To Srat or Not

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So you are considering going through recruitment? Congrats! You might just be slightly crazy enough to join a large group of college aged women who spend almost every waking moment with each other. You’ve heard the stories of friendship, and sisterhood, and all the parties and guys you will meet; but are you sure this is something you are willing to commit to?

Sororities are more than just letters, houses, and new friends; there is a large commitment involved that you should be aware of.

First off, depending on your school, Sorority dues can be quite high (I’ve heard horror stories of them being almost a grand or so per semester). There could be a payment plan available to you, but just know sometimes it can be hard to pay a bill come November. When you go through recruitment make sure you ask about dues or assessment (trips, food, or t-shirts that are not in the budget) costs. Sororities can also cost large sums outside of dues or assessment costs when it comes to formals and homecoming. Be prepared for Mommy and Daddy to open their check books a little wider or to take up a part time job to cover your costs.

Next up Drama: You can try and save it for your mama but it will exist in your sorority. There will be fights over T-shirt designs and who is going to what formal with who. There will be cliques whose main job is to compete with the other clique for boys, clothes, and the front row of bleachers for the homecoming game.

Another aspect of any sorority is the super secrets that go along with them. These secrets not only bond you with anyone else who has A) ever pledged but they also bring a sense of unity and B) are willing to stick it out for the long hull. There is absolutely nothing worse than going through recruitment and being initiated only to drop your sorority 3 weeks later during midterms. This will piss your Bigs and upper-class women off so much. When you decide to go through recruitment make sure you are willing to respect the thousands of women who have come before you and made a commitment to the values and secrets of their sisterhood.

Speaking of values, many Panhellenic Sororities are based on service and academic values. Make sure you know the required service and GPA requirements per the sorority you are interested in. Most likely chapters will already know your GPA so don’t try to lie about it if asked…though if they do ask you that’s kinda rude.

At the end of the day a sorority is more than just a social club, but an organization that will require much of you to bring about improvement. Sometimes when I meet with Potential New Members, they seem to only want to know about parties and boys, when in reality there is so much more behind the scenes. So open your eyes ladies and join a sorority that will best suite not only your interests but also your budget and schedule.

How to Get a Bid from your Dream Sorority

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Hello ladies! It’s almost fall and I know you freshman and sophomores may be asking yourself whether or not to go through recruitment. You might be a legacy or you might just be looking for a way to get involved and meet new people this fall, just know that there is always a match for you. The best advice that anyone can give you about recruitment is to “just be yourself”. And although this is true that also means polishing and presenting your best self. So here my lady friends are 15 tips to impressing your dream sorority and getting the bid!

  1. Some people may tell you to buy a classic dress such as a Lily (especially if you are from the south) but honestly that won’t matter much if it looks horribly wrong on you. For my recruitment I wore a Target dress (just simple and black) with a white cardigan and very simple jewelry. The less extravagant your outfit the more likely that women will be paying attention to your personality and what you have to say. Of course wear heels or very nice flats; just know that you will probably do a lot of walking and standing during recruitment.424235_4546125172719_579623926_n
  2. Include the following in a very small purse: Band-Aids (for any blisters), chapstick, tic tacs, small bottle of hairspray, small bottle of perfume, and mirror compact. To be used in only emergencies…not every 5 seconds and never inside a house.
  3. Wear light make-up, look natural, look classic.1209009_10201911108960888_462250540_n
  4. Eat a big breakfast/lunch/dinner/whatever meal comes before recruitment rounds. Nothing is worse than your stomach gurgling during conversation or you fainting walking up the stairs of a house.
  5. Clean up your social media prior to recruitment enrollment. Create a positive and professional page; one that will not only reflect you in a positive and professional light.1044432_10203148430973165_643242054_n
  6. Have non-family members submit references on your behalf. Trust me they are actually read and can affect whether or not you are welcomed back.
  7. Please ask questions. There is only so much that a woman can tell you about her sorority, and only so much she can ask you about yourself. Avoiding the awkward silence during conversations is always key. The more you talk and ask questions the more personable and interested in sisterhood you seem.
  8. Educate yourself on their philanthropy, know who they are involved with and their major fundraiser.562739_10200869274195670_1100840308_n
  9. Find a buddy or two to walk to the houses together with, perhaps you might end up sisters by the end of the week.
  10. Buy a good pair of jeans for Bid Day.298987_2581686862989_706779318_n
  11. Make your way around a room, talk to everyone and anyone. Smile and laugh, be a “lighthouse”.1044432_10203148430973165_643242054_
  12. Try to avoid talking about Politics, Religion, and Boys. Stick to Academics, Hobbies, and Favorite Things. The best conversation I had during recruitment was when I met my Little and she told me all about the great philanthropic work she was going to do with her degree after college. Don’t be afraid to get deep with the women you meet, also don’t cross a line of weird. 601052_561175290615415_1376761479_n
  13. Don’t get down if one sorority doesn’t ask you back. Try to get to know the others and find your fit. But also don’t force yourself into Greek life if you don’t feel the connection.
  14. Show a genuine interest in the history of the sorority.
  15. Be Yourself: If you have Blue highlights keep them. If you have an obsession with Hello Kitty rock a bedazzled necklace. Love red lipstick, be bold. Show off your tattoos. Tell the story about the scar on your left thumb. Be you, because after the Bids are given out and after initiation vows are said, you are still you. Your sorority should love the real you. These women want you as a sister, not the sober sister or the one that only shows up at chapter meetings. They want a friend and a bond that cannot be broken. Only being yourself can create that.1234399_10201904828083870_1223860342_n 1173649_10201923413828502_614770450_n

Fulfill Your Summer Bucket List

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10560913_547724478672967_1121484388_nAs the summer is nearly halfway over, it’s time to really start focusing on your Summer Bucket List. In the words of Mulan, “let’s get down to business to defeat the back to school blues”…I mean it’s kind of like that right? I was never a Disney Fan…

1. The Nashville Farmer’s Market – I love the Farmer’s Market. 10561136_593046557474643_2054597376_nOn Saturdays there are so many vendors and most of the restaurants in the middle building are open. Explore the international vendors, the Amish baked goods, Local Honey, and crafts. Make a day of it! My favorites are the Tamale Pot and the Gourmet Popcorn Stand.

2. Greer Stadium – I know what you are thinking “A Sounds AD_153a107224888e_thGame?” I know, I know. From the lack luster performance to the cheap beer and bad giveaways this may not sound like the optimal outing. However, if you embrace the silliness and just go with it-along with the penny beers, people watching, and possibility of fireworks- this can be a great get together for all of your friends. Not to mention all the money you will save in comparison to a major league game.

3. Radnor – This may be a drive for you depending on how 10409342_10203884608097133_4598612350784483457_nclose to the city you live, but escaping to a little piece of wilderness can not only be relaxing but give you a new perspective. The Radnor trail is about two miles (depending on which trail you take) and wraps around the closeting thing you can get to a lake in Nashville. Without runners, bikes, or dogs on the natural trail you can think and get away from the hustle and bustle of the coming school year.

4. The Fontanel Mansion and Farm – Outdoor concerts are AD_153b1d04fc062f_thgreat and the line-ups coming to the Fontanel could not be more perfect. Outdoor venues allow for more people to interact and the cool summer nights can lead to new friends and a rock-n-roll experience you have been dying to have since you missed Bonnaroo and Coachella.

5. Go to a Drive-In – There is nothing better than lying on the AD_153c56bfbea653_thdash of your car, being slightly mosquito bitten, killing your car battery by playing the audio through the radio, but catching that three year old movie for less than $5.00. But here’s the thing, it’s all about the getting there. These things are usually pretty far out meaning your and your friends will probably get lost at least once. Then someone needs to hide in the trunk or under a blanket to make the entrance fee cheaper. Next thing you know your acting out a scene from Grease and meeting the guys parked next to you. Remember you can always stay for the double feature…

So maybe my list is a little different than your list? Maybe you are still in need of new ideas? Check out the free app Wannado for the iPhone or Android as well as their website. They have plenty ideas for your daily recreation and can introduce you to all the hotspots in Nashville!

Best, Jess

Nashville Show Spotlight: Prismatic Tour

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On June 27th I woke up like any other day.  I brushed my teeth, combed my hair, added a million sparkles to my hair, and put on a purple tutu…Okay so maybe not just like any other day.  No Today was the day my friends and I had been waiting for since mid January when we had bought our Katy Perry Prismatic Tour Tickets.  We had countdowns on our phones, had planned ridiculous outfits, and my roommate would text me constantly reminding me of our plans for Friday night.

10443491_10204171619752245_6972232469165806601_nWe arrived at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville (duh) early before doors opened at 6:30 to take advantage of the photo ops and giveaways.  My roommate Sarah and I are notorious for winning said games and giveaways.

915579_1507514249460686_1529245513_nAfter hitting the booths, we made our way toward the doors and the merch (aka merchandise that is wayyyy over priced and requires waiting in line for a good 20+ minutes-unless you’re me and make your own line) table.  Here we met the cutest five year olds dressed almost exactly like us.  They sang us songs and told us all about their outfits down to the sparkles.  Their mom was also pretty awesome as we spoke about them growing up and going to college.

We then headed to our seats where the first set was already in process (whoops!). Ferras-or something of that nature-reminded me of a pineapple with his bleached blonde hair pulled up into a top bun.  He sang me 80’s ballad sounding song after 80’s ballad sounding song in his lack luster attempt to be a modern day Prince. (reasons his CD was free at the merch table).

source: Kevin Mazur/WireImagesource: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Next up on the chopping block was Capital Cities, another 80’s sounding EDM bad which is known for their one hit wonder “Safe & Sound”. One thing I wasn’t expecting to encounter was when the bad decided to dance to a track remix of their popular song…I mean dancing to your own song is a little tacky. They then attempted to teach the Bridgestone a good ol’ fashion white boy line dance to no avail but at least it allowed for some stretching before Katy took the stage.

source: Billboardsource: Billboard

After fueling up on some sports style munchies (we had kinda forgotten about eating real food in all the excitement that was getting ready for 3 hours) we waited un-patiently for Katy.

10479064_10204171620272258_7897628773181052324_nAnd then it happened in a glorious glow in the dark display.  She opened with “Roar” in which we traveled with her and her light up tribal warriors to the jungle setting.  The legit coolest aspect of this set had to be the built in treadmill to the stage and the trapdoors, or maybe it was the Prism Lotus she was delivered to us from.

10413098_493539567443568_35873289_nFollowing this mystic jungle we were transported to Ancient Egypt where Katy was Cleopatra and our warriors were now mummies and Egyptian royals.  Complete with a moving dancer pony; she sang “Dark Horse” just for me (or so say I).  I mean Juicy J was a talking sphinx with sunglasses.  Throwing it back, “I Kissed A Girl” (the song that introduced me to Katy and that I hid from my parents) took us under the pyramids to a world of mummies.  “ET” turned our pyramids tops into aliens….

…and then We ended up in one of my biggest nightmares ever.  A land where people were dressed as cats.  (I may or may not have a fear and distrust of anything small and feline).  I tried to block this part from my mind.

929135_1431391743802459_1141358852_nFor a break down set, Katy appeared to us dressed in butterflies and singing from a giant sunflower.  Here she spoke with the crowd about life’s ups and downs and how to enjoy every day you have.  she also told us of her old Nashville stomping grounds where she learned to write and attempted a career in Christian Music.  She then sang one of my favorite songs, “By the Grace of God” which is a testament to the time after her divorce from Russell Brand.

Next thing I knew there were giant balloon emogis flying around the arena and then it was all over…or was it?  No way, we had an encore with green hair and a giant birthday cake (her latest single off of Prism “Birthday” played obviously) and glitter cannons.

10520246_256610361207839_1291169011_nBut was if over after that?  No, we still had time for PrismVisionYou see, PrismVision is a magical experience requiring Prism Glasses which we had received upon entrance. Katy sang “Firework” as digital fireworks and pyrotechnics detonated flawlessly.  All seen through the sparkly PrismVision which made everything shiny and even MORE SPARKLY.  Yes, one could probably reach this point by getting high, but the intentional PrismVision made the set.

source: Celebuzzsource: Celebuzz

After “Firework” Katy crawled back into her “Prism Lotus” and waved goodbye to us all and it was officially over.  I felt like I had run a marathon, like I had gone to Vegas for two hours, like true magic had happened in front of our faces.  Cheers to you Katy Perry on one hell of a show.  And Kudos-I had to wait a week and a half to process and find the words to write this blog.

10469219_10204171622272308_3733321242963719689_nSo after a Katy Perry concert what do you do?  Well going home and watching Friends or King of Queens on Nick@Nite is not an option.  So we hit the town.  We swigged beers in a honky tonk singing “Wagon Wheel” with the hottest out-of-towners we could find. Then crossed the street to a club complete with terribly mixed pop music and enough douche bag guys willing to buy you overpriced alcohol just to dance with you.

10451064_10204171622752320_3781652105691112032_nNeedless to say rolling into bed at 2 am I was tanked. Completely and utterly exhausted from a day that seemed it would never end-and as if I wanted it to.

So friends, do yourself a favor and buy some tickets when Prismatic comes to a city near or far from you.

Best-Jess

It’s Jess!

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10007437_10203576585236754_4097551639242240231_nI feel like a New About Me is in order after about six months of changes! So let’s get down to business!

Got EducatedHey, I’m Jess.  I just graduated from Belmont University with a BBA in Music Business.  I love working in the Industry and I recently interned with CMT.  My next step in this crazy career path is Law School, so in the Fall I’ll be a professional Elle Woods.

 

I really enjoy: Nashville, country music, baseball, farmer’s markets, girl’s nights, puppy dogs, anything with Elephants,  coffee (two sugars, one cream), and causally capitalizing words I think should be.

 

 

1531584_10203054037493387_1015992539_nI’m really good at: rambling, awkward situations, making vines of my roommate, ordering takeout, drinking a six-pack of Angry Orchard when I’m happysadgoofymad, and losing my keysphonewallet.

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Mostly Likely you will find me: documenting my life and my friend’s (regardless of their opinions) lives via social media…or making nachos.

 

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Aliases: “The Original SCB aka Stone Cold Bitch”, “Captain”, “Maverick”, & “Boo Bear”

 

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I’m working on: that being right all the time thing…and being a southern belle… as well as world DΘMINATION.

 

You Can Follow all my Adventures on Twitter and Instagram under:Just_JessieLynn.  And I will be Guest Blogging on NowThatsCollege.com website.

So You Want to Get into the Music Industry

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Check out this blog post and other’s this summer on Now That’s College!

Every year freshmen infiltrate Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee with the dreams of making it big in the Music Industry.  Whether that means playing, writing, producing, managing, or marketing music-they descend into this town looking for their “break” which will usher them into the big leagues.

What they lack to understand is that they aren’t alone.  Not only are there upperclassmen vying for these jobs and opportunities, but there are post grads, those opting out of school, and newly unemployed industry professionals on the chase.  Not to mention the people in New York, Atlanta, Austin, and L.A. who are trying to make it as well.

And as the Industry becomes increasingly smaller and smaller by the month with mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcy-the available employment opportunities begin to dwindle.

For lack of a better word: the Future of the Music Industry is Bleak.  Blame Generation X, the Government, the Recession, the Internet, Piracy, and really anything else you can capitalize…but its still a reality.

So why do we still attempt the impossible? I mean, the odds are not “ever in your favor” when it comes to this type of profession.

Maybe its the last frontier to make the American Dream a reality.  It and professional sports, seem to be the only occupations left that can be won by the common man and lead them to a better life.

Maybe its all those Disney TV shows about kids turned pop stars that brainwashed our generation.  Maybe its the “You’re Special!” notation that our generation grew up on.

Then there’s the overarching theme: We are all helpless hopeless fools who have been romanticized by our love of song.  Some days I like this one: the struggling artist.  I mean we are the ones in all the movies who end up making it and get the girl…right?

But if there is one thing I have learned after living and working in Nashville for four years (and trust me I acknowledge that I have much left to learn): it is that this sense of entitlement and this foolishness cannot get you a job and it will not put food on your table.

So If after reading all this, if you still cannot squash the notion of falling into this abyss; I have five tips to help you get an edge on everyone else who is on the hunt for your dream job.

1. Buy A Suit

Regardless of how you imagine the music industry is fashion-wise, you need to buy a suit. Sure, you probably won’t be wearing it every day to work, but when you show up to an interview you want to look your best.  You want to look as serious as you are.  (And if you’re not serous, stop wasting yours and everyone else’s time).  Put your best foot forward and spend some money on this; odds are you will be donning this monkey suit quite a bit.

Ladies you need a nice dress/skirt/Hillary Clinton Pantsuit that does not show off your assets.  In this industry, mainly dominated by men, there will come a time when you are accused of using your womanhood as a way to get ahead.  If it hasn’t happened yet (and bless your heart) it will. You will also have to prove that the info in your head is actually useful for things other than fetching coffee.

To all my artists out there, this is still relevant to you.  Gigging every night will not get you the contacts you need to get a head in this industry, so just buy the suit (or at least something nice from Nordstrom) so you can have a day job.

2. Volunteer

Yes, for free.

source: Grammy365

source: Grammy365

In Nashville, it is very common for labels and different associations to ask for help around album releases and festivals such as CMA Fest. You may find yourself stuffing press packages, escorting artists, or manning an information booth passing out koozies….

Volunteering may seem unimportant or boring-and at some point it will be-but it puts you in the right place at the right time with the right people. You will meet contacts this way which can lead to future employment.  That is, if you do a job worth remembering.

Leading into my next tip, these are also Resume Builders.  Adding these opportunities to your resume make you look like you have experience (which you kinda do), a good work ethic, and an interest in working in the industry from the ground up.

3. Have Your Resume Reviewed

To all my Business people:

source: LinkedIn

source: LinkedIn

PLEASE USE SPELL CHECK.

PLEASE KEEP IT TO ONE PAGE.

PLEASE HAVE MULTIPLE COPIES-nothing is worse than showing up to an interview without having more than one copy.

PLEASE USE LINKEDIN, PLEASE.

As for Artists with their Youtube/Instagrams/Twitter Accounts/CD Baby/Reverbnation Websites/Facebook Pages:

BE SOCIAL-like actually interact with people who are interested in you.

MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS EXCELLENT QUALITY-nothing worse than shitty sound recordings or your mom’s shaky video.

POST OFTEN

HAVE A ONE SHEET

4. Get A Degree

10342431_10203741885249151_7696620081474085990_nRegardless of what you want to do in this industry, I highly recommend getting a degree.  Sure Iggy, Steve Jobs, and Taylor Swift didn’t need one, but the kicker is you are not them.  And with all the odds I laid out to you, its better to be safe than sorry and get something you can fall back on in the event that this whole crazy dreaming doesn’t pan out. Many Colleges and Universities offer Songwriting, Entertainment Industry Studies, Production, Vocal/Music, and Music Business Degrees.  So invest in yourself and get one.

5. Intern, Intern, Intern…Then Intern Again

Lastly, Please Intern, and then do it again and again.  You will learn so much about the climate of the industry and you will meet so many people who can help you with getting to where you want to be.  Some internships suck.  Those are the ones you take and still learn something from and move on.  Some internships are awesome.  Those are the ones you take and hopefully run with. Internships lead to contacts and jobs.  They are you’re big break silly. Regardless if you are bringing your boss coffee or transcribing Luke Byran’s newest interview, it is the relationships you make that will help you in the long run.  In this business its not only what you know, but who you know. So put the entitlement aside-and intern.

As for my Artists:

Play everywhere and anywhere.  Going on a family vacation? Play for the locals.  At a party? Plug in your iPhone for a song or two.  Play Everywhere and Anywhere.

Pass out your links to where people can find your music.  Get a following.  Make friends with people who are trying to get into the business/are in the business and help each other.

 

That my friends is only the tip of an iceberg and I could probably write a book of do’s and don’t’s, but hopefully these will help you reevaluate if this is for you or not.  And if it is, hopefully they lead you to where you need to be.

My Best-Jess

The 2014 CMT Music Awards: Behind the Scenes

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cmtMusicAwards-2014Last night I had the opportunity to work backstage at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville at the Bridgestone Arena.  But when I say last night, that means I got there at 8 AM that morning…

10401726_499656626801643_121387829_nUpon arrival I had to go through credentials to get my assignments and backstage pass. Then all of the Artist Escorts (aka Me) had to gather together to learn the run down of the arena and the many paths we would need to take throughout the night.  Memorizing dressing rooms, appearance schedules, which elevators and stairs take you where…it was a lot to take in.  Thankfully, the Talent I was assigned to was not performing so I had a low key schedule until they arrived.

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Starting at about 9 AM, the final dress rehearsals began for the show prior to the final show run through.  The ever talented and beautiful Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert took to the stage to sing their new duet “Somethin’ Bad” which is featured on Lambert’s newly released album Platinum.  Between the glitter cannon and the bad ass lyrics, we all knew this performance would be the highlight of the show.

2014 CMT Music Awards_Cham640Then came the rehearsal for the opening act where Luke Bryan, ZZ Top, Florida Georgia Line, and Jason Derulo (and his ever allusive dancers) all performed a mash up of their songs “La Grange”, “This is How We Roll” (which features Luke Bryan), and “Talk Dirty”.  From pyrotechnics to strategically planned remix, the act had the potential to epically fail.  Timing had to be just right, and it took several go throughs to get it down.  However, by the last run through it was show ready.

openingWe broke for lunch around 1:00 PM and that gave me some time to run through my Talent’s schedule and switch out my walkie’s battery pack.

lady-antebellum-cmt-music-awards-2014Next thing we knew, acts were arriving and the buses and dressing rooms were filling up.  Lines began to form around the Bridgestone and press was filing onto the red carpet.  Catering at Craft Services and the Crown Royal Room began to serve up food and drinks.  People were running golf carts to and from the bus lot frantically picking up and dropping off acts to rehearse.  The best way I could explain it is organized chaos.  Everywhere you looked people were running and tracking their acts.

imagesAfter picking my Talent on the red carpet, we took an elevator down to the backstage level. Here we had time for them to access the press room, WonderWall, and the Crown Royal Room to mingle with the other Talent onsite as well as their managers, publicists, and friends/spouses.

2014 CMT Music Awards - ShowYou’re main job as an escort is to be a babysitter for lack of a better term.  You keep track of where they are in the building 24/7.  You make sure they are where they need to be when they need to be.  You keep them calm, fed, glamed up, and hopefully on time.  I think that was the hardest aspect for me; trying to babysit my Talent without feeling weird.  After all, they were adults and honestly I think they were capable of going places and coming back to me on time.  Yet its live TV, and we run on a strict timetable with no room for error.  I had a booklet at least 20 pages long of our detailed schedule down to the second.

By 8:00 PM my feet were toast and we were not even half way through the show.  And I was pretty hungry seeing we hadn’t gotten a dinner.  Yet keeping up with mine and others talent (“Anyone have eyes on Luke Bryan?”, “Jess to Kelly, What’s You’re Twenty?” “Copy that”) made the time pass pretty quickly.

Next thing I knew the show was pretty much over and “ZZ Top has left the building…Lady A has left the building…Tyler Farr has left the building…Can anyone find the Derulo Dancers?” came flooding over the walkies.  As the mass exodus of stars caravaned down our hallway, they for once seemed like normal people.  It was like a college reunion where all these people who lived busy schedules were able to finally reunite and be with people who understood their lives.  They caught up and planned after parties or when they would finally catch up again.  For once, I wasn’t feeling the star struck wide eyed feelings I had to suppress all day.  These were just people under the fancy clothes and makeup.  They work harder than most people and for a few seconds in that tunnel they got to just be themselves.  It was very cool.

CMT-Music-Awards-2014-Show-PicturesAs Miranda and Blake, Carrie and Mike, Dan + Shay, and Brett Eldridge funneled out into their limos and buses, we finally met to turn in our gear and head out.  Sitting in my car had never felt so good, and I was so excited for the thunderstorm we had in Nashville last night to fall asleep to.

Perhaps I’ll get to actually watch the show sometime this week (I honestly only heard a few parts), but if I do so say myself; my view was ten times better.

-Jess