When you work at a radio station, you sometimes get to do fun things.
My career as a DJ has whisked me and my husband off to L.A. for the Hollywood premiere of the 2004 blockbuster, “The Aviator,” where Mike and I met Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Beckinsale, Martin Scorsese and Paris Hilton. It’s sent us to broadcast live from the ski slopes in Beaver Creek, CO. It’s taken me to Nashville, New York City, and Las Vegas to watch both the ACM’s and CMA’s. I’ve traded jokes with Blake Shelton and discussed our youths’ alcohol problems with Brad Paisley. I’ve shaken George Straight’s hand and given dating advice to Kenny Chesney. I’ve even sat on-stage, yes, on the stage, during one of Brooks & Dunn’s final concerts.
All of that pales in comparison to the first time I met Taylor Swift.
When Taylor Swift comes to town, she comes with a splash. It’s not just a concert, it’s a major production, complete with costume and set changes between nearly every song. You don’t watch her sing, you experience full-blown sensory overload in every possible way.
And that’s minus the backstage pass.
Visiting an artist backstage sounds far more exciting than it is. You meet at a designated place roughly two hours before the concert begins. You get your pass, which is a fabric sticker, and you’d better not forget to take it off, because if it goes through the laundry it’s there for life (another story for another time).
Either a DJ or a label representative lines you up with about 30 other people and takes you down winding halls with more twists and turns than you can count (by design, no doubt, so you can’t sneak back in). Once you get to the room-next-to-the-room where you meet the artist, you stop and wait for approximately 20-45 minutes.
Then the cattle-call begins.
The DJ/label rep gives you strict instructions on what you may or may not do (i.e. shake hands but no autographs; get a picture, but not with your own camera; get something signed, but it has to be approved; smile but no chatter, you get the point), and then they file you through one-by-one. Then you’re ushered back through the endless twists and turns and that’s it.
Unless you’re Taylor Swift. (more…)