Monday, December 14, 2009

Lindsay's 2009 "Inside the Game" Experience

Rapids fans this season came to know Lindsay Carroll from her stint as a hostess of "Rapids Inside the Game, presented by Donna Baldwin Talent", the weekly Rapids-produced video segments that ran on the RapidsVision inside the stadium on gamedays.

Lindsay in her role as hostess this year got the opportunity to film video segments interviewing the Rapids players on location over the entire season and also the chance to emcee halftime events on the field at halftime of home games.

We got the chance to catch up with Lindsay and find out what she thought about her first year as a celebrity!

"When I am asked 'What is your favorite part of being an 'Inside the Game' hostess, I find it difficult to choose just one thing to describe how incredible this job has been.

Obviously it’s a lot of fun, but it also provides invaluable experience, especially for anyone looking for a career in Sports Management or Broadcast Journalism, and it gave me the opportunity to improve my modeling and acting skills for my resume as well!

Additionally, it affords me the unique opportunity to meet Rapids fans, players, and other fantastic people involved in the Rapids I get to attend all of the Rapids' home games!

When I learned that Donna Baldwin, my modeling agency, had partnered with the Rapids to produce Inside the Game each week and were looking for hostesses, I jumped at the chance. The job seemed like the perfect opportunity to try something new and see if sports entertainment would be something I might want to pursue as a career.

As an Inside the Game hostess (and a die-hard Rapids fan, which I was beforehand), my primary responsibilities are to formulate interview questions, memorize scripts for halftime shows at home games, and to conduct interviews for our “Inside the Game” video segments that are shown on the RapidsVision at home games and are now catalogued online at the Rapids YouTube page.

I had some previous experience acting and performing in front of a camera, but nothing could have prepared me for this experience. I find this work stimulating because it allows me to use both my creativity and communication skills at every event. Also, every video shoot around town and every Rapids home game is a fresh and unique experience; nothing is predictable.

I remember my first live gameday experience on the job like it was yesterday! I worked a halftime show during the Rapids' April 25 home game vs. the L.A. Galaxy. It was British Heritage Night and I was dressed in a British flag dress as Felicity Shagwell and was going to conduct a halftime trivia contest with a lucky fan. I was SO nervous and the stands were packed with A LOT of people! Although I had previously performed in front of large audiences, nothing compared to the number of people in the stands that night. About an hour before the game I was handed a trivia script to memorize, and that hour felt like 5 minutes!.

When the halftime show began, a Rapids co-worker (dressed as Austin Powers) drove us out to the field in a brand new Mini Cooper. When I tried to get out of the car I couldn’t find the door handle because I was so nervous and Austin ran out to the field without me! He had to rush back over to open my door once he realized I wasn’t next to him!

This is just one of the many memories I will take away from the 2009 season. It was definitely a shaky start to my hostess career, but things went well despite my nerves and I became more comfortable with each and every game thereafter.

Perhaps my favorite task this year was filming the player interviews around town. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to interview Omar Cummings and Kosuke Kimura as we took them to a sushi restaurant to go behind the scenes for the May 23 Rapids home game episode. We had a blast and actually learned how to make our own sushi rolls. Kosuke, of course, was a natural.

One of my favorite things to do during the season is award prizes to fans who correctly respond to questions during trivia games on the field at halftime. I have a soft spot for the’s hard to not wink or give away answers when they’re not quite sure of an answer!

I also enjoy my visits to the parking lot before kickoff to pick the contestants for halftime (yes, that actually happens, so get there early next season and maybe you can become a contestant yourself!).

I also love getting to know the players. They are very cordial and provide a lot of encouragement. I am always blown away by how friendly, approachable, and down to Earth the players are. The Rapids are truly a great group of guys.

At the Rapids World Cup of Wine charity event in July, I was blown away by how easy it was to talk to the players and how welcome they made fans feel as they walked around their home field. The festivities included a behind the scenes tour of the locker room, the boot room (where the guys hang all their cleats), weight room, training room, and the players’ lounge. This was just one of several interesting events I got to attend with our fans this past season.

My Inside the Game hostess duties also allowed my family and friends to come see me live from some of the best seats in the house at Rapids home games! How many times do you get to sit next to Chauncey Billups in field-side seats down on the Rapids' field?!?!

My Rapids gameday credential also grants me access to some of the coolest behind the scenes areas at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (except the locker rooms of course)! The Rapids' scoreboard control room for instance is an exciting place to visit because this is where the cameras, video production, scoreboard, graphics, music, and just about everything else involving the show on gameday are operated from. The Rapids staffers who work in the control room bring the entire Rapids experience together every game for the fans.....they rock!

Like any job, however, being an Inside the Game hostess has its fair share of challenges. Some of the things I've had to learn during the season included remembering to articulate and pronounce words slowly and clearly, blocking out any echos or background noise, holding the microphone closer to my mouth during interviews, wearing a wireless mic in my ear, facing forward toward the camera, and remembering not to add an 'um' or 'so' to the script when I am nervous!

These are all things that I’m certain I can improve with continued hard work and experience, though. Also, knowing that I wasn’t the only hostess going through this experience made things a bit easier. I had the privilege of working with two other amazing Inside the Game hostesses from Donna Baldwin throughout the season. I had a blast with Lauren Cisneros and Rachael Brink this season and look forward to making more lasting memories with them in 2010!

So all in all, it's been a fantastic experience this year! Thanks to the Rapids and especially Donna Baldwin Talent for giving me this opportunity, and thanks to all you fans for your past and future support of our Colorado Rapids!

I'm Lindsay Carroll, proud to be a Rapids Inside the Game hostess, and I look forward to seeing all you fans again in 2010!"


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