In the first of 4 articles recapping my 5-day trip to Los Angeles, California last week, you all learned about my awesome visit with 'Stop-Loss' director Kimberly Peirce.
Today's post is all about my amazing experiences at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards on Sunday, August 3, 2008. Before the event, my best friend and I had breakfast at a popular Santa Monica farmer's market, went home to get ready, and then took part in an age-old awards show tradition of getting my makeup done before we headed over to the venue.
As I mentioned before, getting tickets to this particular event is really difficult because of the popularity of it. In the end, I was able to get a ticket from my best friend's company and 2008 Teen Choice Awards sponsor, Neutrogena. They had 65 tickets in total, and from what I understand, ten of them were VIP. Once we arrived, we had to meet up with the person who had what I thought was going to be my general admission ticket to the event. For whatever reason, when I opened the envelope, it had a VIP pass and ticket inside instead. Can't even explain how excited I was!!!
You're probably asking what is the difference between a General and a VIP ticket. Well, I now know that there's a world of difference! The people with General tickets enter the venue from the front door and are restricted from entering in certain areas in the arena (generally the ones where celebrities are sitting or congregating).
On the other hand, VIP ticket holders get to enter the venue from a guarded back entrance with celebs, get to walk the red (blue in this case) carpet if you want, get to hang out with the celebs outside before they take their seats, get to go into the heavily-guarded pit-o-celebs at the foot of the stage where you all saw people sitting on the white couches on TV, and most importantly, get access to the ever-popular, goody-packed gifting retreat that you see Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan in with American Idol's Randy Jackson on the right.
When we arrived, we decided to bypass the blue carpet. We figured the photographers would not be too interested in us no-celebs and decided to save us all a little embarrassment when their cameras would have gone silent as we made out way down the carpet.
Once we entered the outside backstage area, I started spotting stars like Minka Kelly form "Friday Night Lights", Josh Duhamel from "Las Vegas", Hayden Panettiere from "Heroes", Mandy from the M&M Cru, Jon M. Chu and the entire ACDC crew, Selena Gomez from Disney's "Wizards of Waverly Place", and the list goes on. It was like I was standing smack dab in the middle of an issue of US Weekly. I was loving every bit of it and still not believing my luck with the VIP pass!
Not knowing when Chan and Jenna would arrive, I decided to go inside the venue. I took a short video from my seat in the Gibson Amphitheater at Universal City to give you all an idea of the atmosphere of the event. You can check it out below:
Although there was a lot of activity, it took awhile for the show to actually start taping. In the meantime, I was able to star watch as the celebrities continued to arrive at the event and sit in the white couch area in front of the stage.
From Fergie to Will Smith and his kids to Zach Efron and Vanessa Hudchens to David Beckham, Posh, and their kids to the Gossip Girl cast to Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, the stars were showing up in droves and the fans in the audience were screaming for all of them like crazy.
If you even looked like you were going to say the words Miley or Jonas Brothers, the crowd erupted into eardrum-piercing screams. The energy in the room was insane and contagious!
The show finally began with Miley singing her new hit single '7 Things', and I have to say that I was even singing along to it. It's what happens when you have a 3 and an 8 year old that watch the Disney Channel 24/7.
Later on, Mariah Carey also performed her song "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time" to the delight of the very excited crowd. How she did not fall in those insanely high yellow heels, I'll never know, but the performance was great.
As I mentioned in a previous article, your hard work and votes helped Channing Tatum win Choice Dramatic Actor for 'Stop-Loss' and helped his movie 'Step Up 2: The Streets' win Choice Drama. Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan's M&M Cru also won the BIGGEST online dance battle known to mankind. Although we did not get Choice MySpacer, thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for all of the categories that Channing was nominated in, and as far as I'm concerned, 3 out of 4 is nothing to sneeze at!!!
During one of the commercial breaks, my magical VIP pass allowed me to cross the sea of stars sitting on the white couches to get to Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan. With Will Smith and his kids sitting in the couch in front of them and the Beckhams not far away on their right, I honestly felt like I was in an alter-world or something.
Chan saw me and bounced off the couch to give me a big hug and kiss on the cheek (I'm looking into how to preserve my face at this time). I was even more excited, because after emailing for months, I finally got to meet Jenna Dewan in person for the first time, and she gave me a big hug too. We did not get to talk all that long, because I had to return to my seat before the commercial break was over, but we did make plans to meet for dinner before I left LA (more on that in LA-recap post #4).
Later in the night, I made another venture into what I affectionately call the "Celeb Pit" to finally meet Jon M. Chu and Adam Sevani in person. Jon was awesome and very nice. And if you watched the "So You Think You Can Dance" finale this week, then you know that 'Step Up' and 'Step Up 2' executive producer Adam Shankman (who was also at Teen Choice) announced that Jon will return to direct 'Step Up 3-D' and that Adam Sevani will also be starring in the film. I want to send out a huge congrats to both of them!!!
After the show, most of the celebs headed home or to other destinations, but before he left, Channing and numerous other celebrities at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards autographed Texas Instruments gear for City of Hope, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. The autographed TI-Nspire graphing calculators will be given to patients at City of Hope for use in their math and science courses.
The rest of us walked to the show's after party at a place called Jillian's in Universal City. At the party, they gave away blue Teen Choice Awards cooler bags with swag from sponsors Dr. Pepper, Neutrogena, Fox, and more.
Although you all may not have been able to attend the event with Chan, Jenna, and I, one lucky CTU reader is not only going to be able to win the bag that you see me holding in the photo on the left, but I also had Channing autograph the all-important VIP pass that allowed me to rub elbows with the celebs at the event. It did not hit me until after I got home from LA that I should of had Jenna sign it too, but I promise I will not make that mistake again.
If you would like to win the exclusive, autographed VIP pass and 2008 Teen Choice Awards goody bag, then here's what you need to do to enter the contest:
1) CLICK HERE to quickly signup for the Channing Tatum Unwrapped newsletter where you will get a daily email with any articles I have posted in the last 24 hours. If you don't want to miss out on any juicy Channing Tatum and/or Jenna Dewan news, then the newsletter is the best way to go. If you are already subscribed to the newsletter, then you can skip to step #2.
2) Send me an email from the address you used to sign up for the newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Teen Choice" in the subject and your mailing address in the body of the email. I have another contest that will start in a few days, so it's important that you have the correct subject on your email.
Each fan can enter the contest one time. Please do not submit multiple entries, because only your first submission will be used. The winner of the contest will be announced on this Saturday, August 16, 2008 (the 1 year anniversary of Channing Tatum making CTU his official site), so please submit your entries by the end of the day on Friday, August 15, 2008 to try to win the prize. Good luck everyone!!!!
I had an amazing time at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards. My only regret is that I completely forgot to go to the gifting retreat, and I heard that they had some really awesome swag in there. Let it be known that I will NOT make that mistake twice.
I know that Channing and Jenna have plenty more awards shows, premieres, and sets that they will be involved with for many years to come. If given the opportunity, I hope to be able to cover some of them too so I can share the experience with all of you. Well, that's it for this show, but fans can CLICK HERE to check out tons of photos from the event.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's post where I will recap my awesome day with Channing Tatum's mom Kay. Yet another one I promise fan's won't want to miss.