By Cielestia Calbay
Years ago, I aspired to find a job that would allow me to bask
in the presence of celebrities.
I was your typical teeny-bopper” Teen People and Seventeen were
my bible” and I aspired to be the host for E!
Though those superficial dreams are long gone, an inkling of it
came back when I had the opportunity to work a red carpet event for
The event was for a Snoop Dogg concert at Avalon.
At first I was excited, as my boss assigned me the role of
placing celebrities on the carpet as they checked in.
However, that excitement later turned into stress which turned
into frustration and ended with exhaustion.
It had started to rain, and though we shaded from the rain under
tents, I was not dressed appropriately for the weather.
Our dress code for the concert, as with all events, was black,
cocktail attire ” meaning no warm sweatshirts.
Before placing guests on the carpet, I helped check in media and
VIP guests, one of the roughest parts of the night.
When spotlights are coming out of Hollywood Blvd., a red carpet
is rolled out and barriers are set up, you’ll have people
“I don’t know that name; I’m going to have to ask you to step
aside,” was my mantra for the night.
And when that didn’t work, I had to get defensive and refer to
I’d spent a good two hours with people inches away from my face,
aggressive and angry.
Then, there was the pleasant time of dealing with Snoop’s five
ton manager who was complaining that we had been turning away
people on Snoop’s personal guest list, even though we’d explain to
him that we weren’t given the list in the first place.
After checking people in, I moved on to placing celebrities on
Celebrities make walking the red carpet look effortless, but
it’s an ugly task when you’re behind the scenes.
Everybody’s yelling at everybody, photographers are complaining
about their spot on the carpet, pushing and shoving ” these are
just some of the things that really went on.
My job was to make sure each celebrity received equal press time
on the carpet, and I was to place them after the previous guest had
Seemed simple enough. But when publicists are yelling at you for
not giving their client enough carpet time and your boss is telling
you to do a million things in addition to that, you know you’re in
for some hurt.
As soon as my boss said we’re clear, my attitude had lightened
up because then I was ready to enjoy the rest of the night.
I then found out Jim Jones was one of the surprise guests.
When he began performing “Pop Champagne,” and my boss gave us
our all-access passes, that compensated for everything that had
happened prior to the concert.
To my dismay, the passes only served for one thing ” more
My fellow interns and I were assigned to be floaters.
We were to wander around VIP areas where celebrities where
hanging out in hopes of picking up “juicy items.”
We were to text our boss for any such scandals that the firm
could use to tip off sites like TMZ.com or PerezHilton.com.
By the end of the night, I wondered why this was such a
lucrative industry, when there are more significant matters going
on in the world; maybe it’s the journalist in me.
Sure, the night had its perks, including an interesting moment
with Snoop himself, but it made me get a good grip of what I really
want to venture into come two months from now.
Reach Cielestia Calbay at
Lessons learned from the red carpet
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