We talk to the experts on what really happens in the MMVA green rooms
After the party it’s the after party, but before the party it’s the Green Rooms. We talked to MMVA Green Room experts Meghan Lackenbauer and Ray Sweeney about how they decide where each guest is located backstage, how long it takes to begin planning the layout of the green rooms, and what goes into keeping some of today’s biggest artists happy.
How far ahead of time do you begin planning the layout of the green rooms?
Meghan: I probably started the layout two weeks ago, but I have to wait until all the performers and presenters were confirmed before I could finish it so I just finished it today.
How do you decide where each guest will be located?
Meghan: This year we switched the layout a bit so the artist party is in the middle of two sections of green rooms. I put the performers in one section and the presenters in the other. I try to give the bigger acts rooms that have a bit more privacy. The biggest stars get boardrooms on different floors that we turn into big private rooms for them. Then we also take some of the boardrooms the building next to us for the large groups of dancers.
What have been some of the craziest requests?
Ray: Lady Gaga insisted on having Coconut Water back when it wasn’t very popular, so I had a local restaurant stay open later so we could buy them out of their stock. We brought it to her dressing room (10 cans) and she had a sip of one and left the rest behind.
What are your duties during the show?
Ray: One year I had to almost give Ed Sheeran my pants! He got gum on his jeans and they needed a replacement pair and I just happen to be his size. They stared at me and then I suggested we try ice and a tide stick first. Luckily that worked! He thanked us by literally building us a Lego Castle in his greenroom before the show.
Another year I and a security guard had to tape up one of the members of Bruno Mars’ band fives minutes before he was to go on Stage during the show because he rolled his ankle.
Meghan: Whenever a celeb asks for something, we get it for them.
How heavily guarded are the green rooms?
Meghan: There are security guards checking wristbands in the hallways so that not just anyone can walk into the green room area or artist lounge. Then there are people from me team hanging out to make sure nothing sketchy is going on.
What is your most memorable MMVA moment?
Meghan: My favorite memory was Drake showing up unannounced last year.
Ray: Another year Drake kept hot boxing his greenroom, which consisted of four draped walls. Snoop Dogg’s entourage did the same thing another year and left his $100,000 microphone behind. Someone had to run out to his tour bus to catch him.