The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

Behind the Scenes at the Grammys

Kayla Mccarthy attended the 66th GRAMMY Awards dress rehearsal as a seat filler on February 4, 2024. Continue reading for an insider look into the preparation that goes into the biggest night in music.

I was told to arrive at 7:30 a.m. with my ticket in hand and then I proceeded to wait for everyone to arrive at 9 a.m. We were then instructed to enter the Crypto Arena, where the stage and floor had been set up, and find a seat to watch the performers rehearse their acts. Since I arrived early I was given, among 10 others, the chance to sit at the tables where the artists would be sitting during the actual award ceremony.  

Two seatfillers were assigned per table and I ended up sitting at the table that Ice Spice, Noah Kahan, and Coco Jones were assigned to. The seating chart was incredibly organized and there was no room for change so the dress rehearsal was intended to make sure all the camera angles worked. After waiting for all the stand-ins and artists to get ready, the show began with Trevor Noah reading his monologue.  

The dress rehearsal ran on time with the monologues, awards, and commercial breaks. The production team had even instructed the camera crew to prepare for the angles later that night by filming all of the seatfillers. There were instances where the camera was in my face and I was instructed to pretend that it wasn’t there.  

Being able to experience the proximity of the cameras opened my eyes to see how artists’ reactions are filmed when someone is receiving an award and the reasoning behind why their facial expressions may not be the best. For example, during the televised ceremony Olivia Rodrigo’s reaction was shown when Taylor Swift won Album of the Year and it left fans wondering why she looked so upset. In my view, Rodrigo’s expression was valid because there is so much pressure in knowing that your every move is being televised especially when you’re hurt that you didn’t win an award. I completely understand the facial expression she gave since it’s difficult to pretend that nothing is going on.  

For every performance, we were instructed to stand up and dance to give the artists energy and to put them under the same pressure as if it were the actual ceremony. Dua Lipa was the first performer and it was insane to witness her performance in real life. She started by singing her new song “Training Season” accompanied by an amazing dance routine. When she ran towards the main stage for “Houdini,” she ran right past me and it was honestly surreal to be so close to her. 

The rest of the dress rehearsal consisted of various performances and awards being presented. I found it interesting that there are people who are employed as stand-ins and are in charge of presenting/receiving the awards that are given later that night. When it was time to ‘present’ the Best Pop Solo Performance, they had a stand-in pretend to be Taylor Swift accepting the award. The stand-in would then give a speech thanking their family and friends as a way to keep track of the ceremony’s timing.  

My favorite part of the dress rehearsal was being able to see and interact with the various performers who took the stage. I remember Billie Eilish waving at me, Billy Joel returning my rock hands, and Miley Cyrus pointing at me during her performance of “Flowers.” It was an honor to see the artists that I have spent years watching and loving so up close. This experience has now turned into one of my core memories and was one of the most exciting events of my life.  

It saddens me that I may never sit in those seats ever again but I am so grateful to have been able to experience it. I highly encourage everyone to sign up as a seat filler because it is something spectacular that everyone should experience once in their life. 

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