Reporting from the Red Carpet

Catherine Schefer gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to interview celebrities from the Jingle Ball Red Carpet

Catherine Schefer, Editor-In-Chief

Media, KRHS

Reporting from the red carpet at Jingle Ball was an experience that I never thought I would be fortunate enough to experience, nor is it one that I will ever forget. Several weeks ago my journalism teacher, Mrs. Shelly Norden informed me and several of my classmates of an opportunity to submit a piece of writing to a competition hosted by the 99.5 radio station. I had recently written an article titled “What Really Happened to America Day” and I figured I would submit it to see what happened. I thought my chances of winning were incredibly slim because this was a contest opened to hundreds of students in the area.
On November 29 I received a call from on air personality Toby Knapp, who, after pranking me and asking me about plagiarism, informed me that I had won the contest. I was absolutely speechless and had no idea what to say. The excitement from that afternoon quickly changed to nervousness as the realization of who I was going to be meeting began to set in.
That Monday was like any other Monday: I went to school. After school my sister, Stephanie, and I got ready together and we left with our parents for the concert. When we arrived Steph and I each received a press pass and were instructed to wear it at all times. We were led to the red carpet, which was exactly what it sounds like: it was a red carpet laid on the floor in front of the backdrop. We stood in this room and waited for the first group, Fifth Harmony, to walk the carpet. They didn’t do any interviews with any reporters, only pictures, so we were fortunate enough to be able to take a selfie with them. As the night went on the nerves began to settle and interviewing these musicians became easier.
This opportunity gave me a real-life reporting experience and it also provided a way to talk personally with some of today’s hottest stars in order to gain insight into who they are as people.
Grace Martine Tandon, more commonly known in the music industry as Daya, loves when her male fans hold up signs saying ‘the good boys hide here’ or ‘I am where the good boys go to hide away’, a reference to her debut hit Hide Away.
“I think this is hilarious when people do that, so I always call them out when they do,” said Daya.
Daya derives her professional name from her deeply rooted love for her family. Her grandfather is Hindi, and essentially, her first name Grace translates to Daya in Hindi.
Stars such as Singer Songwriter Alessia Cara carry important messages for their fans. During her performance Cara spoke directly to the girls in the audience in order to try to break some of the stereotypes that have been placed on the female population in today’s society.
“I want my viewers to take away that we don’t have to look a certain way or dress up to feel beautiful,” explained Cara. “I think there are so many expectations placed on us girls and as soon as you hear beauty you think done-up and a face full of makeup. I don’t want anyone to think that is the only way…and I’m not saying that is not beautiful because I like makeup and I love dressing up and I think that’s great but I just want to show people that there is an alternative to it too and you don’t always have to do that to feel beautiful.”
Messages to fans are not the only things that these famous musicians value. Their fans play an important role in their lives and many have had some incredibly memorable encounters. DNCE, a funk pop and dance-rock band, has had some humor-filled encounters mixed in with several sentimental encounters.
“I’ve had a fan ask me to punch him before,” recalled lead singer of DNCE, Joe Jonas. “I didn’t do it but it was memorable.”
“I had an older male fan who had fake hair and then during the concert he put it on my head,” said keyboardist Cole Whittle.
DNCE’s guitarist JinJoo Lee’s favorite encounters with fans take a more serious path.
“I get the message from young girls that they go and get a guitar and start practicing because they were watching me,” said Lee.
“I like doing events like this [Jingle Ball] and seeing little kids get excited as they see us walking down the halls,” explained DNCE drummer Jack Lawless.
While these stars have lives that differ from the average person, they share similar practices with the rest of the world during the holiday season. Many of these successful musicians will be spending quality time with their families just like the majority of the population. Daya and her family will be traveling to Australia this holiday season in order to be together after spending time apart during the year.
“We usually try to get together and travel [during the holidays] because we don’t get to see each other a lot during the year,” explained Daya. “We’re going to have fun surfing and have fun as a family.”
This past year has been lucrative for American rapper, songwriter and record producer Gerald Earl Gillum, more commonly known as G-Eazy. Gillum recently bought a house and is ready to open it’s doors to his family this holiday season.
“It’ll be really different,” said Gillum. “I’ll be bringing my mom and little brother to my house. That’s definitely a first. We’ve always just kind of figured it out, we’d either go to my grandma’s house or meet them somewhere and do something. So to be able to have a home like that and be able to bring my family to it is a really proud moment for me.”
Singer Songwriter Tove Lo’s favorite holiday memory is a New Year’s party she had when she was 18. She and about 100 of her closest friends danced along to music at her house as they welcomed in the New Year and the new opportunities it would bring.
The memory that I have from this night is completely unforgettable. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote in the contest that allowed me to attend this event, without you I wouldn’t have been able to experience the red carpet at Jingle Ball.