Again, what an amazingly blessed week this has been so far! I am so UNBELIEVABLY humbled all that you guys have helped me facilitate. To be such a fan of dance and to not only SEE A TAPING but to then BE PRESS at last night’s event – spec.fucking.tacular.
So, I addressed a few weeks back now the fact that I wasn’t happy anymore. I’m now at a point professionally that I GENUINELY could not have dreamed of, and after accomplishing this one specific goal in particular, I realized how hollow it all made me feel.
Dudes, it’s a series of shiny things and shiny people. I like STARING at shiny things to temporarily occupy my amusement, but it gets old … SUPER FREAKING FAST.
My last name is Friel – FOR.REAL. I heart random adventures and exploration in authenticity. I’m on this ferocious path to become a better person and this is my transparent experience explored in real time.
I didn’t notice at first that I wasn’t happy, because frankly I never wanted to seem ungrateful. I would absolutely absolutely absolutely not be here if it weren’t for you guys, so to somehow admit that the gift that you guys gave me I was no longer enjoying was just SOO not kosher for passover.
I adore every.single.day. all of the madness that this lifestyle brings, but without a doubt, my voice is changing. I’ve developed a business and a model, but in the truthfulness of this being a transparent experience I couldn’t deny what I was experiencing.
I then decided to cut away the bullshit and go back to my bliss.
Volunteering, running, traveling, dancing, and sex.
I had neglected ALL of those areas of my life.
A few days after writing out that post, I got this email on Facebook …
She then included the press release … I replied back with this …
SEE!! THIS. IS. WHY. IM. SO. CONSCIOUS. OF. KARMA.
Not only does being Buddhist keep all of this shizzy shiznat in perspective but for reasons EXACTLY like this!! The universe is SO FREAKING ABUNDANT!!
I genuinely do things out of the goodness of my heart too obvi, but BE A GOOD PERSON!! DON’T BE A FREAKING ASSHOLE AND WATCH THE UNIVERSE JUST GIVE YOU SOOOO MANY WONDERFUL THINGS!!!
It blows me away and has literally kept me alive for almost 3 years in launching this business.
I digress …
I then emailed the publicists immediately, and invited my roomie to go (at all press events you can have a plus one to hold the camera, etc). She was the one who initially got me into the show so to invite her was a SUPER no brainer.
Tuesday then came around, the day of the show (and yesterday), and I had yet to hear back from anyone. Having now produced and hosted on SO many red carpets in the last few years, I knew most of the deal and knew what shit shows everything was. As long as I had the press release, I could ABSOLUTELY figure out a way to talk myself into this thing.
Confidence. is. everything.
Whether you are crashing something or not, as long as you look the part, go with the flow of everything, and arrive typically around the busiest time – no one will EVER question you.
We arrive on the CBS lot around 4 and are instructed to go through the artist entrance.
Name please, said the security guard.
Jen Friel with Talk Nerdy To Me, Lover I said confidently.
I glance over his shoulder staring down at the sheet …
The list was actually pretty short, and there DEF weren’t any bloggers (or lifecasters) on there.
You’re not on the list, he says.
Oh, I reply highlighting my phone with the Facebook message of the press release already showing.
Here’s my contact, I say.
One second, he says walking over to the phone.
Honestly, I genuinely have enough cred to get through to these things, but even if I didn’t – so what!! These people do.not.care. Their only responsibility is to keep the rif raff out and as long as you’re not there to be an asshole, you’re kosher. Do your work, keep your head down, and don’t cause trouble.
He comes back after hanging up the phone.
Have you been here before, he asks?
Yep! I say confidently.
Come on through, he said. Just show us your IDs.
Julie and I then show him our IDs and we are instructed to stand on the sidewalk awaiting further instructions.
We then walk down the sidewalk and are greeted by yet another checkin table.
Fuck, I thought. I knew that was too easy.
I high five Julie SO CONFIDENT that no matter what I’d be able to talk myself through this … but even at that point, I wasn’t entirely sure.
There was quite the crowd at that point, and there were even a bunch of dancers there with the choreographers.
ARRGHHHH, Julie and I shrieked to one another SO FREAKING EXCITED to see so many of them up close.
I can help you over here, says one of the guys at the computer.
Name please, he says.
SHIT, I think another checkin. Fine, just go with it.
Jen Friel, I say.
He then takes out a pass with a sharpie.
UGH! Too long he says writing out just Jen.
Julie then gives her name, and we both take our passes.
THAT.WAS.TOO.EASY. I thought not wanting to tell Julie about my fear.
Again, I had ABSOLUTELY nothing to hide from her, but after doing SO FREAKING MANY of these, I knew the scene and I KNEEEWWWW I’d figure something out. The less other people know in scenarios like this the better. I know I can play it cool, but other people become variables. I do not heart variables.
Again though, easy peasy, it didn’t even matter.
We then waited around for the press room to open and DUDES! Julie and I were in an elevator with Twitch!! ARRGHHHHHH!!!!
After waiting around for a few more hot minutes we were instructed that the press room was now open.
Not one to ever wait for a security escort, we just walked upstairs. We had the instructions from the press release, and we at this point had gotten through all of the clearances.
We then got up to the third floor and walked ALLLLLL the way down the hallway. I knew because we were press we obviously weren’t going to be downstairs on set (since press are allowed to have their computers, phones, and cameras – all of which are not allowed on set).
We then see a TV in the backstage area where the dancers were changing.
Julie stares at the TV.
Really, are we just watching it on a TV? read her face.
I kinda laughed thinking, well … this is going to be funny.
I genuinely never know what is going to happen at press events. People think this life is so glamorous when in fact the majority of reporters are all cranky, under paid, and strictly business.
I’m not the biggest fan of red carpet events but this is HANDS DOWN my favorite show, so it was worth it.
We then sit down grabbing some food and are handed a tip sheet.
Moments later the show starts and the actual contestants start to trickle though (eating our food. shhhh!)
Julie and I started freaking out. Are we REALLY watching the show now with the contestants backstage??
This. is. wild.
Then, walked out one of my FAVVVOOORRIIITTEEE contestants this season, Will.
My FAVORITE routine this season was Dance My Pain Away (which I actually saw live).
I went to the show to literally dance my own pain away – so to not only have a routine like that in the show but TO BE ABLE TO WITNESS IT LIVE … I mean wow … it just sent me over. the. freaking. moon.
I teared up on set actually.
It was such a powerful moment for me on a cellular level. I may never have wanted to pursue dance professionally, but now that I am at a place I would deem myself “successful” I am now turning back to it strictly for purposes of bliss.
I knew I had to tell Will what he meant to me.
He walked up getting some salad, and I stopped him.
I just wanted you to know, I said, that your routine Dance My Pain Away was my favorite of the season. It really meant a lot to me.
SHUT UP!! He said SO excited and humbled. REALLY?!?!
Yes, I said. It was truly beautiful.
THANK YOUUUU!!! He said so excited.
All of these kids btw, are so young and SO FREAKING HUMBLE. They don’t want to be a name, they all just want to DANCEEEE!!!!
We then watched the remainder of the show (no spoilers) and we were then escorted down to the red carpet for interviews.
Again, not being technically speaking confirmed guests, we didn’t have a spot. Fortunately however, Julie and I made friends quickly with Totally Lexi and were given shared space.
I then scoped out the carpet WHICH btw was bananas!!
I made my way down at that point to Fox News to scope out some of the people.
I look over and spot a familiar face.
HOLY SHIT! I thought, that’s COURTNEY FRIEL!!!
See, Courtney has been working in entertainment for forever, and I first heard about her actually when I first googled my own name.
When search engines became more popular in 97 obviously the first thing people googled was themselves. I typed in Jen Friel at first (finding nothing obvi) but then typed in Friel.
To my surprise two very popular results pulled up.
One was Anna Friel and the other was Ms. Courtney.
Anna (who was in the movie Limitless, and on the TV show Pushing Daisies) I know I am related to because we are both from Donegal – but Courtney I could never connect the dots on.
I decided why not just introduce myself.
Hi Courtney, I say reaching my hand out. I’m Jen Friel.
It takes her a moment and then she immediately smiles.
ANOTHER ONE!!! There are SO many of us.
She then explains to me that she is from Pennsylvania (where you can’t swing a shillelagh without hitting a Friel) and that she was originally an O’Friel.
SHUT UP! I squealed. Me too!! My grandfather dropped the O so he could be a doctor and not a cop.
She laughed, same with our family.
We then high fived for the Friels as I tweeted out how rad it was to finally meet her.
I then went back to our side of the red carpet, and moments later Cyrus walked up.
I love love love Cyrus.
He then walked over to say hello. ::cue video::
I meant every word of that btw. Have you SEEEENNNNN their performance??
The entire experience was SO amazing, and to be able to talk to so many of these artists that have been SUCHHHH an inspiration to me this season … I mean, wow. Total blessing.
Of all of the things I have learned in life nerderinos, the most important quality of all is just continuing to follow your passion. You never know where it may lead you, and while expressing yourself will no doubt bring you “haters,” choosing to not express yourself will only manifest in a self hatred – WHICH IS SO MUCH WORSE!!
You. Have. To. Be. You. And. You. Have. To. Speak. Your. Truth.
Period end of sentence.
These kids are so passionate about dance it SEEEPPPPSSS from their soul. By them being fearless in expressing their passion it echoes out to the universe and allows even MORE people to be inspired. We’re all artists at heart!! Whether your art is digital and you’re a programmer, or culinary as a cook. Art is everywhere!! It is us and we are it.
What an AMAZING life experience and what an AMAZING perspective to be gifted with. I can’t thank Pamela enough for the invite and I can’t thank YOU ALL enough for reading. Once again, you have touched my soul and I am eternally grateful.
Many many many thanks, TNTML.
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