P.M.-Dawn: On the red carpet at the Alternative Press Music Awards

Erica Thompson

When the Alternative Press Music Awards came to the Schottenstein Center on a recent Monday, I was dispatched to cover the red carpet. New to the alternative music scene and award-show reporting, I had no idea what to expect. But it turned out to be one of my best days in Columbus so far.

En route, I had visions of a sprawling red carpet and a herd of reporters roaming freely from artist to artist. I soon discovered that the carpet covered a fairly abbreviated span of ground, and journalists were squeezed in elbow-to-elbow on place settings bearing the names of their publications.

I arrived at 3 p.m., checked in, caught up with a journalist friend from college and took my spot beside Michelle from the Sandusky Register. I had someone take a picture of me for Facebook; I was super-proud of my black-and-white dress, which I felt struck the right balance between emo and glam.

A throng of fans - mostly teenage girls, many with fluorescent hair - was stationed behind us. I was really impressed with a young lady wearing a sign around her neck that read "If found, please return to Marilyn Manson."

Armed with an iPhone, digital recorder and talking points in a tiny composition notebook, my game plan was to chat with as many headliners as possible. I was told by an APMA staff member to flag down the artists' "wranglers" - what an interesting term - if I wanted an interview.

The procession of talent down the red carpet began after 4 p.m., and it was this weird experience of rejecting people and being rejected at the same time. For example, some publicists would come up to me and ask me to talk to their lesser-known acts, a pleading look in their eyes. But given the fleeting nature of iPhone battery life, I had to choose my interviews wisely.

And then there were the more popular artists who breezed right past me - I'm talking to you, All Time Low, Of Mice & Men, Babymetal and Joel (or was it Benji?) Madden.

But I did manage to score some cool video interviews with Beartooth, Issues, the Maine and Neck Deep, among others.

The craziest moment occurred when Marilyn Manson appeared with Twiggy among the fans waiting behind the red carpet. After initially mistaking the two, I stepped into the role of fangirl and chased Manson for a selfie, only to be turned away by his wrangler.

Afterward, I noticed the girl with the Manson sign was missing. Either he collected her, as she requested, or she's somewhere recovering from shock. Whatever the case, I wish her well.