- October 26, 2012 by AliPlease Let Me Make Your Day (That Means A Giveaway!)
- June 15, 2012 by AliMonday. 9 AM. Get Sweaty. (And For Now: A Giveaway!)
- August 10, 2012 by AliTake My Sweat (It's A Giveaway & It's Not Gross)
- May 25, 2012 by AliDo You Want Free Sneakers? (Translation: A Giveaway!)
- July 9, 2013 by AliEmbrace The Sweat (An "I Heart Sweat" Shirt Giveaway!)
- July 22, 2016 by AliThe Day I Met Celine Dion
- July 21, 2016 by AliOn Working From Home
- July 19, 2016 by AliCurrently... (Turkey sandwiches! Paris! Celine Dion!)
- July 18, 2016 by AliMy New York City Marathon Training Plan
- July 13, 2016 by AliParty With Purpose 5K Recap
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
All my dreams have officially come true.
This morning, I met Céline Dion.
I went to the Today show concert, and I lived for every moment Céline was onstage. I laughed (when she sang Rihanna’s “Work” during sound check), I cried (when she sang “A New Day Has Come”)…
…I gawked (that silver sequin pantsuit — need), and then I got to go inside the studio to meet my favorite performer in the whole world.
I have loved Céline Dion my whole life. So when I heard she’d be performing on the Today show’s summer concert series, I knew I had to be there. And while the concerts are free and open to the public, I wanted a good spot in the crowd. Obviously. So from the bottom of my heart [of the ocean], THANK YOU to my friend Meredith, who used to work at Today and hooked me up with VIP passes. I will never love anyone more than I love Meredith. (Except Céline, but double duh.)
My friend Emily and I made the [not very long] trek from New Jersey to RockeFELLER Center at 5 AM, and were at the plaza by 5:30. We hopped into the VIP line — which was longer than I would have expected — and waited and made friends. I loved it. The energy was so fun, everyone was so excited, and people were so nice. (In the middle of Manhattan, no less!)
Around 5:50, they started bringing everyone in, and we were just a few people back from the stage. It was awesome, and I think I just kept saying, “Oh my god. Oh my god. Holy crap. Oh my god.” For someone who has interviewed and worked with loads of celebrities and has never once felt starstruck, I was feeling it.
Sometimes, before the show starts, the artists come out to do sound checks — and Céline did! Such a treat! She came out and performed her full set for us before it was even 7 AM! She was wearing a cool denim shirt and she looked amazing and she’s so funny. She loved hamming it up for the crowd, and she even improvised a performance of “Over the Rainbow.” All the while, we were having the best time singing along and dancing and making friends in the crowd.
Now let’s go back in time.
When I found out I had VIP passes, I knew I wanted to wear something special, like a cool Céline Dion shirt or perhaps a sparkly floor-length gown like one Céline might wear. I didn’t like the options on Amazon, so just one day before the concert, I called up a friend who works for my favorite Bow & Drape and asked if there was any chance I could get a last-minute shirt made. I wanted it to say “THAT’S THE WAY IT IS” (my second favorite Céline song) in gold sequin letters. He said yes, I just needed to come pick it up.
Well, I couldn’t come pick it up, because my Thursday was slammed with calls, appointments, and a nighttime event. But Brian said he’d make sure someone got it (like an intern or something — I owe you guys!).
When my event ended late last night, I hadn’t heard from Brian, and last I heard, no one was able to pick up my shirt. SO SAD. Brian finally made it home around 10 PM…shirt in hand. Turns out, he went to get it for me and then got trapped underground for more than an hour on the subway. HUSBAND OF THE YEAR.
Why is that important?
Because the shirt was a hit.
I assumed everyone would be wearing gold sequin Céline shirts, but not so! So I was mostly just living my best life during Celine’s sound check, and producers and cameramen would come over and ask me to scream stuff into the camera, which I’m sure looked and sounded insane, but they seemed to love it.
The live show began at 7 AM, as it does, and we were told Céline would be performing at 8 and 8:30.
She reemerged just before 8:00 wearing a silver sequin pantsuit. She’s amazing.
She performed a new song (“Water and a Flame”), a medley of her classics, and “Because You Loved Me.” Everyone on the plaza was holding up their phones and iPads and iWhatevers, but I put my phone away for the most part and just took it in and enjoyed it. She also ended up singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” because they liked it so much during the soundcheck. So we basically got a full Céline Dion concert. For free. In the middle of New York City.
At some point, the hype man — you know, that guy who is kind of in charge and gets everyone to cheer on cue — told me he liked me, and asked if I was available after the concert to come into the studio. Here’s how the conversation went…
Hype Man Alex: I like your energy, and your shirt. You’re great. Are you available to stick around a bit this morning to come into the studio and do a segment during the 9:00 hour?
Alison: [Blank stare]
Hype Man Alex: We’re going to do a game show where the contestants and the hosts fill in the blanks from Celine Dion songs.
Alison: Oh god, I don’t know. Do I know all her lyrics? I think I do. I don’t want to be bad. I’m really sweaty. This shirt is cotton.
Hype Man Alex: Are you available to do it?
Alison: I’ll do it if I can take a picture with Céline Dion! (This was a joke. I assumed she was leaving right after performing.)
Hype Man Alex: Well you’ll get to meet her. She’s hosting it.
Alison: [Collapses to the ground.]
So when Queen Céline was done performing, they brought me into the studio and I met the other two contestants.
We were told who our partners would be — I was with Jenna Bush Hager! — and given a super quick rundown of how the segment would work. I had to turn my phone off (not just airplane mode!), so I couldn’t take any pictures, but then Céline walked past us and into Studio 1A, and I just. kept. sweating.
The segment was silly and fun, and Jenna and I were declared the winners (even though Jonathan totally stole the show and was amazing).
Before the segment started, Céline was so nice and funny, and she got us all to sing along with her, and she seemed exactly like she does from all her funny behind-the-scenes videos. (The segment isn’t online, but if they put it up, I’ll share it. Obviously.)
Before I left, I swung by the Orange Room, flipped through Wranger’s scrapbook, snapped a quick pic, and then practically floated my way back to New Jersey.
Best day ever?
Best. Day. Ever.
Here are a few videos from the day… (I’m in the first one!)
And a few more gratuitous photos…
Biggest, most gracious thanks to Meredith for the VIP passes, without which I would never have met CÉLINE DION. And to Emily, for being the best hype girl and buddy, and for being willing to wake up at 4 AM to go to the concert. And to Brian, for picking up my shirt.
I’m gonna be so pissed if I wake up tomorrow and this was all a dream…
A year and a half ago, I decided to pursue a freelance writing career. Freelance writing is lots of things. It’s exciting. It’s scary. It’s hard. It’s fun. It’s 52 different things on any given day. Part of being freelance means […]
Last night, in an act of total narcissism, I went back and re-read a bunch of my blog posts from when I was building up my mileage and training for my first marathon. It was kind of joyful reading about […]
Happy Monday and Happy 16 Weeks Until the New York City Marathon! Today officially kicks off New York City Marathon training for me. I like a 16-week plan because it’s not too long, but it still allows room for a little flexibility. I […]
I love racing! I love racing short distances! Before yesterday, I had only raced three 5Ks, each a year or more apart. (Turkey Trots FTW.) I know we all (maybe?) get hyped up on marathons and half-marathons and long, endurance-y […]
First, Ellie had surgery. Then I got food poisoning. Now Brian seems to have it. Who wants to come visit West New York?! We’ve been a rotating rough bunch over here lately, but Ellie bounced back from her surgery beautifully, and […]
“Eat salad,” they said. “It’s healthy,” they said. Vegetables are good for you,” they said. “Taste the rainbow!” And so, even though I really wanted a cheesy omelet or an avocado BLT smothered in chipotle mayo, I decided, “You know what? […]
My poor puppy! As I mentioned yesterday, Ellie had some surgery on Tuesday to remove a “kissing wart” and to extract two of her chipped little bottom teeth. “Poor puppy” = she has not been phased in the slightest by this procedure. […]
Ugh. This week. It feels like it’s been one terrible, sad, tragic, heartbreaking news story after another. And with every news story comes outrage, and by outrage I mostly mean rabid debates on social media. (Were people this mean and […]
It feels trivial to write a recap about the 10K I ran this weekend when there are so many more important things in the world to focus on right now. My heart is broken for the people of Orlando and […]