An article for the USD Vista, ca. Fall 2010

Arts & Culture – VMAs

At 10:30am on Sunday, September 12th, three USD students set out for Los Angeles on the adventure of a lifetime.  After a pit stop at McDonald’s and a two hour car ride, they arrived at the Convention Center down the street from the infamous Nokia Theater, where they were headed for none other than the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.

Senior Connor Witt began his quest for tickets to big LA events when actress Selena Gomez (of Wizards of Waverly Place fame) turned 18 this summer.  “My mission was to find her and to talk to her,” he says.  This mission turned into an online hunt for tickets and casting calls, something that were few and far between.

Luckily enough for Connor, there was a casting call for the Video Music Awards available online.  So, he sent in his picture and his stats for a chance to win seat filler tickets to the event.  About three weeks before the VMAs, he received an email telling him that he had been cast and was going to have a free ticket to stand in the pit next to the stage.  He was so ecstatic that he told a few of his friends to try for tickets as well.  Connor’s efforts were fruitful.  Junior Sean Sales and Senior Erin Schneider both received tickets for the pit as well.

“I couldn’t have chosen better people to go with,” admits Erin.  “It made me so happy that I wasn’t one of the people surrounding us that were trying to one-up each other with celebrity stories.  The three of us were just so happy to be there that we blocked out everyone else as much as possible.  We were just so giddy, like children going to Disneyland for the first time.  It was magical!”

The wait in the holding area was excruciatingly long for the three students, who bided their time by soaking up their surroundings and eating Italian meatball sandwiches.  “We waited [in the holding area] for what seemed forever,” says Sean.  “But during that wait we were so excited and just happy.”

After sitting in the holding area for the pit for about three and a half, they were led into the venue around 5:30pm.  “It was like a scene out of a movie,” remembers Sean, a look of awe glued to his face.  “‘Kings and Queens’ by 30 Seconds to Mars was playing and the stage was insanely futuristic!  I was very excited to see DEADMAU5 up in his suspended cube with his dope mouse head!”

The three of them positioned themselves in the right corner, about three people back from the front of the pit.  They were conveniently right by where the stars came in from the white carpet.

“I love Jane Lynch, and she stood right next to us for a bit just marveling at the stage and the venue like we were!” Erin recounts, recounting some of the most interesting moments.  “I didn’t like Taylor Swift’s performance. Her stage presence was lacking, and she didn’t even smile.  But seeing Lady Gaga’s meat outfit in person was so weird because it looked totally glamorous and almost like satin.”

Sean’s moment of happiness came with the arrival of the Jersey Shore cast.  “Those trashy, party hard, crazy guidos and guidettes were everything I thought they would be!” he says, bursting with excitement.  “So I just went up to Vinny and Pauly D and stuck out my fist and said, ‘Vinny!  Pauly D!  You’re the man!’  They took a look at me confused for a second, but then they fist pounded me.  It was awesome!”

So, was Connor’s mission to talk to Selena successful?  “He had his chance when she walked right by us to get to her seat,” says Erin.  “I was like, two feet from her and I just froze,” he admits sheepishly.  “It’s like I have this school-girl crush on her and I should have said something, but I just gawked at her.”

Was Connor at least dressed to the nines for the few brief moments that Selena locked eyes with him?  The event invitation called for the attendees to dress “hip and trendy”.  “I spent hours at Fashion Valley with Connor trying to decide on a final ‘hip and trendy outfit for him!” exclaims Erin.  Connor ended up with a white button-up shirt, a gray vest, and a black skinny tie.  “In the end I wore a funky T-Shirt with some grey pants and my crazy colored Nike kicks,” says Sean.  Erin rocked a blue, 40s-inspired sheath dress with a big, white flower in her hair.

“My mom told me to wear something noticeable so she could find me on TV,” explains Erin.  “Connor was later going through clips from the show and found us because of that flower.  Connor told me, ‘Hey!  You got your four seconds of fame!’  But everyone should have their fifteen minutes of fame.  So I told him, ‘Four seconds down.  Fourteen minutes and fifty-six seconds to go!”

Written by: Meredith Schneider, Staff Writer

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