Ben Rector sings about Nashville in his song, “Home”. The song is written like a ballad, painting a picture of the longing ache for a home town. Like many artists, Nashville TN is the place they call home. This city has grown in the last few years. Everyone wants to move to this country city. I know why. Nashville has its southern hospitality charm that reminds you of home. It was my first time spending time in Nashville, TN and I loved my time spent there. My main reason for going to Nashville was for the Christian Music Dove Awards. I am in the Christian Music business and was so excited for this opportunity. With that excited, there was also the price of nerves as I brushed shoulders with people I wouldn’t normally run into.
I had a busy four days. Looking back it was an experience that I kinda feel was a dream. I don’t usually get star struck and I don’t even listen to Christian music, but something about this trip has me overwhelmed and pretty humbled. The first night was spent going to the different restaurants up and down Broadway St. and I found that the hot dogs are not that bad in Tennessee. The next day my friend had an interview for being a publicist assistant. Later we went to a jazz artist’s house for breakfast for dinner. She was talking about turning her barn into a music venue for her vocal students. Her southern drawl, charm and hospitality left me just taking in the whole night. I was constantly thinking in my head, “Hi, my name is Hannah, the little girl who couldn’t leave her parents side”.
The day after that we woke up early, shot a photo shoot and rushed over to help set up the Dove Awards VIP check-in counter. I again listened to our supervisor’s story of how she got the job she has now. After stuffing 200 goody bags full of DVDs and Christian music CDs, we went off to the premier of “I am Not Ashamed”. My job was pulling off the stubs of the tickets belonging to all of those involved in the film. I had no idea who half of the people were to be honest. After the movie I was like, yup, definitely tried handing the ticket over but dropped it in front of the main character. This movie is based on the true story of Rachel Joy, the first to die during the Columbine shootings. The story is super powerful! I would encourage everyone to watch it. If you have ever felt like you don’t know who you are or struggled with identity you will relate. At the end of the movie I rushed to the bathroom because I had cried a bit during the movie. Of course I ran into Sadie Robertson from Duck Dynasty. I didn’t know what to say so I said, “Good job Sadie!”. I was really thinking, “hi my name is Hannah, and I used to play barbie dolls”.
The next day our amazing host asked me if I would like to check out a movie set she was working on. I agreed with enthusiasm. Production work brings out the geek in me. I love audio and my highlight was sitting down with the guy recording the audio and totally understanding what he was explaining to me. I love the whole process of story telling. It fascinates me. I held a few microphones, watched the videographers do there thing and ate with the set crew. John Corbett plays in the soon-to-be-released movie and was walking around the set.
He walked past greeting me with a, “hey, kid”. I thought to myself, “yes! He gets it!”
Later that night, after slipping into a black dress I had stuffed into my back pack, I found myself in the press room at the Dove awards. I was talking and eating with the publicists, who I have decided, make all the magic. The artists come into this room after they performed and received their award. Lauren Daigle was my favorite. She won three dove awards last year and this year she won three again. Those awards include Christian artist and songwriter of the year. I caught her right before she got in front of the mic to talk to the press. She was so down to earth and was just as excited for me when I told her I met Christian Rap Artist, Lecrae for the first time.
Lauren Daigle said: “I have never met Lecrae, is he so cool?!”
She made me think we were the same age. I felt like we were the same, doing what we both love and watching God take it and let it grow. Because of her remarkable humility I was encouraged, inspired and pretty much her biggest fan.
Nashville, may be music’s home, but it is not mine. I had an amazing time, made some amazing connections, had southern sweet tea, but am glad to be home in Chicago!
No matter where you are in life you may feel small at times, but remember, so does everyone else.