And it was a near-religious experience: In response to Beverly Power's complaining letter "My Life as an MTV Seat-Filler" (September 9), I also was selected to be a seat-filler and was required to be at the Miami Arena by 2:45 p.m. Once I arrived I found which line I was supposed to be in (which apparently Power did not), went through a security check, showed my ID (I am 32 years old), got my red (not black) wrist band, was checked in, and then sent to wait inside the Miami Arena. Inside the arena, we were given instructions while waiting for our bus ride to the American Airlines Arena. When the buses dropped us off at the AAA, we walked up the stairs at the back of the arena and waited there for a while. MTV treated us great -- giving us free cold water and sodas and making sure we weren't in the sun or standing in the grass. It did seem a bit disorganized at first, but after a short while they let us inside and told us in what section to sit.
As soon as the show started and stars were moving around, it was like musical chairs. I ended up sitting in John Kerry's daughters' seats for most of the show -- third row right behind Queen Latifah! I even got to sit next to Carson Daly. When John Kerry's daughters came back, I was sad to have to give up that great seat, but I ended up getting an even better one -- I got to sit in Shaquille O'Neal's seat. I couldn't believe I ended up working my way up to the front row!
This was one night I will never forget. I took Shaq's reserved-seat sign as a souvenir and even made it on television four times. It was totally worth it!
A word of advice to Beverly Power: Next time you want to be a seat-filler, make sure you're in the right line. If you had been, you could have experienced what I did.