Things I learned:
Jackson Browne isn’t black.
John Stamos is sexy even when he isn’t being sexy.
Security guards lose their crap in front of Vin Diesel.
Los Angeles isn’t always warm.
First of all, here’s some proof that I was there:
Here’s me with Jackson Browne on the red carpet for MusiCares Person of the Year:
Here’s me behind Tyrese, who I escorted for the GRAMMYs:
And finally, here’s me with some friends on the red carpet after the mayhem:
Now that we’ve established that I’m not a filthy liar, I’ll tell you a little bit about my experience.
In case you live under a rock, I’ll start by telling you that Bruce Springsteen was the honoree for this year’s MusiCares Person of the Year. Before the media blitz happened, our supervisor quizzed us on the physical appearances of the talent (it’s not imperative to know, just handy). When he gets to Jackson Browne, the group goes silent. Not one person spoke up. So, being the smart-kid-that-can’t-deal-with-awkward-silences-after-questions-asked-by-authority-figures person that I am, I just decide to guess, and this comes out of my mouth:
“Isn’t he black?”
*Cue the uncontrollable laughter of my supervisor.
*Cue him calling over all staff and security and saying, “Hey, this girl thinks that Jackson Browne is black!”
*Cue more pointing and laughing.
*Cue my friends slowly backing away from me as they simultaneously throw me under the bus.
Fast forward to everyone breaking to go about their business, and three or four of my friends come up to me and say, “Hey, I thought he was black too.”
REALLY? THANKS, GUYS.
Also, I was thinking James Brown, with is silly since I know full-well that he is dead. *Googles “James Brown” to make sure he is indeed dead.*
Maybe in some parallel universe, James Brown is still alive and Jackson Browne is black.
Anyway, fast forward again to the actual event. I’m just lalala waiting in line for my turn to escort someone, when my supervisor calls me to the front of the line and says, “Okay, I’m putting you with Jackson Browne. Here are his publicist and friend, I’ve already told them that you thought he was black.”
*Cue them having a jolly good time laughing at me.
*Wow, we cue a lot.
Thankfully, they were wonderfully nice people who really liked me. I’ve been so blessed that in all my experiences, I’ve never had a mean publicist or manager *knocks on wood*.
When Mr. Browne himself climbed out of the car, the first thing his publicist said was, “This is your escort, Lydia. She thought you were black.”
Then I, being all smooth-like, went, “But uh… Now I know you’re not. Clearly. Uh. Hi.”
I’m awkward sometimes.
At least they said, “We’ll be telling the “Lydia Story” for many years!”
You’re welcome. I planned it that way. Gotcha!
This one’s shorter: Basically, I was standing right at the edge of the carpet when John Stamos got out of the car. It was raining, so everyone was really flustered, including John, right? Nope. He stepped out, shook some rain from his hair, and started walking. Right as he went to readjust his slim-cut black jacket, he turned to the side and made eye contact with me. I didn’t know mental memory photos were things, but I sure as hell took one. I wish I could share it with you all.
Have Mercy! (In Uncle Jesse voice)
For the actual GRAMMYs on Sunday, I escorted a lot of really lovely people: Brent Fischer, nominated (and won!) for Best Latin Jazz Album; D’Manti, a beautiful and scantily clad latina singer; Glenn Hughes, bassist from Deep Purple; Radmilla Cody, nominated for Best Regional Roots Music Album; and Tyrese and Vin Diesel, who showed up together to promote The Fast and the Furious 6 (2013).
By the time Vin and Tyrese showed up, the security guards were yelling at everyone to clear the carpet. They don’t mess around with that stuff. It’s actually quite terrifying. However, when they saw Vin Diesel, everything changed.
Suddenly, these huge, bulky bullies turned into fangirls.
I heard: “I love you, Vin. You’re my man.”
“I’ve seen all your movies, man.”
“I love you, Vin Diesel.”
“You come on through, Vin. You’re awesome.”
So, we basically got to do the red carpet with only a few other people. It was nice.
Also, Vin Diesel is actually quite soft-spoken. I had to physically move him to his interviews at times.
It was cold, and I suffered. No one wants to being wearing practical clothes when everyone looks like a fairy princess, so I just froze my butt off. Also, it’s freezing when you’re waiting for talent to arrive, but roasting once you get on the carpet.
You just can’t win. Los Angeles, you lied to me. I wanted sunshine! I wanted warmth!
The Number 1 thing I learned about myself was that I want to work even more behind the scenes than I thought. Celebrities are just people, and I get a little cynical watching all the hype. The media makes me really angry sometimes. I’ve seen so many talented artists get turned away for media coverage just because they’re not someone who little girls want to squeal over, or no one cares what they had for breakfast. Why do people care what Justin Timberlake has for breakfast, anyway?
I’m jaded. Welcome to Hollywood.