Not only was my journey to the 2013 American Music Awards show notably surreal, but it also seemed to last no longer than it took a TMZ reporter to snap a picture of Lady Gaga gracing the red carpet atop a human-operated horse.
Upon getting hired as a Bites social media intern this past June, I was well aware that the company had an established partnership with the American Music Awards. In fact, it was that specific alliance that initially drew my attention to the position. Since I wasn’t hired during award show season, the researching and publishing I did during my shifts did not pertain to the AMAs. When my coworker notified me that I had a phone appointment with the Bites CEO, I truly did not give it a second thought as monthly phone check-ups were already a routine part of my internship. So when we finally conducted the phone call and the CEO offered me on all-expense-paid trip to Los Angeles to report on the American Music Awards in November, I was completely astonished. The mere thought of such an amazing opportunity was unfathomable to me since I had only been with the company for a few months.
Bewilderment aside, I tried my hardest to contain my uncontrollable excitement while going through the motions of class and work over the next few weeks while calming my anxiety over what to wear next to the incredibly talented and painfully-gorgeous celebrities with killer designer fashion.
When I arrived to LA the Friday before the event, I was immediately put to work. I was the only Bites intern flown out to work on-site for the event, so I was in charge of creating all the content that was to be published on the Bites mobile app and website during the AMAs. Fortunately, I had the benefit of completing my pre-production duties on location at the Nokia Theatre both Saturday and Sunday. With the start of the show nearing the 24-hour countdown, the venue was bustling with rehearsals, last minute-script edits and equipment tests. Being at the center of the action was thrilling and I loved observing all of the intricate tasks that enable the execution of a production as large as the American Music Awards.
I worked countless, tiresome hours prior to the event and when it came time for the show to finally start I was slightly disappointed to find that I would be publishing content from the basement of the Nokia Theatre, but then I remembered my spot in the AMAs hierarchy. As an intern I was somewhat destined to take on the grunt work. Ultimately though, the perks of my weekend far outshined the disappointments. I was able to sit in for the full rehearsal of Lady Gaga and R. Kelly’s “Do What U Want” performance, and to see a famed public figure like Lady Gaga only feet from me directing the rehearsal definitely left me a little star struck. My all-access backstage media pass earned me a few life-making trips down the red carpet, where I got to pose for a few pictures, gawk at the E! News booth and walk past one of my longtime career idols Giuliana Rancic. Being surrounded by such an admirable group of talent was incredible.
Following the AMAs, I went backstage where post-show celebrity interviews took place. I admittedly acted a little paparazzi-ish being surrounded by so many big-name celebrities, but it’s not every day that I was an arm’s length from Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan, so I had to take full advantage.
My trusty all-access pass pulled through once again later in the night by landing me an invite to the AMAs after-party. With an open bar at my disposal and my first AMAs under my belt, the thought of ordering bottomless cocktails and dancing the night away was tempting, but I had to keep in mind that I was in a the presence of many accomplished individuals. So along with the open bar and buffet, networking became the game of the evening.
Most stories of this nature take the “it’s not as glamorous as it sounds” approach, but I can’t lie, it was as glamorous at it sounds. It was the weekend of a lifetime and it went by all too fast. The experience gave me a much-needed reminder to never underestimate what a seemingly small opportunity could blossom into. All of my expectations were met during my fabulous weekend in LA and I could not be more thankful to have been granted the opportunity to walk down the red carpet this early in my career. If all goes as planned, it surely won’t be my last ruby red stroll.