Picture it … January 2010 … approximately 2 weeks before the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.
I was sitting on Twitter, and I saw this tweet come in from @petecashmore
I was sitting on Twitter one January afternoon, (ha so what else is new), and I saw this tweet come in from @petecashmore saying that he was coming down to LA in a few weeks for the Grammys.
Pete Cashmore in LA?!?!?! Whaaaatttttt!!! That never happens!!!!
<tangent> Now, for those of you who still may be unaware of who Pete is … he is totally the Brad Pitt of social media. He founded the most influential social media blog on the net – Mashable. Huge huge huge huge huge fan. To this day it’s still my home page. Huge huge huge huge huge huge huge huge huge fan of his noggin, and his naughty bits. </tangent>
I completely started freaking out, and immediately jumped on Facebook and scanned my friends to see who I either 1. knew that worked at CBS, or 2. knew had connections with an uber famous musician. Alrite, maybe not uber famous, but I’d take one hit wonder, or brothers with the band.
Either way, after an entire night scanning, the next morning I put up a status update asking if anyone had any connections, that I above everything else in life … needed to meet Pete Cashmore when he was in LA.
The comments came in, but no true connection to CBS or the Grammys.
I was RELENTLESS in my calls, emails, and general follow ups with ANYONE that would listen to me.
Dude, do you have anyone …
He cuts me off, “no Jen. I have no fucking connections to the Grammys.”
Okay, do you know anyone that –
I started to take a hint … my friends were starting to hate me.
The days before the Grammys, I grew increasingly more stressed out.
UGGHHHHHH!!! How is it I’ve lived in this town for 6 years, I know EVVVEERRRYOONNNNEEE and yet I can’t get someone who could just loan me a pass for the red carpet?? Not even the event!!! The red carpet!!!
I stopped thinking about it for a few days, and come Saturday, the tweets started coming in.
“Jen Jen Jen! @petecashmore is here! Are u going to look for him?”
“Jen! Did you get your tickets to the grammys to see @petecashmore.”
I felt like such a failure at that point. I couldn’t believe I let you guys down.
The mantra “where there is a will there is always a way” ran through my brain. You can do this, Jen. Stop psyching yourself out. Where there is a will there is a way … where there is a will there is a way … Where there is a will …
I decided in that moment to make a declaration: I am going to meet Pete Cashmore on the red carpet at the Grammys. I don’t know how, but I am going to – I am just going to allow it to manifest.
I then decided to stop feeling sorry for myself, and head down to the Staples Center (where they were holding the Grammys), and see if just by walking around the grounds, I might bump into him.
I livestreamed on Ustream both the ride to downtown, and then walking around while I was down there.
Hi guys! I said rather perkily into the camera on my Motorola Droid that utilized the UStream app to livestream.
I then proceeded to interview people around the Staples Center asking if they had seen Pete.
Most looked at me like I had 17 heads.
CASHMORE!!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG do you not read Mashable??? It’s my BIBLE!!!!
Hahahaahahaha the looks people gave me were fucking epic, man. They all thought I was nuts. Dudes, I was just SOOOOOOOO excited that Pete was coming to LA … MY TOWN!!! This is my home!!! I can TOTALLY do this!!!
I didn’t find him that Saturday afternoon. But I did have a pretty gnarly time just putzin around. It always felt great to get out from behind the computer.
I went home that afternoon, and headed over to work at the little Kosher restaurant I worked at in Beverly Hills to make some cash in-between consulting gigs.
I remember sitting down at the table doing side work thinking – I’m going to meet Pete Cashmore tomorrow. I don’t know how … I don’t know why … but I am going to do this. It doesn’t have to make sense, life doesn’t make sense. I just have to be present. Go Jen, go!
My co-worker looks up and asks why I am smiling.
Because tomorrow, I am going to the Grammys.
Uh, sure Jen. Can you help me put these forks on the top shelf?
I worked my shift until about midnight, came home – and went to bed. Tomorrow, I am going to go to the Grammys. This is IT!
8 hours later, the sun hits my face … I take a deep breath to take in the morning air.
I start to cough.
Oh no, I’m congested.
I pull the covers down … I get chills up and down my arms.
Oh no … I have chills.
OH NO I’M SICK!!!
NO NO NO NO NO NO this isn’t happening today. I can’t be sick … why now??
I go over to the mirror. FUCKKKKK!!! I look like shit.
My eyes were sunken in, my face looked shiny and red.
Go back to sleep – get some rest. You have to get better. You have to get better.
I fall back asleep …
4 hours later, the comforter falls off the bed and I am awoken by the chill.
OMG OMG OMG!! What time is it???
I look over at the clock – Fuck! It’s like 1pm. What time is the red carpet?
AHHHH!! I don’t have time to google it. Fuck fuck fuck. I can’t believe I slept this late. I can’t do it now. Fuck fuck fuck.
I got in my car and drove to the nearest Coffee Bean.
Fuck, I thought. I can’t believe I messed this one up.
I got on Ustream and began livestreaming – I started talking to the camera …
I’m really sorry guys, I couldn’t do it. I’m not going to the Grammys today.
The tweets and chats started coming in.
Come on Jen! You can do it!
Why not just show up? What can happen?
You know, that’s not a bad idea, I thought.
My semi- jovial mood then got unbelievably serious. If I can actually pull this off, you need to understand from me RIGHT NOW before this becomes a cliche – that where there is a will. there is always. always. always. a way.
I turned off Ustream, drove back home, and went into my room.
I am going to try to crash the Grammys. I am going to try and crash the Grammys. How the fuck am I going to be able to crash the Grammys.
Stop it big brain, I can do this. I don’t need you.
I then went over to my closet, and grabbed a super sleek and sexy red dress from BeBe that I had from my modeling days.
Okay, this will do I say as I squeeze my slightly larger than size 2 bum into the already tight dress.
Spanx!!! Baby may got back, but the world need not know!!!
I then proceeded to suck in and pull every bit of my badonkadonk into my spanx, and then zipped up the dress.
My breathing, which was already squashed up due to being congested became increasingly more shallow.
Stop it, body. I need you now. One foot in front of the other.
I didn’t do my hair, I put on about 30 seconds worth of make up, and ran out the door.
I got in the car, dropped the top in my beetle convertible and got on Ustream.
I am on my way to meet Pete, nerds!!! =) =) =)
On the way there, I began shaking. I have no plan of attack. I can’t believe I have no plan of attack. Who goes into a battle without a plan of attack?
Okay … okay … just keep Ustream on at all times, and pretend like you are already recording because you are that super famous, and are just looking for the red carpet. See how far that gets you.
I drove the 20 minute drive, and parked in the garage of the Staples Center – which btw, was obviously packed.
I remember getting on the escalator – clicking my 5″ hooker heels thinking – please don’t get arrested today, Jen. Whatever you do … just don’t get arrested.
OMG, I thought – I am totally going to get arrested.
I got to the top of the escalator, and the LAPD choppers flying over head were confirmation. Yep, I am going to get arrested.
I walk over to the main entrance just outside of LA Live. I immediately get stopped by security as I try to walk into the restricted area.
Excuse me, woah woah woah. Why are you filming – the security guard grabs my phone, which was also my camera that I was using to livestream.
Excues me, sir. You are not allowed to touch my camera. I am livestreaming!!! (that’s right Jen, stay confident. You stand that ground, girl!!)
Ma’am – I don’t care who you are, turn that damn thing off, and show me your pass.
Ohhhhhh my pass? I don’t know where it is officer. My publicist has it, and I just need to look for her.
Alrite, well she’s clearly not here. SO LEAVE!
Woooahhhh … I think. Testy, testy.
I then turn back to my phone – sorry guys, have to turn off the livestream. I’ll be updating via twitter.
I walked about 20 steps back from the main entrance and thought – well there’s gotta be a side entrance I can try. Just because I can’t walk through the front door, doesn’t mean I’m not allowed in.
I then walked about 150 steps to the right, and over into the garage.
My throat just then started to tickle from feeling so ill.
Ugh!!! I should get something to drink.
I walk over to the Coke machine.
MMMMMMM DIEETTTTTT COKKKEEEE!!! YES YES YES YES YES!!! It’s not only delicious, but it’ll perk me up!
I put the $1.50 into the machine, and take out the diet coke.
I take a sip …. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
I then walked through the garage, and to the other side of the parking structure.
I walked out and start talking to people with badges.
Excuse me, has anyone seen Pete Cashmore?
Do you guys know where the red carpet press entrance is?
Yeah, sure – it’s over around back, just cross the street.
Cross the street??? Holy crap! That’s a whole street length difference than the main entrance. I’m getting CLOSER!!!
I begin crossing the street, and realize, I was already past the first checkpoint.
Wait, that was too easy. Does no one think to go around to the side? Really?
I walk over to the red carpet area. I start taking a sip of the diet coke as I walk past two LAPDs.
Wait, was that a checkpoint? Omg – I’m past two now??
I continue sipping the Diet coke, not looking directly at anyone’s face – merely browsing through the crowd, and walking with a purpose.
I continue to drink … and pass through two more checkpoints.
The total at this point is now four that I have literally just breezed through while drinking my diet coke.
I walk down the sidewalk, and am lead through the parking garage on the other side of the Staples center from where I got the diet coke.
Okaaaaayyyyyy, I think – now what. The red carpet is still a couple hundred yards away. I look back, and see the officers. I can’t go back, fuck.
I start walking over to the red carpet – I walk through the on air talent lunch area. Wait, was that just? Keep walking Jen, I thought.
The red carpet had a tent up over it, and at the beginning of it, all passers by were stopped and asked to show credentials.
HMMMMMM … no credentials.
I’m sure I could have printed out fake passes from something, somewhere … but I was INCREDIBLY conscious of doing this without committing fraud. A little white lie here and there I could live with, but printing out a fraudulent document was totally bad karma, and I needed karma more than EVER on my side.
I walk up to the security guard. Hi, name please.
Oh, hi. You know, I’m not quite sure what I’m under. My name, or my publicists. I take out my license, can you just check under, Jen Friel – I hand her my license.
Jen Friel … Jen Friel … Jen Friel … nope. Nothing.
What’s your publicist’s name?
Hold on, let me give her a call.
I step aside from the line, and stand over by a fence while I casually start playing with my phone.
After about a second, two officers approach me.
Breathe Jen, breathe. Stay cool, and you won’t get arrested.
They motion something to each other and point back at me.
I freak out.
I then take an ode from Mystikal (shake it fast), and pretend to drop my phone.
I bend over displaying my badonkadonk to the coppers. (Mind you, my dress was tea length, so it wasn’t like they got “THAT” kind of view … but imagine a big booty in a super duper tight red dress. That’s what they got!)
I stand up, poofing my hair.
Oh, hello officers.
Hi, they both say in stereo, with shit eating grins on their faces.
Are you guys having fun working this event?
Yeah, it’s alrite, one of the officers replied.
Do you guys get any special behind the scenes access? Thinking I could use these dudes to get back to meet Pete.
No, we just have to make sure no one is trying to gain access to the red carpet without a pass.
Oh, I thought. hahaha who would be so dumb as to try and crash. Are the helicopters and LAPD presence not intimidating enough for some people?
You’d be surprised. Every year, we get some.
I then lower the volume on my phone causing the droid to temporarily vibrate.
Oh, excuse me officers – I’m buzzing.
I pretend to answer the phone as I walk away from the officers.
I make it about 50 yards play talking before I hang up the phone. FUUUCCKKKKKKK MEEEEEEE!!!
I start walking back over to the on air talent lunch area, and sit down at one of the folding tables.
I can’t do this, I think. I really have no idea how to get into this place – it’s on lockdown, there are cops.
I can’t believe I couldn’t figure this out. If I set my mind to something – it always ends up working out. What’s going on with this?
I then pulled up Twitter. And read this tweet in my feed from @meganleap …
Saying walk if you can, crawl if you must … but whatever you do, don’t give up!
Fuck it, I have nothing to lose I thought. If I have to CRAWL my way onto that red carpet – I will figure this out.
Just then, and yes, dramatic cliches do exist in real life … I looked up, and I saw this guy with a badge on leading two women behind him onto the red carpet – neither of the two women had badges on. I quickly picked myself up, and walked directly behind the last girl, and stared down at my twitter feed. Keep walking … keep walking … look down at your tweets, read the feed … and KEEP WALKING.
I walk past the final checkpoint without being stopped. My right foot hits the red carpet.
I flip my Droid, which was already facing downwards, into camera mode – and snap my first step walking onto the carpet.
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMFG!! I MADE IT ONTO THE RED CARPET.
I then proceeded to snap more pictures to at least document making it onto the red carpet – with or without Pete Cashmore being there.
This was the actual dress worn by the woman I was walking behind.
This was just a random blurry picture I snapped out of sheer excitement.
DUDES!!! I CRASHED THE GRAMMYS RED CARPET!! FUCK THIS IS AWESOME!!!
I then walk into the main area, and this is what I saw …
People. Lots and lots and lots of people.
I walked over to the nearest little enclave I could find – the area where Access Hollywood was standing.
I cozied in with the reporters, again pretending to look down at my phone.
Just then, I look over and hear – Situation! Situation! Sitch!
I lift up my phone, and snap this picture …
Then, I hear this security guard scream … MISS!!!!!
Oh fuck, I thought – I’ve been caught. I don’t have a badge, I don’t belong. Hello Betty, my new roommate inmate.
No unauthorized photos on the red carpet! You must put all non-professional cameras away.
HAHAHAAHA!! Just put my phone away? Oh not a problem duderino. I can keep it down.
I turn off the camera feature, lift my hand up as to show a sign of surrender – and proceed to tuck myself into the group as tightly as I could.
Who’s this guy, the camera man asks the other.
I look up, Jason Mraz, I say to the camera guy.
Who the hell are you? He pipes up.
Whoops! Sorry – force of habit. Nerds are SUCH know it alls.
I lift my phone up as high as I can as Jason approaches Access Hollywood, and snap this picture …
Then, Linkin Park came up for their interview.
I was shoulder to shoulder with CHESTER!!!!!!
I was next to Access Hollywood while they interviewed Jason Mraz, Linkin Park, Zac Brown Band, and LMFAO – it only lasted for about 10 minutes, but I kid you not, those were some of the most INTENSE 10 minutes of my life.
Sheer excitement was replaced my fear … which was then again replaced by excitement.
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!! I DID THIS!!!! I SUCCESSFULLY CRASHED THE GRAMMYS RED CARPET!!!!
But, where is Pete?
I lifted my phone up a bit to begin tweeting Pete that I was here, and just then – as in yet again another real life dramatic cliche – the crowd cleared a bit, and up at the front of the carpet I saw a super tall, super chiseled chin duderino.
OMG OMG OMG OMG!! THAT CHIN!!! YES IT’S PETE CASHMORE!!!
I run over … I mean literally, I am running in my 5″ hooker heels.
He gives me one look, and immediately knows who I am.
Hi, Pete – my name is Jen Friel.
He walks towards me. Congratulations, you did it. I’ve been reading your tweets. <tangent> For months on the site when we first launched I had a Daily Tweet to Pete section. HAHAHA!! Uber uber uber dweeb moment!! </tangent>
I then realize once he says congratulations that holy fuck – I did this. Holy fuck, I did this … where there is a will there REALLY REALLY REALLY IS ALWAYS A WAY!!!
My mind goes blank.
I blurt out, PETE! I knew it was you by that chiseled jaw you have.
I slightly turn my face to the right and mime a facepalm. Really Jen?!?! Of ALL the things to say to Pete Cashmore, you say THAT!?!?!
Oh yes, I said that.
Pete and I stand there awkwardly for a moment.
Well, we should take a picture! He says.
YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! You have a pass, they prolly won’t yell at you. Yes! Let’s take a picture. He then hands my phone to one of the founders of Tumblr, and he snaps a picture …
Yep there I am. Red BeBe dress. 30 seconds worth of makeup. Didn’t do my hair, rockin my grandmother’s old necklace.
But FUCK YEAHHH!!!!! THERE I AM WITH PETE FUCKING CASHMORE ON THE RED CARPET AT THE GRAMMYS. I MANIFESTED THIS MOMENT!!!!
Hahahaha it’s funny, when that picture was taken I was totally having an out of body moment.
Actually, if we’re going to get all technical – I have photographic documentation of two out of body moments … here I am on The Price is Right back in 2005 as well.
It’s trippy to dream of something for so long … whether it’s meeting the duderino you want to make hot nerdy babies with … or something you’ve wished for your entire life, and hoped for one day to get to do – it’s all still weird. And there’s no other word for it. It’s like wow, this is my time … right now … I am conscious in this moment that I am doing something EPIC!!!!
See, your brain can’t handle epic moments – like at all. The second you have that thought, it shuts down and you kinda feel like you’re floating mixed with a sensation of overall joy.
I stood there for a moment after the picture was taken, still out of body, still frozen.
Pete then said he had to go, I said I understood and thanked him.
Wow. Breathe Jen Friel, that just fucking happened.
I didn’t watch Pete walk away, I just stood there in this haze. How the fuck am I going to tell THIS story?!?!?!? I thought.
I then tweeted out the picture.
I FOUND HIM I FOUND HIM I FOUND HIM!!!!!!
My twitter feed BLLEEWWWWW UPPPPPPPPPPPP with congratulatory tweets.
I stood there for a moment reading them.
Then, more people starting to come down the carpet, and I realized I was in the way.
Alrite, now I have to get out of here, and still manage to not get arrested for trespassing.
I walk out this time through the front door, and haul ass through all the checkpoints.
Then, I see an exit leading to a side street where I could bypass the rest of the checkpoints.
I. AM. OUTTA. HERE!!!
The second my feet hit public property a swoosh of relief came over me.
I did this. I had no connection, no passes, no nothing – just SHEER WILL.
I fucking did this.
It took me another 20 minutes to get back to my car, but I cannot even BEGIN to describe to you the feeling that I had when I closed the door, and began to pull away.
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!! I screamed as I started honking the horn!!
FUCK YEAH!!! I DID THIS!!!!!!
After I crashed the Grammys, I went home and did laundry.
There was no big ceremony for me doing it, no – nothing. I went in and told my roommates who were floored, (a nice marble variety), but this was for the first time in my life something I did entirely for myself. Meeting Pete Cashmore was hands down one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. Not because he is attractive and intelligent – although, yes he is both … but because I set my mind with a very specific goal and broke down the next doable actions to be able to execute.
I didn’t have a plan, I just stayed present, listened to my gut, and took every opportunity that was then handed to me, and played the best card.
Dudes, that is what life is ALLLL ABOOOUUUTTTT!!! We never have plans, we just have to stay present, listen to our guts, and take every opportunity to play the best cards that we are dealt.
We are our own worst enemies in life. My own brain, and body that morning didn’t want to go to the Grammys. I psyched myself out – but the best part is, is that I rose above. I told my big brain to shut up, and trusted my ability to be present, and my ability to think quickly on my feet (thank you improv classes at Groundlings).
Where there is a will there is always. always. always a way, guys. I now know that more than ever – and you can VERY SINCERELY do ANNYYTHIIINNNNGGGG you set your mind to.
Peace love and lollipops =) xoxoxoxo
Oh, here is the vid I made a few hours after I crashed …
and here are some of the real time posts …
and here’s two
Keep on keepin on TNTML!!! Wahoo!!!