Photos courtesy of Ashley Dingess

My encounter with Jennifer Lopez: Don’t believe every word you hear

by Ashley Dingess

When I was growing up I looked at Hollywood and celebrities as these alien-like, untouchable creatures who could do anything they want and get away with it. You know, those scary dinosaur type of people who can fire you for not getting their latte order correct. So, naturally this stigma has stuck with me through my career… until recently.

Over the past couple years I’ve heard numerous horror stories of celebrities, so when I got my start in radio as a college student I always wanted to know if the stories were true or not! A couple of weeks ago in a meeting, my boss informs me that Jennifer Lopez is taking more of a “hip hop” route on her next album and will be coming by for a live stream, interview and to premiere 2 new singles.

The second he told me this, I immediately got anxious. This little bubble popped above my head to this story I overheard years ago: “She has to have 5 people hold vanilla scented candles behind her everywhere she goes… if the lighting isn’t perfect she will scream at everyone in the room… everyone next to her must wear white or she won’t speak in interviews… and most of all don’t look her in the eye, you’ll pay for it.”

I had been avoiding a JLo interaction thus far in my career. As a social media manager, it’s my job to make sure the artist is interacting along with my brand on social and all I kept envisioning was asking JLo to tag my station on Twitter, and her breathing hot fire onto my face.

The morning of her arrival, I kept looking at the clock in anticipation of getting it all over with. When artists of this stature come in, it’s almost as if Obama is here and we all need to scramble to make things perfect. It makes for a very high-strung environment.

I got paged to the front desk once she arrived, so I scurried down the hall to greet her. My team and I introduce ourselves in front of a swarm of employees who are fanning out, and JLo looks at me and gives me a warm smile. Once in the studio, I had to sit next to her to live tweet the event and grab any content I could. She kept looking over at me, smiling. I asked if I was allowed to take vine and Instagram video and she says, “Girl, I knew you guys would so I came in well prepared for you, just let me fix my lip gloss,” followed by another smile.

She was dancing, interacting, thanking us for having her in and most of all, she was having fun. Knowing how important this content, the numbers and the show was to us, she prompted her boyfriend Casper to take some Instagram videos of her in the studio, then grabbed the phone from him and tagged my station on everything. She was retweeting all my content and then some. Even after her interview, the tags and tweets kept coming in.

Jennifer LopezNeedless to say, I felt relieved and somewhat ridiculous for getting anxious over something like this. It was a breath of fresh air to be proven wrong.

Who am I to base a strong opinion on someone when I haven’t even interacted with him/her?! Let’s not forget, many people are quick to elaborate on situations, you can’t believe everything you hear these days. Everyone has their bad days and we all have our moments where we are not the most pleasant.

From now on I won’t pre-judge someone based off of stories I hear through the rumor mill. I will make my own opinion on them when I meet them, celebrity or not, just like I would expect someone to do with me.

Ashley Dingess

About Ashley Dingess

Ashley Dingess is a social media maven and content curator for radio, artists and small businesses. Her current gig is as the Social Media Manager for LA's Hip Hop station, POWER 106 FM. She is a music-loving, selfie taking, go getter who showcases her celeb encounters and shenanigans on Instagram @ashleyhollabakk and Twitter @AshleyHollaBakk

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