Taylor Swift greeting her fans before she goes on the white carpet at the Billboard Music Awards 2011 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the very first picture I took of Taylor.
I’ll admit it, when Taylor Swift first came on the music scene back in 2006, I did not care for her. I honestly thought she was s bit annoying. My annoyance increased when Taylor performed with music legend, Stevie Nicks at the 2010 Grammys and botched up “Rhiannon.” It wasn’t until I moved to Las Vegas in April 2011 that my opinion of Taylor started to change. On May 22, 2011, I went to the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip to see the white (red) carpet arrivals for the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. That day I saw more celebrities in one day in Las Vegas than I had ever seen in my thirty-three years living near the east coast. One of the celebrities that took the time to greet the fans was Taylor Swift. The one thing I noticed about Taylor during this first time seeing her in person was that she was very gracious and generous with her fans. Taylor stayed signing autographs and taking pictures with her fans for good amount time.
The next time I would see Taylor was at MGM Grand again on April 2, 2012 for the Academy of Country Music Awards. This time I took some amazing pictures of her.
Taking these pictures of Taylor Swift was an amazing experience and to this day remain to be some of my favorite celebrity pictures that I have taken. The biggest reason for this is that I captured Taylor interacting with her fans and not posing for the press. At one point, I used one of these pictures to make a project for my Tumblr photo blog, Celebrities’ Innermost Thoughts.
On October 22, 2012, I spent my whole day on the Las Vegas Strip in front of the Bellagio as an extra for the film, “Last Vegas”, which all of you know was released on Friday. The experience in itself was great. It reminded me so much of my time in high school drama. The production assistants told us what we would be doing as the cameras rolled. This was followed by a “rehearsal” of the direction before filming began and then numerous takes of doing the same thing. There were many people who had done work as an extra for the film Michael Douglas had filmed in Vegas months earlier, “Behind the Candelabra” and many of them knew each other from that. Filming for that day on “Last Vegas” was for just one scene. Now from what I knew previously about what goes into filming a movie, I figured that more than likely the scene they were filming that day would not be a long scene. After filming wrapped for the day, I was excited to know that possibly I would see some screen time on this movie even if it were just a second.
Fast forward to yesterday when I go to see “Last Vegas” and it comes to the scene that I was in. The scene itself is at the middle of the film and is about one or two minutes and I did not see myself at all. It goes without saying that I was slightly disappointed, but I do not dwell on the fact that I did not have any type of big screen one-second debut. The experience itself was worth it. Maybe I don’t have a promising future in movies but for a day, it was fun participating in the filming of a major film with an actor like Michael Douglas and seeing him just a few feet away.
On September 10th, Fox’s hit cooking competition show, Hell’s Kitchen ended its tenth season with Philly native Christina Wilson named as the winner of the season. Chef Gordon Ramsay chose Wilson over Justin Antiorio to become head chef of Gordon Ramsay Steak inside of the Las Vegas Strip casino, Paris. Chef Christina Wilson’s strong performance and leadership skills throughout the season is what ensured her victory on Hell’s Kitchen. I was able to secure an interview with Chef Wilson through her publicist and girlfriend, Sara Ann Kelly. In the interview, Chef Wilson talks about her impressions of her fellow competitors in the competition, insights on Chef Ramsay, what excites her about being in Las Vegas and more.