MJHS Student Usher at CMA Awards

Interview By Katie Hafner


This week the MJHS Journalism department interview Senior Derek Fry about his

experience as an usher at this years CMAs. Here is what he had to say.

So rumor has it that you were an usher last night at the CMA Awards?

I was working with a company called Audience Company Nashville. We provide an audience for TV events and fill in the seats to make it look like a full audience during the entire live event.

What does it mean to be an usher for the CMA Awards?

My job was to hand out wristbands to the seat fillers. I also helped organize the long line of 500+ seat fillers and mosh pit in the Bridgestone’s stairwells.

How did you find out about this position?

I submitted to be a part of a music video last summer and met Mama Sue (Suzanne Skinner) who runs Audience Company Nashville. I’ve attended many of her events since then to qualify for this role.

Have you ushered or worked for the CMA Awards before?

I have not. This was my first year, but I attended as a seat filler last year!

Did you get to meet any celebrities? Blanco Brown was sitting behind me, Bobby Bones was across the aisle, and Pink was in front of me with her husband and kids. After the show, Blanco Brown and I had a conversation about my latest music video on Fry’s Productions Youtube channel.

Ok, so a lot of people want to know the answer to one of the most mysterious questions for viewers at home. What happens during commercials?

Audience Company takes over the floor and we place seat fillers in seats that are empty. A seat filler could be sitting in a celebrity’s seat and they may be asked during commercial breaks. If you get bumped from your seat, you have to go back to the end of the line. You never see the seat fillers. We blend in with the stars.

What was your favorite part of the night?

Sitting in my seat was the best feeling because I was on my feet all day.

Was there something that you were afraid of like tripping down the aisle? Absolutely, you’re in front of a lot of celebrities, so I kept thinking to myself that I was going to fall.

Do you like country music? If so, who was your favorite act?

I’m a big fan of Country Music fan. My favorite act of the night was probably “Dive Bar” by Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton. I was bumped, by Little Big Town, from my seat just in time to see their performance.

Would you like to work in the commercial music or film industry at some point? Yes, I want to be a film/TV director in the future.

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