Posing as the Paparazzi

What’s up people! So, yesterday I had the privilege of being invited to the premiere of “Think Like a Man” and it was great! In case you have never heard of the movie, it’s the screen adaption of comedian Steve Harvey’s book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” The premiere took place at the Atlantic Station shopping complex located in Midtown Atlanta. The movie is awesome! But watching the stars walk across the red carpet was SO much better.

Okay, check it! The premiere was scheduled to begin at 7:30 pm. I arrived on scene at around 6. Walking toward the Regal cinema theater, I could immediately tell this wasn’t an ordinary day at the movies. Already, there was a growing crowd cattycorner the ticket counter. I stood across from the crowd to get a quick snap. I knew that in about an hour the entire scene was going to change. After I snapped my first photo, I noticed my friend waving me down and I ran over to her thus beginning our adventure for the evening. At a closer view, I realized the crowd was all paparazzi. By that I mean it was all media. There were cameramen, reporters, anchors, disk jockeys…etc. Everyone was set in place to get shots and sound bites of the cast for the movie and other elite as they came down the red carpet. Immediately I took my place as part of the camera crew. The only thing was my real camera was hiding from me somewhere inside my home and I was using my phone as my working mechanism for the evening. I didn’t have a media badge either and I was wearing a sundress for the evening which didn’t exactly read, “Working.” However, I was connected. I was standing next to my friend who was standing next to a guy wearing a “Radio One” company shirt. We took our places next to him hoping that the group of bald, suited men standing behind us would not say anything. They didn’t. Oh I also had another secret weapon. I was wearing 4 inch heels which came very much in handy as the event went on.

At 6:30, the first few guests began to stroll down red carpet avenue. And so it begins. Just like that I went from being a voyeur of celebrity and fashion into an all out working journalist. Once that first heel hit the carpet the cameras went up and the sounds of clicking slides and flashing lights took over. Then, all of a sudden I got hot and I mean really hot. I told you I was wearing a sun dress, right? Atlanta weather was in the mid 80s yesterday, but I wasn’t hot because of the sun, it was the rush of people that gathered around me after that first step. All of sudden I couldn’t move. I was covered on all sides. At first I wanted to go into a panic attack, but immediately I thought, “This is it. Game time!”

I didn’t recognize the first few people that came on the carpet. Don’t judge me, I wasn’t the only one. As everyone murmured, “Who is he? Who is she?” a very discreet lady with a ponytail and pointy glasses began to pass out stapled packets of what I later learned were press packets for “us.” It was a list of all the cast members for the movie. So, now I know how people are able to get the names, faces and spellings correct when posting their pictures online. I reached out my hand to grab a packet but those media people are just so darn aggressive…and to think I spent 4…okay 5 years studying journalism! Those hounds! So, since I didn’t have a press kit, I used the next best thing – Google.

It took awhile, but eventually I began to see faces I recognized. Oh it was so exciting! The energy and the excitement was contagious! The first familiar face I recognized was R.L. from Next. You remember Next right? They were a popular R&B group in the 90s with hit singles, “Too Close” and “Wifey.” R.L. had his wife with him and she was beautiful! The two of them make a cute couple! Following them was Tasha Smith! I love Tasha! If you’ve ever seen a Tyler Perry movie, you’ve seen Tasha. She’s notorious for her role in Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married” where she plays the neck-rolling, loud-talking, tell-it-like-it-is, wife who’s husband’s baby mama drama drives her up the wall. Tasha is as stunning up close as she is on camera and she was really nice with “us” media people and so was Vanessa Williams! No, I’m not referring to the first black woman to win the Miss America pageant! I’m talking about “Maxine” from the HBO series “Soul Food!” She was sassy and simple coming down the red carpet. She connected very well with her fans. I could have spoke to her but I just stood there staring like some fool with my mouth open either from nervousness or dehydration. I couldn’t really tell.

R.L. from R&B group Next, with wife

Eventually, I noticed a group of polished teenagers and I immediately recognized them as Steve Harvey and his wife’s Marjorie children. (It pays to subscribe to Essence magazine) Marjorie’s daughter is gorgeous. She has her mother’s hazel eyes. Steve’s son is the epitome of good looks. He has his father’s smile and form. He is a handsome young guy. Ironically this young bunch led the in line up of more recent stars. Neo was up next. Remember he just starred in the movie “Red Tails”, which came out earlier this year. Then after Neo was the man of the hour…Steve Harvey!

Steve owned the carpet and staying true to his leading role, he had his wife Marjorie on his side. Arm in arm, these two stayed connected the entire time, taking photos, questions, and really connecting with people. By this time, Atlantic station looked more like a movie set full of extras. There were people everywhere and Steve took a moment to meet and greet as many as he could. The beautiful thing about this couple though was how connected they were, beyond the physical. I caught Marjorie gazing in Steve’s eyes more than once last night. It was like she was still saying, “This is my man and I’m grateful for him.” You would have thought they’d just married yesterday. It was a beautiful sight. After seeing Steve, I was done with snapping pictures.

The line for the actual screening was beginning to get long and I told my friend I needed to hold us a spot. She was still snapping photos so I figured if I needed pictures, I’d just use hers. I stood in line for about 10 minutes before I begged the person behind me to hold my spot. I heard screaming and just like that I’d missed comedian Kevin Hart! Of course! How could I miss one of the main stars of the movie! He dashed by me in the blink of an eye. I didn’t even have time to pull out my phone. After that I fought my way back through the crowd, “Excuse me, I’m with Radio One.”

The stars of the show were out and everyone wanted a picture. The line up was perfect – Terrence J, LaLa Anthony, the sexy Michael Ealy, and the beautiful Regina Hall and Ms. Gabrielle Union. Last night I discovered men can be groupies too. When Regina and Gabrielle came out, I saw men get star struck and then I heard them begging the women, “Please baby, just real quick. Let me get a photo. Got damn you fine!” Yep, that’s what they said.

My final shot was of Gabrielle and Regina. I grabbed my friend and reclaimed our spot in line and headed inside to see, “Think Like a Man” which I just realized is correct title. It doesn’t carry the full book title. The movie is a definite must see and I’ll send you my review on that later this week. Oh my God! Before I forget! The highlight of the evening was my run in with rapper, actor “law abiding citizen”, Clifford Harris, aka T.I.! This wasn’t on the Red Caret. This was in person but we’ll have to talk about that another time… For now, I just had to leave you with a recap 😉


10 thoughts on “Posing as the Paparazzi

  1. Awesome capture of the night! The pictures say a thousand words…… ATLwood (Hollywood) needs to call you for the recaps of the important events! Great job!

  2. HEY TIF!!!

    I am so excited for you to be living your dreams and being a great mom. Congrats and I do read the blogs.

    Love Ya!

  3. You are well on your way friend…breakthrough, increase and favor…now watch God work! Transitioning in 5…4…3..2…..NOW! Love this story, I feel like I was there in the mix! Good JOB!

  4. I agree with Crecia, it felt so real, like I was there. Like I always tell you, im so proud of you and you have my support 100%! Amazing job!

  5. Simply awesome! I read this in your voice, but yet still felt like I was there seeing it through your eyes. Love it!

  6. Great recap Ms. Lady, I know it seems like I’m always saying this but….you are truly talented and truly amazing. God had great things in store for you!

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