I work in advertising and since I’m in this business and I work so close to New York City, I get invited to various events that the sites, networks, and stations put together down there. Normally I don’t even consider going to these things. I feign interest and act like I want to go but deep down I don’t care enough to do anything about it. I just don’t want to deal with the hassle of driving down to the city, finding parking, and then dealing with the commute back. I also don’t feel like taking the train in just for some event that might not be entirely relevant to me. Plus, I usually just want to go home after work and rest and watch DVDs or play video games. I’m a simple guy. That being said, I went to the city (by car, no less!) two nights in a row last week.

Co-worker Rena was invited to the A&E / Lifetime upfront presentation at the IAC Building on Tuesday but she couldn’t go. She offered me the invite. At first glance, I figured I’d do my usual “Oh yeah, I should check that out…” and then not do anything about it. Something caught my attention on the invite though. There would be a performance by John Legend and the Roots. Now, I had no idea who John Legend was, but I’m a big fan of the Roots. I thought about it for a little while before finally deciding to RSVP. Like I said, I get invited to stuff like this and it’s not always relevant to me, but here is something that I’d actually be interesting in attending. Good deal. I responded and I was good to go.

Tuesday came and I drove down to the city for the event. The place was decked out and a ton of people ended up squeezing into the lobby of the building. If you’ve never been to the IAC Building, you’ve probably at least driven past it on the West Side Highway and thought “That’s a really weird looking building.” It is, but it’s a beautiful space. I hobknobed with some of the reps we work with and talked to some co-workers all the while snagging some of the appetizers that were making their way around the room. Thanks to the fact that everyone was wearing nametags I spotted a rep at an agency that we’ve been working with and made an introduction. That worked out really well. Great networking.

The presentation began and I started spotting some celebrities near by. I saw the twins from the show Sister, Sister from like 15 years ago. They apparently have some show on A&E or something now. I also saw the winner of Project Runway which Rob pointed out to me after I saw him and thought “That guy looks really weird.” William Shatner and David Hasselhoff were also in attendance. After the promo reels were show displaying the upcoming shows on A&E, Lifetime, and History it was time for some entertainment. Bob Saget (who also has a show on A&E now) did a few minutes of stand-up. Despite claiming that it was his clean act, it was still pretty dirty and very funny. After that John Legend and the Roots took the stage. As I mentioned before, I had never heard of John Legend. He put on a great show. I would have liked to have seen more from the Roots though. It was basically John Legend with his backup band, The Roots. I head out after the music stopped and got home in about 40 minutes which surprised me.

My one regret from the evening was not taking my camera with me. I left it in my messenger bag which I checked to avoid having to lug it around with me all night. There were plenty of times that I wished I had it with me as there were many photo opportunities that would have accompanied this blog post.

That was my first of two nights in the city. Part two will come (hopefully) tomorrow. Will our hero eat more appetizers? Will he perform small talk with various people he may or may not know? What if he gets lost? Tune in next time for the exciting conclusion!

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