“We are never ever getting back together,” sang Taylor Swift as she performed the opening act at this year’s Grammy Awards. Her performance must have looked pretty cool on television, but you know what was even better? Being at the Grammys and watching her perform it live.
One doesn’t just go to the Grammys. One must be invited or have connections in the music industry. Or, if you’re like me, you can be one of 350 people who were chosen out of a ticket lottery of 38,000 to be a seat filler for the award show. Seat-filling isn’t glamorous work. When celebrities get up from their seats, the producers still want the audience to look full. So, they have people sit in the seats while the celebrities are away. Ten minutes before the telecast began, looking quite dapper in my suit, I, along with other seat fillers, were rushed to the front of the audience and told which seats needed filling. I was expecting that I would fill many different seats and was hoping that one of them would be next to T-Swift. But as I sat down, I was told that my seat would be empty for the entire night, and that I wouldn’t need to move. I should preface this by saying I was sitting in the front row next to John Legend.
So there I was, hanging out with some of my favorite musicians and watching some of the best live performances I’d ever seen. When would I ever be able to see Elton John, the Zac Brown Band, and Mumford & Sons perform together? Probably never. When would I get to see Katy Perry congratulate Frank Ocean on his album? Probably never. But it was during a commercial break (which are incredibly busy: the musicians are congratulating one another, producers are scrambling to set the stage, seat fillers are rushing to fill seats) when the most unforgettable moment happened: Taylor Swift walked right by me. We made sweet, sweet eye contact for a good second or two, and they were the best seconds of my life. While she may not be writing a song about me, I can only hope that those seconds were as good for her as they were for me. Possibly the best part about this entire experience was that it was entirely free. While you may not always get front-row seats while seat-filling, and may have to move around a lot to accommodate the “VIPs,” it’s a great way to attend some of the coolest events in Los Angeles.
P.S. To stay updated on all things related to USC and life in L.A, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @JaredBrowSC