I’m going to start this by apologizing for making my first blog post about the coolest and most interesting week of my internship, as the posts to come will undoubtedly be less glamorous. This week, however, is still very fresh in my mind and it only seems appropriate to post about it now. I’ll get to the cubicle life next week, I promise (which is still super fun and exciting).
Quick update: I started my internship at CMT/Viacom Media Networks in Nashville, TN on May 17th and every single day has been amazing. I’ve learned from some of the most hardworking and influential people in the music/television industry, and I’ve been able to leave my mark on projects that are directly beneficial to both CMT and Viacom as a whole. Side note, Viacom has been a dream company to work for, but I’ll get to that next week.
Anyways, the week of the CMT Awards (June 5th-June 7th) was an amazing combination of excitement, exhaustion, high energy, and networking. As a talent escort, I was able to shake hands with several of the industry’s most successful managers, publicists, band members, and principle artists. Each day (three days of rehearsal leading up to the actual event), it was thrilling to see not only the faces of talent that I have admired for many years, but also the faces of those who work behind the scenes to make these artists into such powerful brands. Additionally, being present to witness everything from the building of the red carpet, to the actual taping of the show, was invaluable for my interests in working in television production. This did not only confirm my aspirations for working in the television industry, but it also opened my eyes to the possibility of working in live event production, as well.
The second two days of the week were especially meaningful to me, as I was assigned to work as the talent escort to Charles Esten–the host of the whole awards ceremony and the star of the hit show, “Nashville” (watch it Thursday nights on CMT!!!). The job of a talent escort is to be on headset and follow the talent everywhere he or she goes, so that the production team is always aware of the talent’s location. I got incredibly lucky being assigned to Charles Esten, as it gave me the opportunity to really watch the whole event come to life. I worked closely with his stage manager, stylist, and publicist, as they each trusted me with separate tasks that better exposed me to the nature of the event. I was responsible for escorting Charles to different press interviews, meetings, and even to the bathroom when he needed it (I stood outside, don’t worry). I also got to walk the red carpet with him–which is way more stressful and overwhelming than I had imagined–and I was there with him when he granted a child a wish through the Make a Wish Foundation, which might have been the most awesome part of the whole week. During the actual taping of the awards show, I was stationed in the “quick change area,” which is where all of the presenters enter the stage and where the awards recipients exit. I have to say, it was pretty awesome watching the excitement that some of the recipients had offstage after winning their awards.
This may not sound like “work” to you, and, trust me, at times it did not feel like work to me, either. My main responsibilities during the actual show were to escort Charles to the dressing room when he needed to relax or see friends/family, retrieve his reading glasses for him that he left in his dressing room, and hold his lollipop when he needed to go on stage. Hard work, I know. But don’t be fooled: long production hours (typically around 14 hours/day), mixed with an enormous number of moving parts requires each individual part to always be moving, thinking, and anticipating the next task or responsibility. I learned so much about both my industry and live event production from working the CMT Awards, and left feeling so incredibly proud to be a part of such a strong, positive-minded, and hard working company. If the opportunity to work another awards show ever comes my way, I will 100% take it. Until then, you can find me at my cubicle in the Programming Strategy department of CMT.