What are you doing for the MMVAs?
JOHN-PAUL RICCHIO: I am running the John Street stage looking after the performances by Serena Ryder, Ed Sheeran and Philip Phillips.
KWAME HILLS: This year for the MMVAs I will be working on the South stage in the Parking Lot as a Floor Director.
How many MMVAs have to been behind the scenes at?
JP: This is my fourteenth MMVAs. My first was in 1999!
KWAME: This will be my twelfth MMVAs behind the scenes, and my fifth as a Floor Director
What is your favourite MMVA memory?
JP: I have many favourite memories – it’s always amazing to work on such a brilliant production. Working with Rihanna and Lady Gaga, they stand out in my mind. Lady Gaga was such perfectionist! We had to rehearse many times but in the end it was well worth it. Also in ’99 I was a runner and was assisting Britney Spears when she performed Crazy. It was so exciting!
KWAME: My favorite MMVA memory is from a few years back, Kanye West was here to perform Jesus Walks. He had a full band set up with a church choir, and his energy was amazing. Overall a fantastic performance.
What would you do if something went wrong onstage?
JP: If something goes wrong the best thing is to think ahead of some worst case scenarios. I always have a back up plan and other options available. One year I had to cue Avril Lavigne to accept an award and she jumped her cue so I had to run on stage and repo her back! Phew!!! It all worked out in the end. If your talent is running late best thing to do is let the truck know and they go to another item in the show.
KWAME: As a Floor Director, your job is to maintain control of the studio (in this case the Parking Lot) and make sure things run according to plan. If something were to go wrong, its of the utmost importance to not only fix the issue as quickly as possible, but also let the director know whats happening so they can move on to another element in the show if necessary.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at the MMVAs?
JP: The craziest thing I have seen at the MMVAs is probably the power going out during the show when Alexisonfire performed. Also the torrential rain down pour one year – everything had to be repo’d inside the building. It was off the wall!
KWAME: The craziest thing I’ve seen at the MMVAs is probably the Red Carpet entrances over the years. We’ve had army tanks, ice cream trucks, and a fleet of motorcycles for celebrity entrances. You never what you’re going to get, the celebrities certainly have a lot of fun with it.
Watch the 2013 MMVAs on Sunday at 9E/6P on Much in Canada and Fuse in the U.S. Don’t miss The MMVAs RED CARPET SPECIAL, which airs just before the big show at 8E/5P.