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The Experience, Part 1

Chiffon Events owner, Carina Glover, taking a quick selfie before the red carpet opens while waiting for the driver to arrive.  Within minutes she was heading to the hotel to pick-up her up talent.

Actress January Jones after presenting an award for Offensive Player of the Year.

The NFL Honors Awards red carpet prior to opening.

Actress January Jones after presenting an award for Offensive Player of the Year.

The entry to the red carpet. Just behind the gates is the talent drop off location. Fans were across the street cheering as they witnessed their favorite players, coaches, actors/actresses, and entertainers arrive.

Actress Taraji P. Henson walking the red carpet before the show.

‘Man the traffic here is crazy, I can’t believe I’m on my way to pick up actress January Jones. Ok the red carpet closes at 4:30, I hope she’s ready, dang I’m hungry…did I eat today?’, my mind was racing as I sat in the back of the black Suburban in downtown San Francisco headed to the hotel. It was February 6, 2016; the energy of the city was on an all-time high as thousands of visitors traveled to the city for Superbowl  50. I on the other hand was in the Golden Gate City to work the 5th annual NFL Honors Awards. Once the long awaited confirmation email came, it seemed like time started to fly by. Before you know it I was in the back of the official NFL car picking up one of the five talent (January Jones, Amy Adams, Kendrick Lamar, Taraji P. Henson, and Rob Lowe) being transported to the event.

 

We arrive at the Civic Graham Theatre where the event is being held and join the long line of limos and black SUVs. We exit the Suburban and are immediately greeted with flashing lights and screaming fans lined up along the street. At this point, all nervousness, excitement, and feelings of anxiety are no-where to be found. Not that it wasn’t exciting, but now it was game time.

 

The show starts live at 5:00 pm, the lobby that was previously filled with NFL players, publicists, actors, and entertainers is now starting to empty as guests head to their seats in the large auditorium. As a presenter at the start of the show it’s time for January to head to the green room so she can prepare to go on stage. The energy in the room is just as high as I see a number of talent enjoying drinks and socializing.

 

Live in 3, 2, 1.…the crowd goes wild as host Conan O’Brien approaches the stage. January and Taraji P. Henson are on stand-by as they’re set to present in just minutes.  As I make my way backstage squeezing by producers, sound technicians, and production assistants my appreciation for award shows grows by the second. Behind these shows are hundreds of people who put in thousands of hours of work to bring this event to life. Finally I see the makeup artist stations, a sign that I’m nearing the other side of the stage where presenters exit. Once I arrive January has finished presenting and is walking off.

 

As she proceeds to the line of press waiting to interview her, I hear actress Taraji presenting her award. She too then joins the press room as she gives the photographer various angles of her in her fitted black dress. While both women were flawless and inspired me to work out, the one thing I noticed most was their friendliness and sense of humor. They were the type of women who demanded your attention with their beauty, but gained your respect with their grace. With being only 10 hours into my day, I check the time and see that it’s only 5:45 pm… the day was only starting. As we break for commercial I hear someone call for the next presenters to head to the green room. Now it was time for Kendrick Lamar to own the stage.

 

I take a mental note to sneak off and do some stretches later; I can feel my legs starting to cramp. Then I remember today is only day 2 of an eventful two weeks planned. In just four days I head off to Los Angeles for the Grammy’s. ‘Ok Carina live in the moment, the NFL needs you here now’ I think to myself. I then escort January back to her front row seat next to her father. I enjoy the few minutes of calm as I stand back and watch the show. That surreal moment was the first of many to come.

 

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