Last week Vegas played host to the Latin Grammys and Sin City got a dose of caliente! Having worked both sides of the velvet rope it is always fun to share an insiders look at what to expect on the Green Carpet (Alfombra Verde) and how the random chaos always seems to find a sense of balance as the event goes live.
As you can imagine, security is intense and the team assembled to keep everyone safe was miraculous and appreciated. As my limo pulled up to check point one the driver showed his credentials and at checkpoint two my partner and I, Luis Perez, celebrity trainer, along with his publicist Bina Fink (a force of the step and return who never takes no for an answer) and Bravo's newest sweetheart, Karent Sierra of the Real Housewives of Miami were asked to give a shout out to the fans who are the best part of the entire walk.
With cameras and banners, throngs of people graciously wait for hours for a glimpse of their favorite celebrities and the outpouring of love and support is overwhelming. With an escort to take me down the carpet, the team assembled to move us from one interview to the next with efficient grace allowing ample time to stop and meet first for video interviews and later with the still photographers.
Some have questioned why a separate awards ceremony is needed specifically for the Latino Market and Mel Diaz, president/CEO of Media Force Communications explains that:
"It is very important to have a separate Latin Grammys. With over 50 million Hispanics living in this country, the opportunity exists to not only offer this audience a show that reflects the variety within Latin culture, but it is also smart business as it allows for branding that is tailored to this population."
Oslan Osorio with Televisa Publishing adds, "The advantage of the Latin Grammys is that it allows Latino talent to be highlighted in a way that often gets overlooked when they are part of a mixed awards show. This platform gives them a rare opportunity for unprecedented exposure at an international level."
Admittedly, I am lucky to have a team who spackles on the makeup and makes sure I am dressed appropriately, as most know that my idea of fashion forward is a new pair of jeans and a clean baseball cap. This year my friends at Valentino graciously allowed me to wear a tuxedo that felt like it was all but made for my hulking 5'6" 140-pound frame with a price tag that was well out my shopping budget.
It is a magical mix of smoke and mirrors that consists of borrowed jewelry, couture, spray tans and in my case recently bleached teeth for about an hour of photos and interviews as I unabashedly ask some of my celebrity crushes for a quick photo opportunity as we make our way to the still photographers. No time to even consider being shy as these men and women were ready for a close up whether I was or not.
My favorite part is having my ensemble evaluated and commented upon as I take absolutely no credit whatsoever for being so well put together and in the name of transparency, who could find fault with Valentino, Cartier and David Yurman?
I must admit I do not quite understand why some celebrities find this to be an inconvenience as it is what keeps us all relevant. Furthermore, as the fat kid in high school who got picked last for gym, there is a certain sense of satisfaction as life has a way of smoothing out the wrinkles and karma has no expiration date.
This year the Latin Grammys were especially poignant for me as I attended with my partner of 18 years, Luis Perez. We were accepted as a couple and encouraged to pose for photos and interviews together. Have the Latin Grammys gone gay? I don't think they ever were not gay-friendly, but walking the walk with the one you love should make any couple, anywhere, feel like a star!