BET Awards Day 1! Media Day!

Bet Awards Media Day
Renaissance Hotel
June 27th, 2005

Today is the day. The day before the Bet Awards. The day the media gets invited out to watch rehearsals and do press interviews and what not.
First, i decided go and have lunch with my dad, since it was on the way. Got down to LA around 11ish and yeah. Dude im so out of shape cuz we walked to Chinatown from the Union Station since its nearby. I was sweating my ass off. Hey, it was friggin hot as heck.

After lunch, headed down to LA Weekly, which was only 15 mins North on the 101. Met up with the homie there who was going to cover Bet Awards with me. Parked in the lot and walked on over to Hollywood and Highland. It was only a block away but man it still hella sucks.
Got up to the complex and saw people waiting in line, mainly African Americans. Walked right into the hotel’s lobby and this hotel is hella nice. We had to go up to the second floor to do the whole press check in/registration. Was in line for a good 20 minutes but it wasnt a big deal, however of course there was some annoying person there. He was yelling at everyone who was int eh front telling them not to take cuts and stuff. Annoying i must say.

Get inside the hotel room to get my picture taken and have my badge made. I thought it was pretty high tech because there was this sensor thing they had to scan it with. Later i find out at the press rooms and such they have someone with a tablet pc with a wireless card and they wave it to your badge and your picture shows up. Very very nifty.
Ok, after i get my badge done, i was looking for my friend and for whatever reason he wasnt in the system under me. I then find out that some other dudes name is in the system. However i am the one that talked to the publicist and what not and made sure my name and his name was there. We had to go to another room and figure this out. All they did is take out the other persons name and put him in. Brian, the tech guy asked my friend if we needed “Z”. Because right now i had an “M” on my badge, which i assume was Media and press room. I didnt know what the “Z” meant but we took it anyways. See, the thing is that i was approved for Media room when i signed up but not anything else. By the end of the day, we find out “Z” meant red carpet access. Shoot, we werent going to argue with that at all. More is always better!

Headed on down to the press floor which was also the production floor, and publicist floor. Went through the metal detectors and my homie ran into Marleen who is a Virgin Records publicist. We chilled with her, we had to check into the press desk and of course they hook us up with free things. A Bet bag with a shirt, and various other things inside.
Right when i went inside, Mario was on stage and i shot a few shots of him. Then someone went up to me and asked if i was with an organization which i kinda was but i was more freelance than anything. She led me to Ngozi who is an editor for Aspire Magazine which is in circulation in the UK and Africa. She needed a photographer because theirs didnt make it out. I was into it, i didnt care, i want the exposure, however i still wanted a little compension and i felt it wasnt going to happen.
Sidenote: Wow, there was some fine ass black ladies in the house. I was just like man, this is hella nice. Whats funny though is that there was like this lone white chick there, and man i was drawn to her for some reason. Yeah, she was a little older, maybe a lot but whatever. haha..

Various other people came on stage for the press conference style photo opts and interviews. Pretty Ricky, Fat Joe, Bow Wow. At Bow Wow press conference thing, thats where i found out Ciara was his girl. I was like wow, interesting.. Miri Ben Airi, the hip hop violinist. Shes hella talented, if yall saw her on Jay Z final tour thing on HBO. Shes hella tight crazy on the violin. She looks all cute and shit but when she opens her mouth, not so hot.

T.I. and his crew, P$C rolled up. I was suppose to go to the Hustle and Flow afterparty at the House of Blues with them, Lil Jon and Eastside Boys, and Juvenile. Glenn from Atlantic didnt even get back to me. What a punk but that will be resolved tomorrow.
Lil Mo, came out, and man she got hella skinny. She still got them big lips. But shes full of charisma and energy. Christopher Stokes came out with 4 ladies in a new band called Dame. The lens and where i was standing didnt allow me to take the chicks together so i just focused on the cutest one which was the chick in the pink bra. You ll see the pictures somewhere around here.
Paul Wall, Frankie J, Slim Thug, and 112 all came out. It was pretty quiet when these guys were out. 112 kinda went down hill after they left Bad Boy.

Fatty Koo, which rang a bell but i couldnt remember where from. Then someone said something about the Black Eyed Peas, then it was like OH YEAH!. They are on tour with BEP, and imma go see them next month. Josh dressed up a little like Usher. Marya was hella cute, but again when she opened her mouth. Her thick accent from Venezuela came through and kinda killed it for me. Gabrielle, the fair skinned girl from the group. She was fine, i took a few pictures of her. Someone asked them to sing acepella, and wow, they sound hella good. I for sure gotta get to the Greek early to go see him live.

The day pretty much ended at 5. I was in the hall way and saw John Legend walk by about 3 feet away and i called his name and he didnt answer. But those kinda things, when you walking among the greats is so tight!
There was an preparty at the Spider Club, and i wanted to check it out since i never been there. I got me and my homie on the list, at this point he was already back at LA Weekly finishing up some stuff.
I walked out to Hollywood Blvd, and i totally forgot that the War of the Worlds premiere was this day. I could have hit up Soni at Dreamworks and get on the carpet but i wanted to do one thing at a time a day. I also had the Rhythm and Soul Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel also, but passed on that also.
Headed back to LA Weekly for my car. Left right after, i mean my homie didnt want to hit up the preparty at the Spider Club, so i just left. I knew i was going to hit up traffic but whatever.

Got home at 7, then i hit up the mall to get some pictures done that i took the day of. Hit up Johnny Rockets, not before i hit up Kabuki for some sushi. Me and Jesse closed down Johnny Rockets, just messing around with Danni, Theresa, Tito, the friggin gang. I mean everytime i go there i meet new people everytime. I swear i should really work there, but Emeline works there, and yeah so gotta pass that.
I cant wait until tomorrow, sucks though because i wasnt planning to cover the red carpet, so i didnt have to get there until a little before 5. So i thought i hit up the beach with Jesse and Danni and then head over to Hollywood, but press check in for red carpet coverage was at 1, and they were leaving to the beach at 12. Oh well.. Duty calls!!
Call me a friggin Chameleon cuz i be blending in to my environments! 🙂


About Anh Nguyen

Anh Nguyen is a Los Angeles based freelance photographer. Over the past six years, he has covered various concerts, movie premieres, red carpets, parties, and events. A southern California native, Anh attended UCLA and holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a minor in Accounting. In addition to photography, he is currently pursuing his license as a CPA and hopes to go law school. Adding to his many interests, Anh also loves to cook and has worked as a line cook for Food Network's celebrity chef Scott Conant's restaurant, Scarpetta, in Beverly Hills.