a signed copy here:

Good morning, John. 

I really like backstages. Like yesterday, which is today, actually we played uh, or are about to play, depending on how you look at it, at the McGlohon Theatre, possibly. It's in Charlotte, North Carolina, it's a beautiful theatre, it has a dome, it has like red carpet everywhere, there's stained glass windows. But upon arriving at a venue, the thing I want to see first is the backstage. I want to see how weird and different it is, and I want to try and understand how it works a little bit. Even though when you actually get to a backstage, you realize the glamour isn't, isn't really there. Like you think about backstages like a place where only a few people get to go; There's backstage passes and that has a very specific connotation. But like it's usually dingy, and gross, and like there's you know, utility sinks. But every venue is kinda the same from the front. Like of course it's very different going from like a beautiful room like this to a middle school auditorium, but it's just a stage with a bunch of chairs when it comes down to it. 

But the layout of the backstage is always completely different. Like at the McGlohon we walk down like three flights of stairs before we got to like the green room and like backstage at VidCon, I mean it looks, and smells, like a high school cafeteria. 

There's sort of two reactions you can have to a backstage. You can get back there and be like "Oh, this is, you know, the glamour is gone. I now understand this is just a room." And indeed, kinda a less good room than all the front facing parts of a venue. But then there's the other way to look at it, which is kinda all of the things that make the world actually work tend to be hidden from us. They're above the drop ceiling, they're behind the scenes, under the hood. All the pipes and wires and servers and ducts; We have this instinct to hide them so that we can like create a nice, shiny, glossy, beautiful thing that, it's like all the things that we actually, there's a lot that goes into, are hidden so we can make it look like magic. 

Being able to see and start to understand the magic, I think that's a big reason why I love backstages, 'cause they don't have drop-ceilings, they're like hey, just we're not going to pay to make this look fancy. I'm obsessed with this stuff, like if you watch my old tour vlog from last year, oh man, I got myself into some places. I tried to get myself into some places here, I failed unfortunately.

Where's room 204? [Note: It's actually room 024] Oh no, Hank's got to go in there. It's locked. Noooo.

[John off camera] What's wrong?

[Hank] Nothing, just the secret room is locked. 

Oh, look at the weird dirt, oh that would have been cool. The other dressing room also has a secret door with a less creepy way to get to it. But is it also locked? Probably. Probably. I love little doors. Ughhhhh. Any door that is not the size of a full height man is like the... I don't know what it is. Makes me very intrigued. 

I think sometimes we're too good at hiding the hard work that goes into making things function. But like I love beautiful design, I love beautiful things, but I also want that magic to be stripped away a little bit so that we can appreciate the beauty of the function. Like a car engine is as beautiful as a car and a CPU is as beautiful as a phone and a backstage is as beautiful as a stage. 

John, I'll see you uh, when I see you. John, it's been really fun to hang out. The tour bus is amazing, though I have identified a problem with it. I don't know how this has happened but they are, they're, they're just everywhere.