As a girl who was born and raised in Los Angeles, the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry is not relatively new to me. In fact, the general appeal of Hollywood – and all that it represents to the rest of the country – has faded as a result of constant exposure to the city itself over the past couple of years. Those raised around the area, like me, understand that the allure of Hollywood doesn’t ever really live up to its reputation.
Still, when I was given the opportunity to serve as a student journalist at KIIS FM’s Wango Tango on May 9, the idea of actually being on the red carpet was inevitably both enchanting and intoxicating. The red carpet has always been a notorious element in perpetuating the alluring, and perhaps even slightly misleading, nature of Hollywood. By actually participating as a reporter on the carpet, can I say that the experience really lived up to my expectations?
Well, no. The red carpet, like all clichéd notions, failed to rise to my impossible expectations (meaning, no, Nick Jonas and I did not make eye contact across the carpet and instantly fall in love). But, despite its lack of luster and shininess, being able to work on the carpet instead of just watching others work on it through a silver screen made me appreciate the iconic symbol so much more. If anything, the experience taught me that things aren’t always what they seem.
- Not all celebrities on the carpet have times for questions. It isn’t unusual to have journalists clumped together in groups, each shoving mics at a celebrity’s face and trying to fit in one of their own questions for someone who unfortunately lacks the time to answer them all (I’m talking to you Meghan Trainor). Other times, some celebrities won’t even walk down the length of the carpet, other than for photos. However, it’s understandable. These people have busy schedules that they have to strictly follow, whether us journalists like it or not.
- Work on the red carpet takes an extraordinary amount of effort and time. You’d be surprised at how talking to, filming, and interviewing celebrities all day makes you forget that it’s already past 5 PM and that the only thing you ate that day was half of a toasted bagel 8 hours before that. (Thank goodness for the free snack bar, then, right?)
- It’s easy to talk to celebrities once you shake off your nerves. When Laura Marano – the first star on the carpet that Saturday – started walking down towards my general direction, I actually started freaking out a bit (and that’s putting it nicely). But, these people are here on duty just as much as the reporters are. Marano was more than friendly, and also completely understanding of my nerves. Ultimately, once you get the ball rolling, it becomes surprisingly simple to think of the interview as a polite conversation between friends.