I had the good fortune of meeting these three, Laura, Heather, and Ariel on the bus on the way to the Grammys (we're in full costume at this point). These chicks don't mess around, a security guard checking our bags on the way in discovered a pink water bottle in Laura's bag. “What's in this?” he asked. Without batting a pretty eyelash, Laura said, “that's my diabetic solution.” The guard nodded and let us through. “what's in the bottle?” I asked not sure of what I heard. “Vodka,” she whispered. “And you can totally have some.” That was the beginning of our beautiful friendship, also the first in a series of lessons we learned about how to get around the Grammys like you own the place. With the dutch courage they smuggled in, and my leadership, we went everywhere and anywhere we wanted, thinking often (ok, once) of the other poor krak club kids watching from the ripped curtains. We left our room telling our keepers that we were going on a “smoke break.” Our real mission: to get backstage and on the main floor to watch the full dress rehearsal. Fuck that ripped curtain shit. With drinks in hand, we headed out, here's what we learned on the way:Lesson #1: No One Knows Shit at the Grammys This really is the golden rule. There are so many guards, security, staff, red coats, blue coats, black coats, and none of them communicate with each other. This can be manipulated and abused allowing you to ride the misinformation magic carpet to wondrous places…Lesson # 2 The Power of the WristbandWe popped into a super VIP room (hoping to catch a glimpse of Beck or Brandon Flowers) just by flashing our orange bracelets at a speechless guard. When we entered a woman with a clipboard approached the guard and asked “who were those girls?” The security guard shrugged and said, “they had wristbands.” “What color were they?” He didn't know because see Rule #1. “You can't just let anybody in.” Then flipping through the thick pages on her clipboard, she said, “red bracelets are ok, blue bracelets, ok…” “What about green?” asked the guard, “Are there green ones?” Frustrated of flipping the woman said, “Ok look, if people ask or look like they don't know, then they don't belong.” Lesson #3: Just Add “Again”Pretending you belong seems obvious, but it's a lot harder than it sounds. One second of insecurity, a slight hesitation and the door closes. Besides a confident strut, when you pass someone with a clipboard walk briskly as if you do not have time for them, and say “Hi, AGAIN” even if it's your first time seeing them. They can't remember everyone plus see Rule # 1. By adding “again,” they'll think they've already let you in once, therefore, you belong. Another thing that works time and again, “The Smile and Wave.” When approaching a guard, we'd repeat the mantra under our breaths, “smile and wave girls, smile and wave.” It worked like a charm while we were working our way down to the stage.Lesson # 4: People Don't Like to InterruptIf you aren't great at lying, you have two options AVOID EYE CONTACT altogether and chat away with your friends. As soon as we spotted a checkpoint, we'd start having an in depth conversation about god knows what, one of us would start talking, the other two would chime in, like an improv round in Whose Line Is It Anyway? If you're alone, grab the cell phone and pretend to have a heated debate (the more heated the better). This helped get us into the ultimate, the pit of celebrities, the backstage area and green room, referred to as “the tunnel,” the hall that led to the main floor. This is where we said “Howdy” to Tim McGraw, a favorite of Heather's, where I told Terrence Howard I liked his glittery gold jacket. “Thanks,” he smiled before getting accosted by another rabid fan; where Teri Hatcher bumped into us while walking and practicing her lines. She said sorry. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia rushed past with a team of guards. And then slithering down the walkway, we saw her— Madonna, we were about to share a stage, but there she was, inching closer! It broke my heart when she looked at us like we were made of vomit and pulled her hands to her chest, lest we get on her. I hate to say this cause I love Madonna, I was extolling her amazing ass during practice, but here's the truth— in the cold light of the tunnel, her ass looked better than her face. It was time for us to move on, if I wasn't mistaken I'm pretty sure that was Paul McCartney's voice I heard coming from the main room.Lesson # 5: Talk to EveryoneYou never know who is who or who can help you out later. I chatted up a dude in a long ponytail wearing a headset earlier in the elevator. Who knew he'd be the guy outside the main room, the guy in charge of the production! This time “hi, again” wasn't a lie. “hey ladies,” he waved. And in we went…Mission accomplished! We sat down in seats reserved for TV and movie stars and watched the show, U2 and Mary J., Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Eve, Bonnie Rait, did I mention U2?… the house lights were up the whole time but we were still treated to a show of a lifetime!
And we still had our “performance” to look forward to. We got back just in time, to gather for touch ups (though after watching the show I wondered why they bothered). We were brought to the stage, took our places, I got kind of nervous as I waited for the curtain to rise. And when it did, thousands of heads peered back at me, though they weren't looking at me at all, I'm sure they were marveling at the expensive holograms behind me, still, I was stage furniture at the Grammys and they can't take that away from me.