Lights, Cameras, Reactions

vmaredcarpet_WEBBy Carly Totten

Sometimes when you stop hoping for things to happen, they actually happen. I was not expecting to receive the best text message of my life on Sept. 12, but I did. My friend Brynne, from Rider, texted me and asked if I wanted to go to the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) the next day to be part of Taylor Swift’s performance. The tickets stated we would go to her dress rehearsal, be on the red carpet and be in her performance of “You Belong With Me” as “running fans.” Obviously, I texted back “Yes!”

Brynne and I arrived in New York City early Sunday morning, and after being “in holding” forever, we went to the Radio City Music Hall set. While we were waiting to start shooting, Jack Black and P!nk arrived for rehearsal — and it only got better. The set included six cabs. The cab that Swift sang on top of had been lowered into the ground. Although when Swift performed, it looked like everything was happening right then (singing in the subway and in a subway car and running up from the subway), the only part that actually happened on Sunday night was her running in and singing on top of the cab. The rest had been filmed before the show.

When the director was ready to shoot, Brynne and I were positioned on the side of Radio City with the rest of our group (there were about five groups scattered in different spots), and we were the last group to run and surround Swift’s cab. Somehow Brynne and I ended up being in the front of our group. The only area for us to run to was the back of Swift’s cab where the stairs were, which she would have to use to walk up and down from the cab. We were moshing for a country star. Then, Swift came down the stairs and was inches away from me.

After the rehearsal, we were escorted back to the building. A short time later, two men from the VMAs came in, and the 400-person group was told that something cool was going to happen to 20 people from the 150 person purple group — my group. The two men walked through, and Brynne and I were two of the 20 people picked. I never have this type of luck.
We were taken outside and were told that we were going to be working for Verizon. We were given free video phones to use because we were on the red carpet filming stars as they arrived. I walked the red carpet, I walked in front of the VMA wall where all the stars stood to have their pictures taken, I was even yelled at by the paparazzi. Some of the celebrities I saw were Lauren Conrad, Whitney Port, Chace Crawford, Taylor Lautner, Beyonce, P!nk, Lady Gaga, Ne-Yo, Kara DioGuardi, Katy Perry, Amanda Bynes and my favorite, Taylor Swift.

We left the red carpet and went over to wait for Taylor Swift’s performance to begin. Shortly after, she performed “You Belong With Me.” The performance began with Swift singing in the subway accompanied by a band.

At one point, she entered a subway car where some fans were already waiting, before exiting the subway and running up onto the street. I was again next to the stairs moshing for her performance. This time, it was crazy. The cabs were on, and I was jumping and singing and probably on the verge of passing out because I was breathing in car exhaust. I did not care. Everyone was cheering and screaming “TAYLOR!” when she finished her amazing performance.

Right after the performance, Brynne and I left NYC. However, my good luck continued on Monday night. On the red carpet the night before, the Verizon group was stationed right across from Maria Menounos from “Access Hollywood.” When Menounos was interviewing Taylor Lautner from Twilight, she brought him over to where we were standing. “Taylor Lautner Being Fed to the Wolves” was the title of the segment that appeared on National TV. I was in this segment, along with segments featuring Shakira and Kara DioGuardi, respectfully. I was on TV five times. This may have been the best part of my experience.

I will never forget those two days. Epic. Unforgettable. “Fearless.”

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