April 19th, 2010
09:40 AM ET

Coachella: My move to the dark side

I'm not trying to sound pretentious or "Hollywood" at all, but celebrities sightings don't really phase me. I just don't get starstruck. Maybe I'm immune because of all the "star-studded" events I've covered for work, but I just feel bad for celebrities when paparazzi are encroaching on their space.

We've heard this over and over again, but hey - celebrities are people, too.

But Friday evening, I crossed over to the dark side and became a "pap" myself. As Katy Perry put it in the chorus of her hit song, "I Kissed A Girl" and "I liked it." The location was Coachella's V.I.P. area, and the star was - wait for it - Katy Perry. FULL POST

February 1st, 2010
09:17 PM ET

Michael Jackson’s 'Earth Song' needs trees for the watching

Sunday night, I had the amazing opportunity to work at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. From the outfits on the red carpet to the performances during the telecast, everything was fantastic. There are so many things I could write about, like seeing Lady Gaga’s spectacular outfit in person, and even questioning whether every Grammy winner was truly happy with the category they won in. However, there is just one topic that I’m going to bring attention to: the Michael Jackson’s tribute performance.

Yes, I thought that the “Earth Song” and its performers were great. The 3-D effect was very cool as well. However... Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” is a pro-environment, save the rain forests-themed tune. But aren’t 3-D glasses made of paper, from trees? Exactly how many trees were cut down to provide viewers with 3-D glasses in order to watch a performance that lasted a few minutes? Just wondering… What do you think?

November 9th, 2009
04:15 PM ET

"New Moon" behind the scenes

Yes, it’s true, “Twi-hards” – I spent my Friday and Saturday surrounded by all things “New Moon.” This included conversations with Robert, Taylor and Kristen – in the flesh. But first things first: if my event a few weeks ago with the Kardashians was as chaotic as the President coming into town, then no doubt about it, the process of screening “New Moon” Friday night was like trying to get a tour of the White House.

For press screenings, it’s usually protocol to check our cell phones and any recording devices with security. However, not once have I encountered a metal detector before entering the theater. Yup, you read correctly, metal detectors. The steps I went through before entering the theater began with checking in, driver's license in hand, and receiving a yellow wristband, then waiting in a very long line as security checked our wrists. Then we had to hand over our cell phones, BlackBerries, cameras, etc. Next, a line to check any bags we carried. Last but not least, two lines in front of theater number seven’s door, as two men with hand-held metal detectors scanned to check what we might still be carrying. Then began my two hours and 10 minutes of “New Moon.” By the way, Team Jacob fans: Taylor Lautner has a very nice six-pack, and it is seen plenty throughout the movie! (More on that in a later blog.)

Saturday, I spent about five hours talking (and waiting to talk) with 17 cast members from the movie: Rob, Kristen, Taylor, Chris the director, five members of the Cullens, four from the Wolfpack, and four Volturi members. I’m sure plenty of you would have loved to trade places with me, but this process is not what I would call an ideal day. Yes, Taylor and Robert shook my hand – and despite what many of you might have done, I did wash my hands later. Saturday certainly did not disappoint in the chaos department for me either. The number of press outlets present was amazing – from multiple online outlets all the way to the Hungarian channel, and of course CNN. I could really see the star status of the “Twilight Saga.” I shouldn’t be complaining – Kristen Stewart was my first interview of the day, but for her, I was number 31. About four hours in, Rob Pattinson was my second to last interview; he still had an hour of press after me. Coffee in hand and looking drained, he smiled and said, “I’m starting to speak a little rubbish.”

While I wouldn’t trade my job for anything, Friday and Saturday was still work for me. How big a fan of the “Twilight Saga” are you? And what would you have traded to be in my shoes?

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Filed under: movies • New Moon • Twilight
October 20th, 2009
10:53 AM ET

The adventures of 'Astro Boy' and 'Balloon Boy'

Warning: mild 'Astro Boy' spoilers ahead.

 

Monday night, I covered the premiere of "Astro Boy" in Hollywood. 

So, what do "Astro Boy" and "Balloon Boy" have in common? Neither of the boys lived up to their parents’ desires.  

"Astro Boy" is a robot created by a scientist in the likes of a son he lost, in hopes of filling a void. "Balloon Boy" is about a son named Falcon Heene, used by selfish, fame-chasing parents as a tool in a fictional scenario.

Astro Boy is not able to meet his father's needs and goes on a journey in search of acceptance. Falcon goes on numerous public interviews and gets sick on national TV, and now his parents are being accused of carrying out a hoax.

Eventually, Astro Boy becomes a hero who saves a city –- Balloon Boy’s future is questionable.

While most stars on the red carpet chose not to voice their opinions on the Heene family, Eugene Levy summed it up like this: “This is a guy who takes his kids to chase hurricanes and thinks it’s cool. That’s where you have to start. The story right now has come almost full circle… it’s pretty bizarre, this is not your typical family situation.”

Where do you think the future lies with Falcon Heene and his brothers, his whole family?

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Filed under: movies
October 8th, 2009
09:48 AM ET

Sardines in a can and the Kardashians

Apparently to “Keep up with the Kardashians” I need to learn to squeeze myself into an extremely tight space and wait for two hours.

Wednesday night, the Kardashian ladies hosted an opening for “Famous Cupcakes,” an organic and kosher cupcake shop in Beverly Hills. The ladies made a grand entrance on a carriage drawn by white horses about two hours after the event was scheduled to start. All the while, about every imaginable media outlet waited patiently with more than enough space on the sidewalk of Beverly Drive – NOT. On most nights I can’t believe what an awesome job I have – tonight was not one of those nights.

The media coverage for the Kardashians' red carpet arrival felt like the President was coming into town. All that attention also meant very little space for every one of us there. I have been in the middle of a mosh pit twice in my life, once at college concert, the second time was tonight. I actually think sardines in a can have more room than I did. Cameras from various crews were resting on my head and shoulder.  Heels were dug into my toes and someone actually used my back as a desk to write on. All this so I could ask Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner why they liked “Famous Cupcakes” for two whole minutes.

However, according to Kim Kardashian, “Hate is the new love” so apparently I must be head over heels in love with tonight’s event.

August 14th, 2009
11:50 PM ET

Getting to know Woodstock

A few weeks ago, I was out shopping and came across an awesome graphic shirt with the words “Woodstock 69.”  I headed toward the register when it dawned on me … do I even know what Woodstock is? Would I become a poser?  I’m 23. The only thing Woodstock and I have in common is that we were both born in August –my birth taking place almost two decades later. So, the shirt went back to its rack and I went home empty handed.

woodstock

The summer of 1969 held many historical events, like the moon landing, the Manson murders, and of course… Woodstock. The moon landing was taught in history class and the Manson murders have often been in the headlines, but Woodstock was left out.  I had a vague idea of what it was – some type of music festival, like Coachella – but it was never intriguing enough for me to Google.

With the festival’s 40th anniversary at hand, I thought what better time than now to really find out about Woodstock and if it is still relevant to us. I went out to ask fellow members of the “millennial” generation, how much they knew about Woodstock. Most of the responses I got were not surprising to me at all. “Um, I’ve never heard of that actually. Oh, I remember! It was like, wasn’t it really old and like there was a bunch of hippies.” One person actually started talking about accounting and stocks when I asked them if they knew about Woodstock.

While some might cringe and wonder if this is our future, I can relate to my “young” generation.  It’s not because we're too involved with “who’s wearing what and who’s dating who.” It’s because some historical events are just that to most of us - history. We know it definitely changed a part of culture, but it’s also something of the past.

Knowing the facts would not be enough. One would need to know about the emotions which filled that year, and led up to that great music festival. Those that lived through the music extravaganza understood the significance of everyone getting together; the peace, love and value of unity that came at the end of turmoil and excitement of that year.

In 1969, many of the issues that generation fought for are no longer issues to us. In 1920, a woman voted for the first time in history, but today when we decide to or not decide to cast that ballot we don’t think about what our fellow women had to go through in order to fight for their rights.  While we celebrate our first African American president in 2009, forty years from now, young people might not know the significance it had on us.

Michael Jackson is an icon of our time and was considered the King of Pop. His sudden passing shocked the world. Though millions of fans watched his memorial service, it will be a moment remembered in history, but not taught in history class. Perhaps forty years from now, our children’s children will wonder what the big deal was about – maybe we’ll even hear “Michael Jackson… was he, like, a singer?”

After “getting to know Woodstock,” I’ve come to the conclusion that you just had to be there … be there in that moment of time. I might read the books and watch the movies, but I will never truly know what Woodstock is. I’ve realized, though, that it’s okay, because my generation too can say we’ve lived through historical events that some might not understand in the near future.

As for that shirt, I don’t think I’ll go back to get it, but next time I see a shirt with “Woodstock ‘69” on it, I definitely won’t feel like a poser.

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Filed under: Music
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