100% easier said than done, I get that. BUT, if it’s ever possible, do it.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to be backstage during a Barbra Streisand concert (also referred to *by me* as Barb). For those of you who are flipping over that, you’re probably 40+. No judgement, but the absolute truth (haha… sorry Barb). For my friends who think that’s hilarious, because she wasn’t really during your time, bite your tongue because she’s friggin’ amazing. First-hand witness!
I had the privilege of being there by working since we recently partnered with the Barclays Center. I didn’t get to enjoy the event as a guest, but it was still an experience that I won’t forget.
As a sports and concert fan, I’ve been to a ton of venues, whether it be in the nosebleeds or front row, but I’ve never seen the behind-the-scenes until recently. Just being in the back tunnels and underground of a venue is enough to make me fall in love with the entire industry.
Starting with Barclays, I was there for the concert and to escort a couple throughout their night-long VIP experience. First, I met them at the parking area where the celebrities park. There, you pull your car from the streets of Brooklyn into a loading dock, where your entire car is taken down into private arena parking.
We then gained access to what is called the 40/40 Club, which is a beautiful bar/restaurant overlooking the arena while you dine, followed by a trip down the Calvin Klein VIP entrance elevators to the lower level to meet Barb.
No, I did not get to meet her when our guests did, but I did get to awkwardly stare at her from a close distance letting it all sink in that she is, in fact, a real human being. Mind blown.
Then, I took our guests to their floor seats only several rows back from Barb in all of her glory. Her stage set was beautiful, her speaking number in between were flawless and her singing was of course perfection.
During intermission, we entered into what is called the Billboard Lounge. It is a private, dimly-lit backstage area, with couches, high-top tables, and a stunning bar with a private bartender.
Side Note: It’s just crazy to me that I’ve been to venues like this before and never realize these lounges, restaurants, parking lots, etc. even exist! Ohhh how the other half lives…
Surprisingly, the Lounge itself isn’t even the cool part. The best part is that you are right next to Jay Z’s own lounge, AND a private suite where celebrities can go during events, meaning there is a chance you will get to mingle with (or at least pass) them. For Barbra’s concert, it was Sarah Jessica Parker and Deborah Messing, who I held the door for without even realizing it was her!
Another Side Note: Will and Grace was my jammmmm.
Once intermission is done, they simply walk around the corner, right back out onto the floor to their 4th row seats. In the meantime, while I’m hanging out in the back room, I get to watch each of Barb’s celebrity guests walk down the hall and toward the stage to perform.
My favorite moment was when I was looking down reading something, and looked up to Jaime Foxx standing right in front of me. He looked at me, said “Hey”, did a few vocal exercises, then walked to the stage to perform with Barb. I, on the other hand, responded with “Uhhh hi!” like a two-year-old, stared at him like he was God (because he’s pretty much is), and then ran out from backstage to watch his performance, since clearly we are in a relationship now.
Anyway, post-concert, our guests got to avoid the crowds and the long lines by walking back through the tunnels to their car and quickly leave the venue. VIP at its finest.
This experience left me realizing a few things:
- Seeing behind-the-scenes is SO much cooler than just going to any place or event
- Doing at least one thing in your life as a VIP is well worth the money and the experience
- There’s a chance Jaime Foxx is in love with me… just sayin’
TO ADD TO YOUR BUCKET LIST: Go behind the scenes!!!
Again, that doesn’t mean it has to be anything extreme, but could be a concert, sports venue (like I experienced in Pittsburgh), a brewery (which I’m doing this weekend for $15 on Groupon), or anything!
Get creative. Think of a place or an industry that you’ve always wanted to see how it works, and try to make it happen!