A TikTok user is going viral after sharing the backstage secrets he learned working as an awards show “seat filler.”
Diego Pineda, a 23-year-old living in Los Angeles, worked as a seat filler at the 2019 People’s Choice Awards. The TikToker called the night a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” where he learned plenty of behind-the-scenes info.
For those who aren’t familiar, seat fillers are basically extras brought in to take up space at high profile events — like award shows, plays or movie premieres. According to Pineda, his role was to take the spot of a celebrity after they accepted their award and left the event.
Pineda’s first tidbit: Apparently, he wasn’t allowed to talk to any celebrities. The TikToker claimed he was “not allowed” to interact with any of the “real” guests, even if he was sitting right next to them.
However, he noted later in the comments that some celebrities would strike up a conversation with him. In that case, he was of course allowed to talk back.
He also learned that — at least for some awards shows — the winners would know that they’ve won in advance. Pineda said he saw celebrities arrive just in time to get up and give their speech. Then they’d often exit the venue to do press.
That’s when seat fillers like him would come in and fill their spots.
Overall, Pineda seemed to feel really positively about his experience. He said the “coolest” thing about the night was being close to celebrities he’d grown up watching on TV and in movies.
“It was quite an experience!” he added in a comment.
Commenters followed up with all kinds of questions, including whether or not Pineda was paid for his time.
“It’s not a job, more like volunteering bc you don’t get paid,” Pineda answered.
The TikToker explained in his video that he got the gig through 1iota, a popular event service that books its users as audience members. Pineda even showed off his profile in the clip.
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