Courtney Conquers has been a Lady Gaga fanatic for 10 years, even before "Just Dance" was released, and like any dedicated Little Monster, take the opportunity to see your Mother in the flesh. "It's been a decade of fangirling and networking and being crazy but not too crazy," he tells Glamor.com. "Then, from time to time, I receive emails or links to opportunities." Earlier this year, for example, he attended a recording of Elton John's tribute to the Recording Academy, in which Gaga played "Your Song."
Another opportunity was presented at the end of April 2017, when Conquers and her friend Jamie (also a Gaga fan) received the news that the tickets for A star has been born shooting event in L.A. They were available. (The proceeds went to the Born This Way Foundation of Gaga). In a matter of days, Conquers found herself witnessing the realization of the film's most crucial scene: when Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) takes Ally (Gaga) onstage to sing "Shallow" for the first time. Here, the 29-year-old native of Toronto tells her story.
I run a blog called the Drag Coven with my best friend, Jamie, and we were headed to Los Angeles for RuPaul's Drag Con when a mutual friend sent us a link and said, "Hey, I do not know when you're going to be in Los Angeles, but you guys should do it." It was a record link where, for $ 12 per day, you could go for two days and be in a scene of A star has been born.
We were scared because in reality we were going to be in L.A. those days, but we had approximately T-minus 45 seconds to get the tickets for both; Gaga sells like that, no matter what, and we stay. [on an airplane] about to take off But we have them.
We did not know in what capacity we would be involved or in what position we would be, so we left in the morning and lined up. We are used to this, we are those Intense fans The first thing they did when we entered was that everyone put their cell phones on a blocking pad. Then we were introduced, the appropriate number of people for each row. The people who arrived first were closer to the front.
They [also] He separated a place in the front to put the people who were there for fun, but somehow they knew how it worked, who could defend themselves. They wanted them to have followed the dress code. We were supposed to dress like we were going to a country rock music summer festival. They specifically told us not to use anything related to Lady Gaga, which would say that at least a quarter of the people did not listen and had to turn their shirts inside out.
"[After the filming] the friends would be like, & # 39; I'm so excited. Can you hum the song for me? I would say, "Actually, I can not & # 39; "
There was a warm-up host playing Lady Gaga's trivia with the crowd [to compete for spots in the special section]. Jamie and I met a group of about seven [Gaga fans] We knew and got the right questions. So we ended up crashing [even closer] in front. I doubt you see us, but we were there.
There were several hours in which I definitely saw why they needed us there, but we were not active. Previously, they had to make configurations and practices with body doubles and substitutes. They had to do the lights well.
We were there long enough to make sure we had a meal. They gave us coupons, which was good, because [the options were] Very expensive food in the concert hall. We all have hot dogs, a bag of chips and a drink. But people got tired and squirrel. There was a lady who was being particularly rude, screaming out of turn when people were trying to concentrate. I ended up taking his hot dog and eating it. I had him sitting under his seat, so I said, "You know what, she's not eating that, and it's really bothering me." She did not even notice. It's survival!
Before Gaga left, they were encouraging us to let the crowd sing Gaga songs. But then they said, "Well, maybe making you sing Gaga songs was a mistake, what we really need from you is to pretend that this is do not Lady Gaga. You do not know this person. She is not the pop star you know and love. This is just a girl; You are curious but you do not get excited. Do not shout things Do not go crazy. Lady Gaga does not exist in this universe. "
We saw Gaga and Bradley do their scene probably about 18 times [over the course of both days]. They had internal microphones, but they turned off the large amplifiers; It was not a complete concert. People [outside the venue] they sent drones when trying to record the music; The team caught them and explained: "We really need you to be very quiet, because we have to play the music so that people on stage can hear it, but soft enough for these drones to win. you will hear nothing. " [After the filming] the friends would say: "I'm so excited, can you sing the song for me?" I would say: "Actually, I can not".
"I crashed face to face against the absolute tree of a human being: it was Bradley Cooper!"
At the end of the first day, I went to the bathroom and quickly turned around the corner; I crashed face to face against the absolute tree of a human being: it was Bradley Cooper! He almost hit me on my ass. He was very tall, which I did not realize. (I was there for Gaga, I'm not an obsessive fan of Bradley Cooper). He surprised me and said: "Oh, I'm sorry". And he said: "Oh, I'm sorry." And I said, "No, I'm sorry." We got into this sad war, which was funny. He said: "Thank you for being there, how are you doing, are you having fun?" And I said, "Yes, it's really good, I'm excited to be here." He said: "Oh, great, thanks." And I said: "No, thanks." And he said: "No, thanks you."She laughed, and I got nervous and I muttered," It's okay, now I have to pee. "I ran away, very embarrassed.
The second day they took us to the highest stands to shoot again. (We only paid $ 12 for the first day, but basically said, "Anyone who is here today can come back tomorrow if he wants.") You do not end up seeing Jamie and me in the movie. because there is a flash of a spotlight [when Gaga walks past us in the scene]. It was great because they made a couple of shots and she walked by us again and again and again. At one point she was standing, waiting for the shot to begin, and somehow she looked up and Jamie and I said, "Hey, girl." She knows Jamie more, so she definitely recognized Jamie. I have not seen Gaga in a couple of years, and since then I cut my hair in a radical way, so she gave me this look. I saw both confusion and recognition. It was a very fast interaction, but very nice.
[Near the end of the second day] I remember them saying, "If you have to leave, leave the left and unlock your cell phones, if you can stay, please, do it." They were checking that they had everything they needed and everyone was waiting. ; There was a downtime on the set. So we stayed, and Gaga went to the piano and started fiddling. Then, suddenly, she started singing her own music, she just did a mini-concert out of nowhere. Jamie and I, being the admirers we love, are, he said immediately, "screw the seat I'm sitting on" and jumped to the front of the stage. She did "You and me" and "Edge of Glory" and a little "Born This Way". Bradley Cooper came out, sat down on one of the speakers and smiled at us all; He clearly enjoyed watching her entertain us. It was very sweet and it was the smallest Gaga concert I've ever seen.
Then they said: "Okay, that's a package." We all cheered, and Gaga and Bradley took the microphone and said, "Thank you so much for being here." [The crew] I unlocked our cell phones, and that was it.
When we saw the scene on the screen it was very strange. It was great to see him up there when we had been there to see the inner workings. We were also seeing this woman, whose career has influenced us a lot, on the big screen in a new capacity. She was so good. She was even better than I thought it would be.
Related: The real story behind A star has been bornThe final scene will make you cry again