DOWNEY - Just when you thought the world wasn't small enough, it just got smaller, and mingling with some of the biggest names in young Hollywood can be made possible with just the click of a mouse and a little patience.Flashback to Saturday March 27, the day of Nickelodeon's biggest live event, the Kid's Choice Awards. Scheduled to appear, among others, were Disney starlet Selena Gomez, The Office's Steve Carell, iCarly's Miranda Cosgrove, and Joseph Apodaca?! Through the power of the Internet and perfect timing, three friends and myself were just four of many members of the audience that night known as "seatfillers". As seatfillers, we filled the chairs the camera would easily catch and project on the screen, so that when the stars were receiving awards and arriving to their seats it would appear the show was packed. Depending on how lucky we got, the odds of sitting next to or near a celebrity were pretty good. Before the show even started, we sat in arms reach of actress Maria Bello and actor John Leguizamo, who were there with their kids, and young stars like iCarly's Noah Munck who gave autographs and took pictures with about 20 child fans. Throughout the show, we had a bird's eye view of all the celebrity arrivals and awards acceptances. The crowd went wild just minutes before going live, when Twilight star Taylor Lautner walked into the room and to his seat, but not before posing for a quick photo with Will Smith. Just in time to see Rihanna perform a medley of her hits "Hard", "Rude Boy", and "Don't Stop the Music", the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato were able to sneak in without making a huge fuss. Tina Fey, Katy Perry, and host Kevin James were among the celebrities who got slimed by Nickelodeon's signature green mess, along with dozens of kids in front of the stage. "Bieber Fever" was evident at the show, where at the mere mention of the name Justin Bieber caused a mass eruption of shrieks and screams. For my friends, myself and several other seatfillers, this was not our first time getting our 15 minutes of fame. My brother and I attended last summer's ESPN Espy awards, where we filled the seats of Olympians Michael Phelps and Shawn Johnson and sat next to football players Terrell Owens and Hank Baskett with his reality-TV star wife Kendra Wilkinson. My two other friends have attended the Teen Choice Awards, where stars like David Cook and Blake Lively were just steps away. Signing up to be an award's show seatfiller is quick and easy. Creating an account takes minutes and you can pick what shows you wish to attend as they approach. Some are more difficult than others to attend, with each show asking for specific age groups, attire, and quick response time. If you like celebrities, have plenty of patience, and enjoy doing new things for free, seatfilling might just be for you.
********** Published: April 2, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 50