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AUGUST 20, 2012
Behind the scenes of a red carpet
You see the glamorous red carpet on TV and everyone is all smiles. It goes off without a hitch. Of course thatís what they want you to believe Ė itís Hollywood!
Having covered many of these events Iíve got the routine down. The first few appearances I was the rookie reporter anxiously eager to make a good impression. Now Iím a veteran, at least compared to some of the other media personalities.
Media check-in is usually over an hour before the event starts. If you are early enough you are corralled with your counterparts and stand and wait. Seeing as I am usually the only Canadian, I stick out like a sore thumb since I am not one of the ďregularsĒ who is at every event. Now I tend to show up shortly before it all starts.
Once I find out how the red carpet is going to work I generally start at the end Ė since thatís where radio outlets are usually stuck Ė to find out if I am dead last, which was common when I first started out. TV outlets like the big entertainment shows and local stations get first dibs, print is next with radio and the web rounding out the carpet.
This positioning makes the hour-early arrival even more boring because when the red carpet event starts, the celebs will go one by one to all of the outlets, spending at least two minutes with each. If you are in a lineup of 30 media outlets, you have at least a one-hour wait though depending on the event you might have celeb handlers passing out tip sheets about stars so you know what to talk about when (if) you get them.
Some reporters donít know when to shut up so the celeb might be exhausted or running so late that they skip the last bunch of reporters. (If you have ever checked out my event coverage at live.jbonair.com and wondered why there wasnít a particular interview, thatís probably what happened.)
Next is the handshake or Hollywood air kisses, a quick intro and youíre off and running pretending like you care, and pretending like they care. You have the fake smile and nod as though you are intently listening while their handler stands behind them giving a wrap-up signal before you come up with a clever exit from the chat and they are off to the next person.
If you have heard Hollywood types are fake, itís true and they are out in full force on a red carpet. But I must admit there is still something incredibly fun about it!