Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

I Went to My First Hollywood Event and This is What I Learned

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to attend the very first Freeform Summit, all thanks to Her Campus! The event was filled with the network’s biggest stars and even several behind-the-scenes workers. As a lover of all things Freeform, I was super excited to be at an event that featured cast members from some of my all-time favorite TV shows. As a big fan of almost every show in attendance, my welcome into the celebrity world was an unforgettable, surprising experience. I gained some valuable knowledge about who these kinds of people are and how they might be misrepresented in the media.

I’ve never been someone that is obsessed with celebrities. To me, they are unattainable figures that I was not worthy of being in the presence of, and I couldn’t imagine that I would be working in similar spaces with them until I started working for Her Campus. But I was wrong. “Celebrities” are just people, and like all of us, they like to have fun and engage with new people.

At the start of the night, we saw the stars of The Bold Type, Aisha Dee, Meghann Fahy and Melora Hardin. These ladies could not be friendlier—they treated us as if we were their friends, and Meghann even mentioned how hard it was for her to figure out what to wear to the event. Hearing that she too also has trouble with my daily struggle was strangely comforting. A woman like her, who stars in her own TV show, can go through the same things I do on a regular basis? I was weirdly shocked. After I told Aisha Dee how much I loved her in Chasing Life, we continued chatting with the group, and it became obvious to me that these girls are perfect for the roles they play on screen—they are supportive and extremely gracious.

After the panels started and continued through the night, we began chatting to a few other stars of the infamous network. Yara Shahidi graced us with her presence, and while I may have felt a little overwhelmed by her intelligence, I still felt comfortable. I could talk with these celebs all night long. Shahidi’s costar, Francia Raisa, stopped to say hi and took a picture with us before she headed out into the night (off to somewhere magical, I imagine).

And then came my favorite part of the night—speaking to the creator of Pretty Little Liars, Famous in Love and the upcoming series, The Perfectionists. I. Marlene King has created phenomenal content that had my eyes glued to the TV all through growing up. She shared a few insights into the upcoming season of Famous in Love, but she still treated us as if we were part of the group. She even went as far to ask us where we grew up before coming to college. That seemed surprising to me, because why would she care? But the point is, she actually did and I’ll never forget sharing that moment with her.

While chatting with King, Carter Jenkins chimed in, and while I was trying not to drool, he came off as such a down to earth guy that didn’t think of us as any less than himself—much different from his character on Famous in Love. He seemed to be just as interested in learning about us as we were about him. The funniest part of hanging out with him was that after he took a photo with us, he walked away for a bit before coming back to make sure it was cute.

I was so surprised by the amount of love and inspiration I left the event with. I never knew that actors and actresses could be so accepting to someone like me. They were so much more humble than I had anticipated, and my fangirling hasn’t stopped since that night. We were all one in that room, and the exclusiveness that I expected was nowhere to be found. It was such a special experience, and weeks later, I’m still thinking about sharing these moments with those welcoming people.

This doesn’t go to say that all celebrities are like this (and I’m sure a lot of them aren’t), but for my first dive into the Hollywood world, this was definitely the way to go!

Photos Courtesy of Emily Lentz

Emily is a graduate of UCLA and former Senior Editor of Her Campus at UCLA. During her free time, Emily loves to read, travel and binge-watch episodes of Gilmore Girls. She can be reached at emilylentz47@gmail.com.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️