Wrestle….What?

28 04 2013

 

 

 

I should probably have mentioned what the purpose was of this pilgrimage to New York.   And although I have to say that for myself, the journey was much more entertaining and rewarding than the final destination….try telling that to a fourteen year old who is on his way to WrestleMania.  Also, try telling him that WWE Wrestling isn’t 100% real….those conversations don’t go to well…or rather they go round and round in circles, until I give up and hope this  fanatic fascination is just a phase (and that it ends soon).

And so, I graciously said, ‘No, don’t worry about me. You guys go…I’m sure I can find ‘something’ to do in NYC’.  So the boys headed to Metlife Stadium, without me.  You can imagine my waves of disappointment and the crocodile tears I cried (kidding).  I prepared them as best I could – tickets in hand, pocket hand warmers, toques, gloves, jackets, etc.  Because who thought it was a good idea to have a show at an outdoor arena in the beginning of April in the NorthEast?  The entire week prior to the show we kept an eye on the weather forecast.  At one point it said 38 degrees, but feels like 34 degrees.  Umm, not even the flames shooting from the stage are going to keep you warm in those temperatures.

But, the weather warmed up a little bit, it only kind of rained on them, and surprisingly the flames shooting from the stage did create a little warmth (and possibly singed some eyebrows).  The crowds cheered and heckled as the matches began, one after another, and crowd favorites The Undertaker, The Rock, John Cena, etc. made their way into the ring and battled a completely fair and in no way staged fight.

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But, although not my cup of tea, there must be something special happening that attracts over 75,000 people to sit in the cold, bring their own homemade signs, scream their voices out and watch grown men battle in shortie shorts.

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No Heads to Move

5 01 2012

You tend to know when something truly unique is happening to you.  It’s usually when everything is a little bit too overwhelming, when you’re experiencing sensory overload and when all you can really do is make a complete 360 turn and look around in awe.

It happened when I was surrounded by 600 hot air balloons taking off and it happened on December 16th.

Dec. 16th at the Tacomadome

When was the last time you didn’t have to sway back and forth like a metronome trying to see a concert between the heads of the people in front of you?  I don’t think I will ever experience another concert where my 5′ 2 1/2″ stature will have a complete unobstructed view of the stage.  And I LOVED it!  It was like a private concert and you forget that there’s close to 20,000 people behind you.  And…you get to see something you would never know was happening…the cameramen taking a break and chilling by the stage with a little portable espresso maker and some dark chocolate.  Pretty cool…





Lights, Camera, Action!

28 11 2011

At the corner of La Brea and Sunset you can find a cute English-Style village; definitely not something that you would expect in the middle of Hollywood.  But, when you see Kermit the Frog looking down at you, you realize where you are.   The birthplace of moving pictures – Charlie Chaplin’s original sound stage, Home of The Muppets, otherwise known as the Jim Henson Company. 

Jim Hensen's Studio

It wasn’t until we had the opportunity to help out at an event designed and produced by our friends at rock and rain, that we realized how cool it was to be in this space.  The moment that made me pause during a very busy set up day was when I saw the “Recording” light and I thought about how many times that light had been turned on, and how many films had taken place in the same room that I was standing in.

"Recording"

You saw the “Before” above.  Now, take a look at the “After”.  I wish I would have attended a party that was this cool when I was a kid.  Ice cream sundae bar, candy goodie bags, a mirror surrounded in lights for facepainting and hairstyling, a colouring wall, a workshop to customize your own clothes, asian-style photo booths, tons of food, and a runway show.  What more could a kid want in a party?

The "After"

Best Facepaint Ever

The "Workshop"

Photo Op

The Runway

The Designer Walk

Just a Few Photographers





ALL ACCESS

2 07 2010

Dave Matthews Band performed at the DTE Center in Clarkston, MI and we made sure to go visit our new friends.  It was a sold out show and the traffic line up to get in the outdoor venue was crazy!!!  So our All Access passes came in handy!

We had a wonderful opportunity to have freedom at the venue and see the concert from all angles.  We had an overall view from the top railing, we got up close and stood in the front row, just in front of the stage security, we went to the hospitality area behind stage to chat with the people behind all of the magic, and we watched the encore from stage right.

And to be even more obnoxious, when you watch the video you’ll see that the flip video couldn’t handle how close we were to the action.

And just before we left the venue, guess who walked by and said hello?  Brett Michaels.  He came to watch the show from backstage since he was performing at the venue the following day.





Bonnaroo Buzz

20 06 2010

When we landed at Bonnaroo, I thought, ‘this is very similar to Vancouver Folk Festival – I know what to expect.  It’s just bigger’.  Well, this experience was nothing like my experience at Folk Fest.  Not because it didn’t have a lot of different stages with an eclectic mix of music.  And not because it didn’t have thousands of people flocking together, where bathing suit tops, sarongs and flip flops were the dress code.  And definitely not because it didn’t have a delicious assortment of vender food and a huge assortment of jewelry, clothes and other arts and crafts to be sold.

It was so different because we were ensconced in the artists area, away from the masses.  And here, we were able to meet the people who put the whole festival together and see how things really work.  Here we met the sponsors, the hospitality crew, the bartenders, the volunteers, the production and camera crew, artist management, etc.  Really, we met all of the important people.

And what we realized was that everyone takes care of each other and here is where you get opportunities to see things and experience things you never thought that you would.

Years ago, at my very first Vancouver Folk Fest I watched Michael Franti & the Spearheads perform a long ways back from the stage.  And it was one of my favourite Folk Fest memories.  At Bonnaroo, I had the opportunity to watch the performance from stage left.

Jay-Z always puts on a good show.  But standing on an elevated stage left platform beside Stefan (from the Dave Matthews Band), a few feet away from Stevie Wonder, and across the stage from Beyonce, looking out at a sea of people as far as I could see, made a HUGE difference.  It took me a while to come down from that Bonnaroo Buzz.

Watching the Zac Brown Band perform on the elevated stage left platform also gave me the opportunity to notice that one of the guys just so happened to be wearing a Rocawear t-shirt and button up woven.  Guess our gifting worked!

And we just had to stay to see the Bonnaroo Finale – Dave Matthews Band performance.





Nothing in life is free

20 06 2010

Our role at Bonnaroo was to provide a cool lounge for artists to hang out in.  “Cool” not only because we had custom couches, flat screen tv’s and DJ Hero, but also because we kept the lounge at a “cool” 70 degrees with our handy dandy air conditioning units.  And, when outside is almost 100 degrees with high humidity, 70 degrees is a breath of fresh air.

We also welcomed all of the artists that performed at Bonnaroo to come in for a gifting opportunity for some free swag, which came in handy when people were looking for something new to wear onstage, OR something dry to wear after they finished performing.

But, as you know, there’s no such thing as “FREE”.  Our price:  autographing 2 t-shirts (one to be donated to Bonnaroo and auctioned off for charity and the other for the Rocawear office) and taking a photograph.  Not too steep of a price for a free outfit.

Needless to say, everyone loves free gifts and we had a chance to meet some very cool people.  As you can see from the shirts above, many many many people stopped by.  Comedians Jeffrey Ross and Andy Richter stopped by, as did some of the guys from Dave Matthews Band, Trombone Shorty (you may have seen him on HBO’s Treme) and Big Sam of Big Sam’s Funky Nation.





Who knew I was such a fan

9 06 2010

Remember when I was SOO excited to be a “grown up” and be able to choose to be a ridiculous flighty teenager at the GLEE concert?  Well…I may have forgotten that whole ‘grown up’ part and turned into a ridiculous, screaming (well…I raised my voice) GROUPY. Some would even say that I fit right in with the 10 year old boys screaming for Simon and Ryan Seacrest.

Kidding.  Definitely Kidding.  I was not screaming for Ryan Seacrest (but I did take a picture of his car).

But I did manage to find my way into the Nokia Theater while I was in LA to watch the American Idol Finale performance show.  It’s just called, ‘being in the right place at the right time’.  Or, ‘eavesdropping on your booth neighbour and demanding that he find 2 tickets to the show and telling him that you were going to be his new BFF’.

Regardless of how it happened, I made it into the Nokia Theater, watched Lee and Crystal battle it out live and I’m embarrassingly admitting that I ran like a little school girl to the back of the theatre (with my new BFF saying, “Traci I ran for you, now pick up the pace”) and stood at the gates waiting for somebody (hopefully famous) to come through those back doors.  Well, we didn’t have to wait very long before Ellen and Kara came out and actually came up to take photos and sign autographs.  I was not properly schooled in the art of celebrity chasing so I awkwardly stood by the gate, half-heartedly called their names and unsuccessfully tried to take photos with them.

I did manage to get someone to sign my “Official American Idol T-Shirt”; however at first I didn’t know what her name was or which season of Idol she was really from.  But, it was a start.  From there we went to the front of the theatre where the current season Idol’s were making the rounds, taking photos, signing autographs and being interviewed.  After 30 minutes of hanging around I started to come out of my Idol frenzy and I thought to myself, “what am I doing?  I am NOT this person.  I’m not a groupy.  I have GOT to get out of here”.

After I slept off my Idol high, I headed back to the convention for the final day and tear down.  As soon as I got to the Convention Hall, which just so happened to be beside the Nokia Theater, I saw the media barricades, the red carpet and I started to feel a little tingle of excitement.  I mean, who finds themselves in the heart of the American Idol frenzy and doesn’t participate.  Don’t worry – I came prepared this time.

With my sharpie and American Idol T-Shirt in one hand and my camera and flip video in the other, I met up with my partner in crime and together we spent 3 hours at the back gates of the Nokia Theater.  I know, it’s a long time.  But you feel like you put so much time in that you should stay, and then you feel like if you leave you’re going to miss someone really good!!!  We saw a lot of people – Christina Aguilera, The BeeGees, a WHOLE bunch of past Idols, Alanis Morrisette, etc.  This time I committed to one primary goal – Autographs.

Here is the final list:

Kelly Clarkson, Kris Allen, Brooke (someone or other), Alanis Morrisette, Robin (from the BeeGees), Jordan Sparks, Reuben Studdard, Nick Cannon (America’s Got Talent host OR Mariah Carey’s husband), Orianthe, Kimberly Clark, AND Ellen Degeneres (however she only put on a dot because she couldn’t write on the shirt- but I swear it was her).

Well, I don’t know if I’ll ever do this again, but at least I can say that I did it.

Check that off the list.  And I did get a couple of photos…