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Idol Chatter

Though I’ve never been to the Oscars or the Emmys (except in my dreams, where I imagine I am tall, skinny, blonde and my name is Nancy O’Dell), I did finally get to attend my first real red- carpet event for the Nashville premiere of “Chronicles of Narnia.” Since several of the contemporary Christian music artists on the “Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia” soundtrack live in Nashville, many of them turned out to attend a special sneak peak of the movie last night. And since I lived for a while in Nashville and covered the Christian music scene, I relished a return visit to my old stomping grounds to celebrate the world of Aslan.

The major red-carpet events in places like New York and Los Angeles always looks so glamorous on television, but I discovered that working one of these events is anything but pretty. In fact, this entire evening was more like “red carpet lite”–something akin to broadcasting an award show for your local cable access channel.

First of all, there was no actual red carpet. And people in Nashville tend to dress down for these events, so I wasn’t exactly surrounded by Prada or Monolo Blahniks. But never mind all that. All of these fancy celebrity events offer attendees swag–free gifts from various corporate sponsors–so I scouted out the goodies table as soon as I arrived. However, instead of Godiva chocolates, designer watches, or a little something from Tiffany’s, my swag consisted of a Walden Media tote bag, a mini Narnia poster, and a Narnia “passport”–which was basically just an advertisement to buy a bunch of Narnia-related merchandise and information on where to find Narnia-focused evangelistic resources.

Oh, well, on to the show. After an enjoyable 2 ½-hour adventure, where I was transported into the world beyond the lamppost, it was time to take my position in the press line. I was ready with my sassy Joan Riverish questions and zingy one-liners, only to discover that working a press line is truly a three-ring circus. Everyone is pushing and shouting over each other to get a quote from the same handful of “A-list” artists, while publicists and handlers try to keep other, less-chatty “talent” from slipping out the side door without working the press line at all. And then there are the lesser-known artists who patiently wait for someone to please ask them a question.

Still, I was fortunate enough to talk to several different popular CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) recording artists, who all thoroughly enjoyed movie. But now I’ve got a flight to catch, so you’ll have to wait to hear what they said. Ah–life on the celebrity beat.

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