As all of you know, the Grammy Awards just recently happened February 12th. One of Rock Valley College’s students had a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of the red carpet event.
Emily Sotakoun, current Valley Forge Social Media Editor, won a seat filler ticket to the Grammy Awards, and had much to say about her experience this past February.
What is a seat filler you ask? A seat filler is a person who fills the seats of any nominee or ticket holder who leave their seats for a few moments, so there will not be any empty seats in the crowd.
Sotakoun gave us the the full insight on what goes down at a red carpet event from a seat filler’s point-of-view.
So you won a ticket to the Grammys, how did you win this?!
“There’s a seat fillers website that is constantly looking for seat fillers for all types of audience events in the Los Angeles area. I didn’t enter like normal, I posted my favorite Christmas memory and somehow they chose me for the first 15 winners. I booked my trip the night I found out I won, too!”
Did you get to walk the red carpet?!
“Nope. I never even got a glimpse of the red carpet. I was in a parking garage for 3 hours until they finally walked us to the event location. I couldn’t believe they didn’t even give us chairs to sit in, I was in so much pain standing in heels for 3 hours on cement. By the end of the night my feet were literally bloody.”
You’re at the Grammys, inside the Staples Center, what now?
“This is where I started getting nervous. They called the first 20 seat fillers (I was #2) in to the holding area inside the arena. We were hidden behind the audio tower, but they provided a TV so we could watch the show while hidden. The show is about to begin, and they tell us to get up and sit up front, anywhere. I got 4th row. I spot John Legend and Joe Jonas right away!”
The show begins, what was your first reaction?
“I shed like 2 tears. Adele came out and sang “Hello” and I nearly hit the floor. She is an angel sent from heaven, seriously.”
As the show moves along, did you see/talk to any celebrities?
“Of course! Nobody realizes that I was sitting behind Jay Z, by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and ahead of Twenty One Pilots. I saw all the performers walk by me in the aisles, but that’s as close to interaction as I got. Pentatonix was sitting behind me for about an hour, until they went to perform. Halsey was also 2 rows up from me the entire time. I ended up sitting 8th row the rest of the show, so I guess I was lucky! Here’s the catch: seat fillers are not allowed to talk to celebrities unless they talk to you first, weird right? Though, I wasn’t going to risk getting kicked out, you know?”
Did you get any photos inside the event?
“I took photos after the event. We got our phones taken away right when we checked in! I took a photo of myself with the Grammys sign and I found a picture of me in the audience when Twenty One Pilots accepted their award! Everybody BUT seat fillers could have their phones. Everybody around me was snap chatting and texting through the whole show. I still don’t get it!”
Finally, any wild things happen to you while at the event?
“Well, I did get in trouble. I mean, I didn’t get kicked out, but I got yelled at for getting on the round stage that all the nominees performed on. I asked a production member to take my picture, and he told me to get up on the stage…so I did, but then security came over and told me to get off the stage, then proceeded to ask why I got up there. The production crew didn’t even back me up, but at least I didn’t get arrested!”
Was being a seat filler worth all the money and effort you put in?
“Honestly, I definitely would NOT do this again, only because it’s not what it’s all cracked up to be. I do revolve my life around celebrities, but there were barely any celebrities even there. A ton of upcoming celebrities were in the crowd, but nobody I really was “WOW’d” by, other than Adele and Bruno Mars, obviously. The show was really long, and somewhat boring. The event was cool, just not cool being a seat filler.”
“Also, eat before you go; I was craving a hot dog an hour into the show. Wear comfortable shoes, you stand for several hours. Obey every rule the seat filler company gives you or you will get kicked out. This is a once in a lifetime experience, just do it!”
Sotakoun got to experience something so many people only dream of, it’s crazy she even got this opportunity! We are so glad we got to hear it first hand from our very own RVC student, right here in the local area!