Feb 14, 2011

"I'll be your escort!" --- GRAMMY weekend, Part III

I look like the ghost of Michael Jackson

Well, let me just say I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve on Saturday night.  I couldn't sleep AT ALL.  I just kept thinking about who I'd get assigned and how bad my feet were going to hurt and what a complete madhouse it was going to be.

I had to arrive at 11:00 because the red carpet opened at 12:00.  I'm not sure if you guys are aware, but the GRAMMYs aren't just the few awards you see televised.  About 95% of the awards are given out during the pre-telecast, which I believe starts around 2:00.  This is where a lot of the writing, sound, engineering, etc. awards go out.  For instance, last year Lady Gaga won three awards at the pre-telecast, but nobody realized it because it wasn't live.  I believe Colbie Caillat won six or some crazy number during the pre-telecast as well. 

The thing about the these awards is that you make everyone feel special.  That's essential.  Whether they're Beyonce or a producer, you make them feel like a million dollars.  As an escort, my job was either to a) help a nominee down the carpet and let their publicist know where each outlet was located, or b) if they didn't have a publicist, step in and find them coverage.  This can get awkward because sometimes outlets don't want to talk to particular people, but those people want to talk to the outlet.  So it's a big game of do-si-do, making sure that you check with outlets before your talent hears that they don't want to do and interview or whatever. 

One of my favorite people to see at the pre-telecast awards was Adam Anders.  He is the genius behind a lot of Disney artists and was nominated for his work on Glee

I walked down R&B artist, KEM, and the audio engineer for Eminem's 'Recovery.'

The carpet was busy from around 12-1:30 and then there was a lull.  We kept hearing Lady Gaga was coming in a hearse, inside of a frozen coffin.  Instead, she showed up in that egg thing, which, according to her alien entourage, represented "a womb."  She was not "born yet."  And then she'd be "born" on stage.  How original!  Get it?  Since her new cover of Madonna's single is called 'Born This Way.'

Yes, that was really her in the egg. 

Here's what I think: We all know she likes a spectacle, but this was blatantly disrespectful.  To cart her around in that thing, she had to have at least six people.  This caused quite a jam on the carpet, and it took up a lot of room.  She was not the only person nominated, and her "grand entrance" took away from the other nominees being interviewed.  The egg was interesting but should have been saved for her tour, not the red carpet.  

During the pre-telecast, The Situation, Snooki and DJ Pauly D showed up.  I almost barrel-rolled through everyone to escort Pauly.  Turns out he didn't need one because he was co-hosting with Billy Bush and The Sitch was doing something for another outlet, while Snooki hung with Sway at MTV.  Snooki looked awesome!  And Pauly D had great skin and perfectly coiffed hair.  As for Mike -- holy compact.  Dude had on way too much powder.

Here's the thing: everyone wears a crap-ton of makeup.  Like, an unnatural amount.  Even if they look "natural" they still have a TON of concealer or powder on.  Makeup is essentially Photoshop, just without the computer.  Some had more than others, even though everyone had a significant amount on.  However, I get it.  The camera washes you out, so you have to compensate for it.  It was just weird seeing the men with it on.  The reason why everyone's skin looks flawless is because of the heavy foundation and powder and mascara and all that jazz.  I will never talk badly about a celebrity who doesn't wear make-up ever again because more than likely they're wearing a normal amount instead of the 10 pounds they gotta pack on for the camera.  But they all get it -- it's like a cult.  They all hug and say hi and just know that more than likely what they see at the awards show is not what they'd see normally. 

Moving on: around 3:00 it was a blue-blickin' madhouse.  All the escorts were held together in an area at the front of the carpet and would be thrown into the fire whenever a talent spotter saw someone arrive.  So we never really knew who we were going to get.  It's crazy how everyone kind of blends in together.  After the pre-telecast started, I was sent to the curb to wait for my talent to escort.  It just so happened to be Bruno Mars.

I found this story on MTV.com AND you can see me (albeit briefly)!!!  I'm in the left-hand corner of the screen around the :05 mark and then seen walking behind Bruno and Snooki with my clipboard to go and ask BET if they were ready for the next interview, lookin' all serious and stuff.  By the way, the MTV article is hilarious: "And then the two went into some impromptu fist-pumping, which is almost grounds for legal marriage in Seaside Heights."  I was behind Bruno during Access Hollywood and Ellen, so you might get a few glances of me during those shows too.

Since his publicist was with him, it was my job to be accommodating and help lead them through traffic, as well as let his publicist know who was available for interviews and when they were ready for Bruno.

He was sooo nice and kind of reserved but really came alive in front of the cameras.  Billy Bush calls him the Hawaiian Lion which is fitting because of his hair -- and everyone was asking him for Elvis' impressions.  Did you guys like his performance? I did!  I thought it was adorable.

While waiting on Bruno to be interviewed by my future mentor/boss, Ryan Seacrest (gotta keep my dreams alive), I was a good foot away from Nicki Minaj.  Let me reiterate something I said multiple times on Twitter. All these "curvy" women in Hollywood are in fact not your normal "curvy."  They are SKINNY!!!!  I'm like damn Nicki, you have a huge butt but you are petite!  I should probably refrain from eating solid food for a month.  For the record, she is strikingly beautiful.

After Bruno, I went back to the front of the carpet and was sent out to war again.  They had me wait and then surely more talent started to arrive.  The first people to arrive were Heidi Klum and Seal.  I'm sure you guys already know but Heidi is outstandingly gorgeous. It's so unfair!  However, she and Seal didn't need an escort so they waited to put me with another person.  The next people to arrive were Will, Jada and Willow Smith.  Will was very friendly and said 'Hi,' and as I was about to start to escort them their publicist said they didn't need any navigation since they weren't doing to do a bunch of interviews.  Womp Womp.  Finally I was assigned another pair -- Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman.

Click the photo to enlarge
They were both very nice and patient, and they only did ET & E! before heading to the photo wall.  If you watch the Ryan Seacrest interviews you can see me (again, briefly) behind them as they're being interviewed, as well as during Miley Cyrus' interview and JLO with Marc Anthony

I'm to the immediate left of Keith!
I kid you not, at one point I was literally in a circle surrounded by Miley, Adam Lambert, Seal, Heidi, Jada, Will, Willow, Keith and Nicole.  I mean, when will that ever happen again?!  Just me and my clipboard, geeking out.  I almost had a moment when I walked by Jennifer Lopez but I kept my composure, obviously, because it was work.  But I mean REALLY.  I love her.

Side notes: I totally missed Drake and Biebs come in because I was walking Keith and Nicole down to the step-and-repeat.  After dropping them off, I had to run to the other side to help them exit and I was standing around waiting with Chord Overstreet and Mark Salling.  Timberlake wasn't there, and I don't think Carrie Underwood was either!  I was like, "MUST FIND JT."  I would have ripped a weave out if anyone tried to take him from me!  Weezy avoided the carpet all together.  Adam Levine and Adam Lambert are both really tall! 

There was a ton more seen and heard, but this is all the important stuff -- and stuff I feel okay repeating.  Some stuff has to be kept secret for whimsy's sake. :)  It was a wonderful, fulfilling day and I am eager to work the Elton John Oscar Party at the end of this month!

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