After her Best Actress in a Comedy win at The 2008 Emmy's,
I met Tina Fey at The Governor's Ball. We both did shows at
Upper Darby Summer Stage in PA in our youth.
One of my most "Happy Days" was sitting with Ron Howard
at his table at The 2009 Critic's Choice Awards.
An angel with an extra all access pass gave me the chance to meet my favorite
singer of all time, Sheryl Crow, backstage at her Taj Mahal performance in
Atlantic City. I told her that one day I'd be her opening act and "I Shall Believe"
that can happen! How about a duet?!
A few years after first meeting Sheryl Crow, my boss in
Atlantic City finally caved into my constant requests and brought her to Caesars.
Celebrating Sheryl Crows's Cookbook "If It Makes You Healthy" with Co-Author Chuck White.
For The Grand Re-Opening of Caesars Circus Maximus Theater in Atlantic City,
Carrie Underwood was the headliner. Since I helped to handle her contract
and manage the renovation of the backstage offices, I had the chance to meet her.
"I Left My Heart..." in Atlantic City... backstage at Caesars... where I also did
a contract for... the one... the only... the legendary... Tony Bennett.
I won front row tickets and backstage passes to Taylor Swift's LA Staples Center
concert, although I met her previously after the ACMA awards a year earlier in
Las Vegas since I know one of her musicians. She's a humble inspiration also
from PA and so I had a little contest for a Taylor fan to join me, bringing a nice girl
who is friends with Taylor's backup singer. Taylor told us she was jealous of our tans!
With 2008 Presidential Candidate, Mike Huckabee, at the Arkansas' Governor's
Mansion. Since Mr. Huckabee is a close friend of Frankie Avalon, our cast of
"Grease" was invited for a lovely evening while we were performing in Little Rock.
"The Voice" on judge Adam Levine at The Critic's Choice Awards Afterparty
wasn't the only thing I was swooning over that night....
"Crazy" by fellow judge Cee Lo Green formerly from Gnarls Barkley and currently on "The Voice" has become one of my favorite songs to sing.
I was "Crazy" for him when he did his "VH1 Storytellers" episode.
With Kelly Clarkson and another judge from "The Voice," Blake Shelton,
after Kelly's intimate show at The Troubadour. I was actually Blake's waitress twice!
After another intimate show at The Troubadour, this time for Lady Antebellum,
I enjoyed chatting with the band and meeting Charles Kelley.
At the Musicares Pre-Grammy event honoring Barbara Streisand,
Jamie Lee Curtis approached me in the ladies room and said I looked fun
and wanted to take a picture with me. I cannot make this stuff up!
After the Musicares Pre-Grammy event honoring Barbara Streisand, I saw Jason Mraz
and couldn't resist saying hello. I first met him when he was an opening act for
Beth Orton in Philly before any singles were released and chatted him up after he
performed, telling him he was going to be a huge success. Clearly, I was correct.
Another fantastic musician I met early in his career was Gavin DeGraw who
I convinced to have fun with me in a photo booth at his after concert party.
Over the years, I've chatted and hung out with him quite a few more times
and he is one of the kindest souls and most soulful singers out there.
Some of the times I've gotten to chat with him are the "Best I Ever Had."
At The 2012 Critic's Choice Awards, when George Clooney won for Best Actor,
he gave Brad Pitt a hug. Look who got to be in the George and Brad sandwich!
Also, I spent a lot of the night at the Critic's Choice Awards chatting with Aaron Sorkin
who was sittingright across from me at the "Moneyball" table. I had ironically
auditioned for his new show, "The Newsroom," the day before! After he won his award
for Best Adapted Screenplay, he told me I was his lucky charm and I was hired....
I just wish I actually got that call! How about another show then, Aaron?!
Here's the moment when Aaron Sorkin won his award for "Moneyball"
and was celebrating with Brad Pitt... and me there, too.
Aaron Sorkin was also celebrated for "The Social Network"
and I got to meet Jesse Eisenberg who played Mark Zuckerberg
after a special SAG screening followed by a Q&A with the actors.
Justin Timberlake took about 3 minutes to answer my question about the score.
I also met and chatted for a while with Josh Pence after "The Social Network"
screening. He, with Armie Hammer, played one of the Winklevoss twins.
According to his interview on Chelsea Handler the day after the 2010
Golden Globes, David Arquette asked his lovely wife, Courtney Cox, if he could
go off and find some pretty girls to dance with since he was jealous of all the
fun she was having with her "Cougar Town" cast. What a fun five minutes
of boogieing down we had at the WB / In Style party!
When I was on tour with "Grease," and I would tell locals in the various cities that
I was, in fact, "on the tour of 'Grease,'" they always seemed to reply with, "Oh, wow!
What's Athens like?" I'd then have to clarify that I meant the Broadway tour,
not the country. Then they'd say, "Well, you actually remind me of the woman
from 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding!'" And so, after years of hearing this comparison,
I finally got to have a laugh about it with Nia Vardalos herself at the
2010 WB / InStyle Golden Globes party.
I think we'd make great sisters in a comedy. Script anyone?
I told Kate Walsh she deserved The Golden Globe for best dancer
at the after party, too. She never stopped smiling and having fun.
I think her real "Private Practice" is dance lessons!
Speaking of dancing, I got to meet professional dancer and Mirrorball winner,
Mark Ballas, at one of the three "Dancing With The Stars" finales I attended.
I actually attended as a guest of Damian Whitehood who was Pamela Anderson's
dance partner, but I sat with his lovely lady who won in 2012, Peta Murgatroyd.
Back before Elizabeth Banks skyrocketed to stardom, we met in a ladies room
on the set of "Invincible." It seems her career is "Invincible" now
and I congratulated her at the Globes party, too.
At an Emmy's Governor's Ball, I got to meet another very funny lady, Megan Mullaly.
After leaving The 2010 Golden Globes parties, I just had to give
Quinton Aaron a hug for his moving performance as the football star,
Michael Oher, in "The Blind Side." That was the third time we chatted.
As a big fan of Philadelphia sports, I was excited to see Eagles quarterback,
Donovan McNabb, at the Cheesecake Factory in Boca Raton
when I was in Florida for my cousin Stephanie's birthday.
Another Eagles legend, Vince Papale, is Philadelphia's real life "Rocky." It was
an honor being a part of "Invincible," the movie about his life, for three weeks.
Working at Lincoln Financial Field later, I got to talk to him again.
Thanking Jimmy Rollins for helping the Phillies win The 2008 Pennant
at Dodgers Stadium so that I could celebrate 3,000 miles from home!
At an ESPN tailgate for a USC Football game, I got to meet Lakers' Champion
Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace who partnered with Peta Murgatroyd
on "Dancing With the Stars" who I'd attended a finale with before she danced.
Here's a secret from a backstage discussion at Caesars in Atlantic City:
Jay Leno is passing "The Tonight Show" off to me.
Memo to NBC? I AM NBC. "The Next Best Comedian!" Ok, that's a joke.
Craig Ferguson was smart and knew to get on my good side seeing as
the one thing all of the late night major network hosts have to worry about
is a witty woman to come along! But no worry, Craig, even though we
got to meet backstage at The House of Blues in Atlantic City, I'd never leave
a funny guy like you jobless and stuck home in a "House of Blues...."
Backstage with another comedian who's contract I helped to handle, Dennis Miller.
The wall of headshots at Caesars was my favorite part of backstage,
but it's no longer there. Recognize anyone?
Jon Stewart, another late night comedian, buddied
up with me backstage at Caesars in Atlantic City, too. Smart guy.
Another funny Jon told me I was wrong... I'm not going to be a late night host
after all. Instead, he's passing his "SNL" torch to me! Ok, he didn't say that,
but he took a few moments to chat with me at Janice Dickinson's birthday party.
Thanks, Mr. Lovitz! Gotta "lov-itz" one way or another!
And, yet another Jon made me smile. Mr. Voight and I shared a moment
chatting about our common Alma Mater, The Catholic University of America,
at the World Premiere of the remake of "Fame."
From Jons to a Gin... Ginnifer Goodwin, that is!
At The 2009 Golden Globes HBO party, I got to tell
her that she is truly one of my favorite actresses.
"October Road" was a show I really enjoyed and I got to tell that to its star,
Brian Greenberg, at The 2009 Golden Globes HBO party.
With Shemar Moore at The 2009 Golden Globes HBO party.
I also was at his birthday party a few months earlier
and this soap star soaps up well, doesn't he?
Well, if all the ladies love Shemar, the original man who claimed that
"Ladies Love Cool J" was right next to me at The Grammy Nominations Concert
in December of 2009. From left to right, just off camera was Joe Jonas next
to Kevin Jonas at the far left, their mother, Denise Jonas, me, Colbie Caillat
and her guitarist, Justin Young, and, of course, LL Cool J.
At another Grammy Nominations event, I got to tell LL Cool J about that photo above!
A few months earlier, I got to meet Colbie Caillat after her show at
The House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard. It made me "Bubbly!"
Another one of my favorite singer songwriters, Sara Bareilles, took some time
to chat with me at the finale party for "The Sing Off." I enjoyed talking to her about
her second album at the time, but her third album showed she was truly "Brave."
"I Could Not Ask For More" than to have success like fellow Sara, Sara Bareilles, and
also Sara Evans who gave a spectacular performance at Harrah's when I worked there.
After the Black Eyed Peas concert at The Borgata in Atlantic City,
I hung out with Taboo at mur.mur, shown here.
A few years later, Taboo recognized me and put his arm around me to dance to
"I Gotta Feeling" during the Grammy Nominations Concert on air. And, at an event for
The Black Eyed Peas Experience game, he shouted a hello to me from the stage.
I also got to meet the fierce female of The Black Eyed peas at
The Black Eyed Peas Experience event, Fergie. Truly "Fergalicious!"
Another great experience was getting to perform in a Flash Mob dance
for a taping of "The Bachelorette" while Far East Movement performed
"Like a G6" at The Americana at Brand in Glendale, CA.
"Say you, say me..." say "Hello" to Lionel Richie! I had fun behind him
"All Night Long" at "An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Lionel Richie."
Another childhood legend I got to meet was Donnie Wahlberg in Las Vegas
after the New Kids On The Block / Backstreet Boys concert. He was "Hanging Tough"
with the rest of the band at the nightclub Chateau at The Paris.
At another night at Chateau in The Paris hotel in Last Vegas, I spent at least a
half hour hanging out with Stephen Barker Liles of Love and Theft after the
American Country Awards. Taylor Swift said it best... "Hey, Stephen!"
And, at another nightclub in Las Vegas, after opening for Jason Mraz
at a special midnight concert at The Palms in Las Vegas, I chatted up
James Morrison for a half hour at Club Moon. He makes this a "Wonderful World."
"You Gotta Keep Your Head Up" when you get to chat with Andy Grammer.
I got to meet him after he performed in San Diego.
While you can only see my shirt in Train's music video, "Hey, Soul Sister"
(what was editing thinking?!), I still had a blast working on set
with Pat Monahan, Scott Underwood, and Jimmy Stafford.
Who knew how popular Cascada's "Everytime We Touch" music video
would become?! With almost 40 million views, I had a great time
dancing to Dan Karaty's choreography as a mall chic girl.
Dan can sometimes be seen judging "So You Think You Can Dance."
Here I am with Cascada and her manager, Frank, hanging out after her show at
Webster Hall in NYC shortly after her "Everytime We Touch" music video was
released. I used to be her buddy for nightclub tours in the NY and NJ area, often
taking pics for her and helping her kick back a drink or two afterwards.
Another place you can see me dancing on screen is in the club scene of "Step Up"
shot in Baltimore. I was in consideration to be Jenna Dewan's stand-in, but when
I showed up to the casting, I was told I was too tan and that I could maybe be
considered to be Drew Sidora's stand-in, instead. What do you think?
Are Drew and I the same complexion?
This "Emm-azing" moment is from The 2008 Emmy's where I congratulated two
of the Producers of "30 Rock." On the left is Tina Fey's hubby, Jeff Richmond,
who remembered me and did the "fishy-reel-me-in-thingy" after the 2009
Emmy's. I shimmied right on over like a fish to make him and Tina crack up and
thanked them again for taking the time to take photos with me in 2008.
Watch out, world! He's "fierce!" I just had to strike a pose with the winner of
"Project Runway," Christian Siriano, at The 2008 Emmy's Governor's Ball.
The Principal is in! Meeting Dennis Haskins, aka Mr. Belding from one of my
favorite shows ever, "Saved By the Bell," made my night at The Hollywood Prom!
Having had worked for the agent to Morris Day and the Time, when
they invited ladies onto the stage at The 2009 Grammy's after party,
I simply had to boogie down with them.
You always have to thank the chef, so when I saw Wolfgang Puck
who catered The 2009 Grammy's after party, I simply had to say thanks.
As an Entertainment Coordinator for all of the Harrah's Entertainment
casinos in Atlantic City, I had the privilege of handling the event at Caesars
for the fantastic Italian chef, Lidia Bastianich. Her cooking show on PBS is terrific.
I've gotten to meet a lot of fun TV personalities over the years and,
at The 2010 Critic's Choice Awards after party at Katsuya, I met Sal Masekela
from E! again who remembered me from the red carpet at The Grammy's in 2008.
I also met Janell Snowden from VH1 news at The 2010 Critic's Choice
Awards after party. I didn't even realize it was her at first... I just could not
stop complimenting her dress! Well that and telling her to put a good
word in for me to host The Top 20 Countdown!
However, I ended up becoming friends with the host of VH1s Top 20 Countdown,
Jim Shearer. During SXSW 2012 in Austin, TX, I was waiting in line at a famous BBQ
place and noticed Jim was too late to get any thing so I let him cut in line with me.
I had a great time catching up with him when he hosted the Fourth of July Celebration
on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia in 2013. He can keep his job!
One of my favorite hosts, Brian Dunkleman from Season One of "American Idol,"
also hosted "Family Feud" at Showboat in Atlantic City when I was running
the showroom. He's hysterical and a few of us made a little "Dunky" fan club.
I also had a ball hanging out all night with Elliott Yamin from
"American Idol" while on set for Dr. Hollywood's "We Run LA" music video.
Another "American Idol" alum was very kind to chat with after his show, David Cook.
Apparently, Nickelodeon star Jeanette McCurdy is a big fan of David Cook's
as she was at his show, too. We'd worked on an episode of "True Jackson, VP"
so I said hello and talked about "iCarly" with her for a bit.
Back when I was on tour with "Grease," on the rare off day, there happened to be a
John Mayer concert in Lake Tahoe. Before the show, I ended up befriending
and strolling thru the casino with two of John's musicians. Drummer J.J. Johnson
is on the left and Keyboardist Kevin Lovejoy is on the right. Thanks for the waves to
me in the front row and waving bye with John when the bus left!
After the John Mayer concert in Lake Tahoe, I was walking across the street
and saw that the opening act was, too. Complimenting them, having never
heard of them before, I spent the next three hours playing table games for the
first time in my life with them.... About a month later, "Meant to Live" hit
the airwaves and Switchfoot became a huge instant success.
Another band that went from unknown to overnight success is Hinder.
I met them walking thru Showboat before their House of Blues performance
and they invited me backstage after the show. That night, while I was
hanging out with them, they got a call from VH1 that they were going to be
featured artists and "Lips of An Angel" became a huge hit. Guess I'm good luck!
I met Barry from Carbon Leaf a few times. Here we were at The World Cafe Live
in Philadelphia living a "Life Less Ordinary" like his band's hit song.
At a 2009 Pre-Oscar bash sponsored by Global Green on my birthday, Sheryl Crow
and Gavin Rossdale performed, while Esai Morales, best known for his role in
"La Bamba," had a few drinks with me and made my birthday extra special.
When Donna Summer performed at Caesars in Atlantic City, most of the
Regional Harrah's Entertainment staff was backstage to take a rare group photo.
She left us too soon, but took a lovely "Last Dance" at Caesars that night.
Another great talent who left the world too soon was Cory Monteith from "Glee."
I was sitting directly behind him at the iHeart Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas
and chatted with him, also keeping his friend company when he went to present an act.
Somehow when I was on the tour of "Grease," I never got to meet
Jim Jacobs, one of the show's composers and lyricists, but, in 2009, I got to
meet him backstage at The Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles after the
current tour had their LA opening night performance.
Two "Grease" Jans. Bridie Carroll is trying to fill my "Hand Jive" character shoes.
I briefly worked as a Rights and Clearances Coordinator for 51 Minds
Entertainment and "Rock of Love" was one of our shows. Here I am with
Angelique "Frenchy" Morgan on the left at Timbaland's 2009 Pre-Grammy
party at Social Hollywood, and, on the right, with Marcia in Las Vegas
at The 2009 Midsummer Night's Dream Party. In the episode of
"Charm School with Ricki Lake," another show I worked on,
I actually can be seen wearing Marcia's hat at Saddle Ranch.
At another Midsummer Night's Dream Party in Last Vegas,
I chatted with a musician who "True"-ly knows how to "Shine On," Ryan Cabrera.
But perhaps one of my favorite moments I've ever had
in Las Vegas was... with The Chippendales!
From the Chippies to a Chuy! Chuy steals the show on "Chelsea Lately."
Well, you can take the girl out of Philly, but you can't take the Philly out of the girl!
Backstage at The Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard, I got to hang out with fellow
South Philadelphian, comedian Dom Irrera, at the far right. His brother was my
pharmacist while I was growing up! Comedian Russell Peters is at the far left.
The Golden Boys are the Best Philly Boys of all time though.
Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, and Fabian had fun chatting with this former
"Grease" Pink Lady when I was an Entertainment Coordinator at Harrah's
in Atlantic City. I especially missed Frankie and was glad to see him.
One of my favorite authors happens to be another fellow
Philadelphia native, Jennifer Weiner. Her novel, "In Her Shoes," was even
made into a movie. When she had a book signing in Philadelphia for
"Goodnight Nobody," I stopped by to meet her.
Is there anyone more Philly than The Phillie Phanatic?! I once got
smooched by The Phillie Phanatic on the Jumbotron when I was one of
three people competing to win a car at a Phillies game, but here I got
to give his mom, Phoebe Phanatic, a big hug!
How does a Southern Belle from South Philly ring in 2010?
With William Penn, of course, at The National Constitution Center
across the street from the Liberty Bell!
And what happens when that Philly girl tries to get home from Los Angeles
for the holidays? She locks her keys in the car for the first time ever,
misses her flight, and gets rerouted for a six hour layover in
Las Vegas with Santa, Elvis, and The Paris!
This wasn't the first time I met Santa though. When I worked at Bally's in Atlantic City,
Santa joined Tony Orlando for a night of fun and holiday cheer.
Other than Philly, one of my greatest influences growing up was, like so
many others, Michael Jackson. To me, I'm here with his spirit as I was the
very last person to put a pen up to any of the walls at his memorial...
I feel so blessed. When I was little, I was a little goofball and he was one
of my imaginary friends... I know, I know... I was five! I used to pretend I was
talking to him, Stevie Wonder, and Whitney Houston in my bathtub!
Oddly, I suppose this has turned into a bad joke:
Stevie was fine to play with me in my tub because he couldn't see anything.
I drove Whitney to using crack.
And, Michael washed off all of his color and decided he liked little boys instead!
I said it was a BAD joke...
absolutely no disrespect to my artistic inspirations intended!
And so, by now you're probably wondering how I've gotten to have so many
amazing experiences in my life... well, it never hurts to just ask and be a nice person!
That was the case at Billy Joel and Elton John's concert in Anaheim in 2009.
With my awful, nosebleed, behind the stage ticket, I simply joked to swap my ticket
for someone's all access pass. While he didn't give me his pass, he gave me a second
row ticket and told me to go up to the stage at a certain point in the show!
Unfortunately, the person who took this picture decapitated Billy, but right after
this picture was taken, Billy swung his mic down to me and I sang the end of
"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me!" When Billy said, "Not bad! Not bad!"
it was one of the most exciting moments of my life!
So, maybe all you can see here is me reaching, but, you know what?
I'LL NEVER STOP REACHING FOR SUCCESS!!!
Content copyright . Sarah Donaldson. All rights reserved.