January 30, 2014

Grammy Red Carpet Experience

Sunday, the red carpet was rolled out and the limos arrived, dropping off some of the biggest names in music today, and even from yesteryear.

As a little girl, I always dreamed of going to the Grammy's. Given, my daydream was usually around me attending as an artist, but sometimes the dream ends and new ones come along. Which is the case here. I am a journalism major now, wanting to be an entertainment reporter (sorry if I'm starting to sound like a broken record, I guess I'm just keeping that dream alive and trying to motivate myself), and being able to see the excitement of the reporters and how they handle the chaos of the carpet is where I need to be.

Anywho, every year the Grammy's come around, and I either forget to sign up or just forget how the whole process works, but always think, "Man, what I wouldn't give to be there right now." This year, I saw Mastercard was doing a special contest through Twitter with "#pricelesssuprises" and tickets to the Grammy's red carpet were one of those prizes. I decided to tweet them saying how I would love to go, and I WON!!!!! Ah!
My dress!! 

Because I've been busy with school, it didn't really start truly sinking in until later Saturday night. After hanging out with my gramps for the day, we went looking for Grammy outfits. I just couldn't believe that I was walking around looking for something to wear to the Grammy's red carpet…LIKE, WHAT?!  I found a black cotton tank dress with a Stevie Nicks inspired flowery shawl to go over it. I felt very rocker in it. I had some stuff to finish up Saturday night, then hung up my outfit for the next day, set my alarm and watched a little Parks and Rec, then White Collar and fell asleep.

Not too sure what I was doing here! 

I woke up Sunday morning, with butterflies in my stomach and jitters, wondering what was going to happen for the day. I was excited, but didn't really have any expectations. After all, Shakespeare said that is the root of all heartache, and it's just easier to not go there, and see what happens. I put on my makeup, got dressed, talked with my dad for a few minutes (who wasn't able to come) and then, my mom and I were off. We stopped at Jack-in-the-Box for breakfast, since we wouldn't be able to eat for the rest of the day basically and made our way into L.A.

Our fancy parking pass ;)

I had made a Grammy playlist for the car trip, which helped wake us up a little, seeing as we woke up at 6:30 in the morning. I know, that's probably not that early, but I'm hardly ever up before 10 a.m, unless I have classes. I made sure I had plenty of my favorite past and present nominees and winners, like Justin Timberlake, Carole King, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Beyonce and more on the list. Gosh, I just love music so much.

We made really good timing to downtown Los Angeles, and found the parking lot we were directed to in no time. We checked in and walked across the street to use the restroom and grab some mints and gum, then we waited for about 30 or so minutes, before lining up with a few others who came after us. We started talking with another mom and daughter, who had done a lot of other tapings and award shows, so it was cool getting to swap stories. Then, we were notified we would have to leave our purses in the car, because they were too big. Luckily, I had a small clutch I had shoved in my bag the night before, so I was able to carry a few items. Then, we jumped right back in line.

Awkward selfie!!!!! YOLO!
A few minutes later, a few people who worked with MasterCard, escorted us across the street where the beginning of the red carpet was. There was the entrance in all its glory with all of the media booths, like E!, Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood, all set up and ready to go. I had waited for so long to see that (minus the time we wandered around aimlessly, only to find out we weren't supposed to be over near the red carpet tent). Instead of instantly taking a picture, I decided to take another moment just to enjoy the view and what the night would hold. I'm very big on moments and remembering the feelings that they bring us, and that's one I wanted to remember. I remembered all of the years I'd been watching with my family, and how music has been one of the biggest aspects of my life since I was young, and here I was at the Superbowl of it all. They walked us past the stars' entrance, the trailers and tents that the media was using outside and finally up to our entrance. The anticipation was killing me. They checked our bags, then by a couple groups at a time, they walked us into the giant white tent, where the official Grammy backdrop was set up in the middle of the carpet, the paparazzi were already setting up in their station, and the last minute preparations were being made. We all climbed up, very carefully, onto the bleachers and took our seat, which had a SWAG (or as Michael Scott said, "Stuff we all get") bag on top, containing a Grammy cup, snacks and a few other MasterCard items.

On the way to the carpet! EEK!
There was a lot of sitting around and waiting, due to the fact that it was only noon and the red carpet didn't officially start until 3:00. We were sitting on bleachers, so it was a little uncomfortable after awhile,  being in such close quarters and on hard bleachers, but it was worth it. We snacked a bit, they did some trivia about the Grammy's and my mom won one of the CD's, which was awesome, because I had been wanting it, but didn't really have the money to spend for it on iTunes. We chatted with the people around us, which was fun, and some of the lesser known artists that had already won in the pre-telecast started rolling in pretty consistently. We were also getting our practice of cheering and shouting for them, as much as we would if Beyonce was in the room (well, maybe not that much).

Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for had arrived. The celebrities were starting to show up! There were a whole lot of bands that all started to look alike. I know a lot of music, but I don't necessarily always know what they look like (my bad). And of course, the later it got, the bigger the names on the carpet were as well. Some of the celebrities were nice enough to come over for the Make-A-Wish kids and their families, who were sitting in the first couple rows. It was so sweet getting to see them experience such a special moment. We technically weren't supposed to be taking pictures, but everyone was. I mean, c'mon….

  • Jesse McCartney 
  • Quentin Tarrantino 
  • Bob Saget
  • Natalie Grant
  • Stevin Curtis Chapman
  • Fantasia
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Capitol Cities
  • Colbie Caillat
  • Gavin DeGraw
  • Hunter Hayes
  • Paris Hilton (it seriously seems like they took more pictures of her than anyone else who was actually nominated. What the what??!)
  • Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert
  • Madonna 
  • Pink
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Katy Perry 
  • Robin Thicke
  • John Legend
  • Steven Tyler
  • Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
  • Smokey Robinson
  • Madonna
  • Keith Urban
  • Jared Leto
  • Anna Faris
  • LL Cool J
  • Kathy Griffin
  • Giuliana Rancic
  • Ringo Starr
  • Zendaya
  • Many more (but, I can't remember everyone…:O)

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka!

I was super disappointed that Justin Timberlake didn't show, because he's one of my favorites and was one on my list of people to see, but it was still an absolute blast, being in the same room as some of the writers/artists of my favorite songs and seeing so many wonderfully talented people. It just goes to show you how powerful music really is in everyone's lives. We all have our favorites, but we can all connect in the same way.

They ushered us out really soon after the last celebrity had walked out of the carpet area, so we all went outside and that was the end of our adventure. We took pictures in front of the sign we had missed earlier, then said goodbye to our friend, who had been visiting from Nashville and walked across the street back to our car.

I was in such a daze with everything. A million things were going through my mind as we left, wondering what it's like to be a celebrity having to deal with the constant pressures of fans and reporters shouting your name almost 24/7, what it would be like to interview on the red carpet, and realizing that as soon as I got home, I would have to write a paper for my feature writing class and the next day was going to be extremely long. We had planned to go home right after the awards ended, but it was still early, so we went to Paty's for dinner. Luckily, we got right in and sat down. Although, after sitting for hours, I was ready to pull a Chris Traegar and run a marathon, to stretch my legs. It's weird how sitting is way more draining than standing, like we've done for Idol and other tapings, etc. down there!

I ordered an iced tea and a tuna melt, which was so good after not having eaten since early in the morning. It was a combination of feeling like I was going to pass out from not eating and so much excitement. We ate, talked about the event and came home after that, listening to the Grammy CD and Taylor Swift on the way home!

Oh, and we saw Carnie Wilson at Paty's, eating dinner with her family. I had glanced at her when we walked to our booth, but got a good look at her when I was coming back from the restroom. She smiled at me, which was really sweet, and then I told my mom to glance, which she did not…So, on our way out of the restaurant, she glanced back and smiled at her and I awkwardly waved. So much for playing it cool right? HAHA! I kind of wish I would've gotten a picture with her, because she seemed so cool.

We got home fairly early, so we started telling my dad all about our adventure, then watched the red carpet coverage and started watching the awards, which we didn't officially finish until Tuesday morning. There were no pictures or shots of us on the carpet, as far as what I've seen so far, but maybe they'll make it to the worldwide web eventually.

It's so surreal looking back on all of the pictures and interviews, knowing that we were just a few feet away from most of the action, and in some ways, it doesn't feel like we were there at all. It's an experience I will never forget, and I am so thankful to MasterCard for putting all of it together and making dreams come true. And who knows? Maybe I'll go back again someday….

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

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