When local television personality Sierra Scott had her last birthday, she didn’t want a traditional gift.
She told her fiance, Harrison Schenk, she’d rather have an experience – something she’d never forget.
On Monday night, Scott attended the Primtime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Her friend, Beth Bower, accompanied her.
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Scott got the tickets when she and Schenk attended a Ronald McDonald House fundraiser earlier this year. The Emmy experience was part of a silent auction package, and Schenk had the winning bid.
But Schenk said he wasn’t really interested in attending.
“He did not want to go,” Scott said with a laugh. “He said, ‘The only way I am going to bid on this is if I don’t have to go.’ ”
Scott invited Bower to attend the ceremony with her, and last weekend, she and Schenk traveled to Los Angeles with Bower and her husband, local radio host and wine expert Guy Bower. While waiting for Emmy night, the foursome also attended the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival.
Bower and Scott’s seats were on the mezzanine level of the theater, Scott said. They weren’t close enough for them to rub elbows with celebrities in attendance, but they were close enough for them to see them.
Scott said it was fascinating to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what the television audience doesn’t see.
For example, she said, during commercial breaks, producers would quickly shuffle stars who already had won awards out of the front few rows and replace them with people whose award categories were approaching.
“During the commercial breaks, it looks like a game of musical chairs,” she said. “They have this orchestrated, and they have it down to a T. It’s amazing.”
During commercial breaks, Scott said, the in-house audience also was treated to videos of Emmy winners from the past and their acceptance speeches.
Scott and Bower got up-close with several stars throughout their stay, she said.
The whole E! red carpet crew, including Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne, stayed in their hotel. They also passed former “Friends” star Matt LeBlanc.
And at the Emmys, they literally bumped into a big comedy star.
“Beth and I almost ran down Stephen Colbert,” Scott said. “He was coming around a corner as we were, and we almost knocked him down.”
Both Bower, who coordinates the Eagle’s cookbook contest, and Scott had trouble deciding what to wear, so both brought two different formal gowns with them to Los Angeles. Bower went all out, having her hair and makeup professionally done in her hotel room before the show.
Bower said she was touched that Scott would invite her along on the adventure. Bower’s husband, Guy, didn’t share Schenk’s feelings about the show and was texting his wife for updates while she was in the theater. He and Schenk watched the broadcast next door to the theater at a hotel bar.
Seeing celebrities up-close was a surreal experience, Bower said.
“When you see them on TV, they look like who they are – stars,” she said. “But when you see them in real life, they just look like people. You have to try to get your mind around the fact that they are people.”