Next time you’re watching an award show on TV — like the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday — pay super close attention to the panning shots of the crowd. Amidst the sea of A-list celebs, you may spot a couple random “nobodies” looking stoic, silent and slightly out-of-place.
Chances are, those people are seat fillers.
Their job is exactly what it sounds like: To be a warm body in an empty seat. See, since most award shows are televised, producers don’t want random, empty seats on display for everyone at home to see — that’d just look sad. That’s where a seat filler comes in. When a celeb gets up to go to the restroom, grab a drink at the bar, schmooze with their peers or discreetly make out in a coat closet, a seat filler is there to pull up and park it. Essentially, their job is like playing a game of musical chairs: They see an empty seat, they hop to it.
Find an event
Wait and pray
Plan your outfit
“You can’t wear white, logos or bold patterns and prints,” she explains. “Very bright, fun colors were suggested. You can’t bring a purse — only a clutch — and they didn’t want you to have a jacket, coat or hats.”
Be ready to wait…a lot
Hustle, hustle, hustle
Understand your role
Also, talking to the talent is a big no-no. You’re not allowed to speak to them — much less ask for autographs or selfies — unless they initiate conversation. Holding your tongue while Ryan Gosling is sitting right in front of you might be the hardest part of this job, so only the strong-willed need apply.
So, there you have it, all the tips and tricks to becoming an A+ seat warmer. And in case you need a reminder about what NOT to do as a filler, just watch this “Seinfeld” clip of a fill gone horribly wrong: