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What’s my line? Go behind the scenes on one of the most important MMVA jobs

Cue Cards

Every time you hear Kendall and Kylie Jenner deliver a line on Sunday night during the MMVAs, there’s a good chance it’s on a cue card being held up by the amazing MMVA cue card team, made up of Jacqueline Peres, Amanda Bino and Simone Zucker. We got the inside scoop from the trio on what it takes to keep the biggest awards show of the year running smoothly. Line! What’s my line?!

Watch the 2014 MMVAs this Sunday at 9E/6P on Much, CTV and CTV GO.

How important are the cue cards to the MMVAs?

Jacqueline: Cue cards are essential.

Amanda: The co-hosts are amazing at remembering their lines, but the cue cards are definitely helpful to them if they needed a quick reference. Mostly the presenters are the ones who read off of them.

Why don’t we use teleprompters?

Jacqueline: Good question. Having cue cards rather than bulky teleprompters does enable us to be more flexible. We can be anywhere at a moment’s notice and the cue cards are ready made. We can also squeeze into the barricades amongst the fans.

The MMVA script is often revised in the days leading up to the big show. When do you start printing out the cue cards?

Jacqueline: Writers send us the script as early as four days before the show, but what slows things down is script approvals on our end and on the artists’ end. As much as possible, we try to be efficient by starting early to avoid any last minute panic.

Simone: But the script gets revised up until an hour before show time. It’s not stressful at all…

How do you ensure that the cue cards are always in the right place during the show?

Jacqueline: We’re prepared. We organize cue cards by script item and location. We have a rundown that we follow and label the back of each cue card chronologically and with item numbers so everything is in order.

Amanda: The rundowns also tell us which stage the host/presenters will be at so we know how to position are selves during the show.

Simone: If anyone touches our perfectly organized cue cards we sentence them to an hour of our cue card assembly line.

Do you have a memorable cue card moment from past years?

Jacqueline: Drake showed up to the 2013 MMVAs about 10 minutes before the start of the show, so we had to create cue cards pretty quickly. Luckily, he wasn’t saying much!

Simone: This is my third year doing cue cards and last year I was holding them up for Austin Mahone. He hadn’t come to rehearsal so it was his first time reading his lines (during the live show). Right before he went on stage, our floor director Manny pointed me out and told Austin that I was holding the cue cards for him. He smiled at me and I later found out that he told the floor director that he had the hots for me. If I wasn’t 10 years older than him, who knows where we would be right now. Married with children? Hanging out with Bieber? I still dream of what could have been.

What’s the most stressful part of being on the cue card team?

Jacqueline: For me, it was three years ago, when I did cue cards for the first time. The team was me, solo. Luckily, a lot of interns, unit assistants and an associate producer lent a hand whenever they could get a break from their other responsibilities. It was nuts, but it got done.

Amanda: Making sure you’re at the right stage at the right time and making sure the cue cards are in the right order. If you mess up the cue cards then the person reading off them may mess up. We’re always super prepared and organized, but it’s always in the back of your mind that things can always go wrong.

Simone: The most stressful part about doing cue cards is trying to decide when we have a free 15 minutes to go get lunch. Also, deciding what to eat for lunch adds to the high stress level. And knowing we have to make over 400 cue cards is always looming in the back of your mind.

Do you have a favourite memory or most memorable moment from the MMVAs?

Jacqueline: They’re all special in their own way, but I would say having a side stage view on the John Street stage when Phillip Phillips and Serena Ryder were performing was the most fun. Watching Lady Gaga rehearse was extremely cool. Speaking French with Simple Plan was awesome because I never get to speak French anymore. Taking care of Taylor Lautner one year was probably the most stress-free MMVAs I ever had. He was super chill and lovely, but the fans around him were intense.

Amanda: Favorite memory is being side stage to all the amazing performances. It’s quite a rush! Specifically, the 2013 MMVAs the moment after we finished with the last cue card and were able to relax knowing we did a job well done and enjoy Psy’s performance of Gentlemen. AND THEN THE AFTER PARTY!

Simone: When Taylor Swift made eye contact with me