Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich, center, says hello to the daughters of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, Catherine, 4, second from right, and Caroline, 7, left, during a commercial break as they participate in the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland.

Photographer: Andrew Harnik/AP

Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich, center, says hello to the daughters of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, Catherine, 4, second from right, and Caroline, 7, left, during a commercial break as they participate in the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland.

Photographer: Andrew Harnik/AP

9 Behind-the-Scenes Debate Moments You Might Have Missed Last Time

Political theater isn't just what you see on TV.

Politics is as much theater as anything else—and that goes doubly for debates. The red, white, and blue backdrops, the flattering lighting, and the candidates' bickering obscure a whole lot of mic checks, make-up touch-ups, and idle chitchat during commercial breaks, not to mention candid moments with the contenders' families.

As we head into Round Two—Wednesday's marathon Republican presidential debates at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley California—here's a look back at some of the smaller, unseen moments behind the scenes of the first face-offs on Aug. 6 in Cleveland.

Pick a seat
Pick a seat

During the pre-debate “forum” for seven lower-polling candidates earlier in the day on Aug. 6, the cameras rarely turned to show how empty the audience was.

Photographer: Andrew Harnik/AP
Kids' table talk
Kids' table talk

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum listens to former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina during a commercial break during the earlier forum. Fiorina's performance in the so-called “undercard debate” or “kids' table debate” won wide praise, and her polling numbers have increased since then. She will stand with 10 other high-polling candidates during the prime-time debate this Wednesday night. Santorum will still be participating in the earlier debate, with three other candidates.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
One down
One down

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal talks to former Texas Governor Rick Perry during a commercial break during the last undercard debate. Jindal will again appear in the earlier debate on Wednesday night. Perry was weeks away from suspending his campaign.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Sniffing out spin
Sniffing out spin

Police use a dog to do a security sweep of “Spin Alley”—where the candidates go after the debate to speak to reporters about their performances—ahead of the last prime-time event.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Mic check
Mic check

Podium microphones are measured before the last prime-time debate. 

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Comparing notes
Comparing notes

Texas Senator Ted Cruz chats with Ohio Governor John Kasich while former Florida Governor Jeb Bush talks to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in the background during a break in the prime-time debate on Aug. 6, which featured the 10 best-polling candidates in what was then a 17-person field.

Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Touch up, catch up
Touch up, catch up

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has make-up applied while he speaks to billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, during a break in the last prime-time event. Some Republicans suspect Walker, who has lost support as Trump surges, will attack the billionaire on Wednesday.

Photographer: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Family event
Family event

Donald Trump's children, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, sit beside the candidate's wife, Melania Trump, as she gets a visit with the daughters of Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz is one of the few candidates who hasn't attacked Trump this cycle.

Photographer: Andrew Harnik/AP
Kid diplomacy
Kid diplomacy

Ohio Governor John Kasich says hello to Texas Senator Ted Cruz's daughters, Carolina, 7, and Catherine, 4, as Cruz looks on. Kasich has twin teenage daughters.

Photographer: Andrew Harnik/AP