Chapter 2. Meeting the Boys
The following month was spent between training to get to know the profile of each brother and spending as much time as I could with Anna and my mom before leaving for tour.
Keeping up with the façade became easier the more I started to believe this was a job like any other. And quite frankly, I would've done just about anything to see my mom so stress-free and happy as she was at that moment.
The night before the first flight I decided to stay with my mom in Naples. I would barely see her for the next year, so we decided to spend as much as we could together, and Don's check allowed us to do so. We paid for flights back and forth, dinners, lunches, and other mom-daughter plans.
That night, we slept on the same bed.
My mom gently brushed a strand of my hair away from my face, her eyes meeting mine. "It's normal to be nervous, Charlie," she gave me a soft smile. "But remember how much you want this and how hard you've worked. This is just the start of everything you've ever wanted."
"I'm going to miss you, mom." I quickly blinked away tears.
"Me too, sweetie. But remember, wherever you are, mommy will always be here. And she'll always be proud of you." She pulled me in for a hug, and the last thing I remember from that night is falling asleep to her caressing my hair.
After a tearful goodbye, I was in the car Don had sent to pick me up and take me to the airport to New York, which was the last rehearsal spot. The crew was already gathered at a hotel to take off tomorrow.
As I sat on the plane, I took the opportunity to read up on the boys again. I pulled out my BlackBerry and started to read the email.
Nick was married to Priyanka Chopra, an Indian actress. He was apparently the bitchiest one of them all. Broke up the band, then got it back together. Youngest one. The most committed to music.
Joe was the laid-back one. Engaged to Sophie Turner, English actress, on very serious terms. Liked making jokes, hanging out and just being relaxed in general. Tour life tended to be especially tough on him.
Kevin, the nice one. Married to Danielle Jonas, the plain Jane next door. Had two daughters. Oldest one. His main priority was his family, since he was never the most successful band member.
Apparently, their partners would be on tour at least the first few dates. I was instructed by Don and Felicia to take it slow during the first month or so. To genuinely get to know them and the crew so it wouldn't be suspicious.
When the plane landed in New York, there was another car waiting for me outside the airport. I was due to arrive just in time for the last crew meeting before the first date on the calendar. They were staying at the Trump International Hotel and Tower, which is apparently where they always stay individually and as a band when in New York.
I arrived at the hotel and there were a quite a few fans hanging outside in hopes to see them, I imagine. I thought about Don's words about living every girl's dream. I wonder if any of the girls out there would've accepted a job like this in order to be close to the Jonas Brothers.
As I made my way into the entrance of the hotel, Felicia was already waiting in the lobby to meet me.
"Hi, Charlie," she extended her hand. "It's great to finally meet you."
I took her hand. "Likewise."
"Follow me, I'll give you a brief explanation of how things work around here."
She started walking towards the elevator and I followed her step.
"Entertainment Logistics is a very organized and controlled space. What differentiates it from regular logistics is the lack of room for delays, damage or errors in scheduling. Every single part of the process is key to the show." she explained as she walked.
"The bigger the act, the longer the process. The Jonas Brothers, as you know, are a very big act." She continued, "We travel with our own audio, lighting, video, maintenance, & even catering equipment. The stage sets also need to be built, dismantled, packed & transported from venue to venue." I listened intently as we walked into the elevator.
"But that's not what we're here for." She smiled at me knowingly as soon as the doors closed. "My job here is to look after the boys. Keep track of their agenda, make sure their activities get done, and attend to their personal requests."
"Each morning, I wake up the boys at 8 AM before the initial meeting, where we discuss that day's agenda over breakfast." I kept my eyes fixated on the red numbers changing on the elevator screen as I listened. "I discuss every possible thing that could come up at an interview, or a meeting, and remind them of the purpose of that particular activity. It could vary from a range of things from publicity to clearing up a particular topic. You name it."
The doors opened on the 12th floor and she immediately walked out. I followed.
"As an intern, you'll be expected to fulfill my duties partially as well as accompany me and the boys to our activities." We walked through two big wooden doors that read Trump Executive Boardroom.
"When touring, the boys have a strict schedule and there is no room for errors or delays. We take every measure possible to assure that happens. That includes no alcohol before a concert, and a bed time. 11PM. They specifically asked for this on their agreement terms because things went south quickly on their last tour. What they do after bed time is none of our business, but we have to make sure they're all in their rooms at that time. Understood?" She stopped to look at me.
"Understood." I answered diligently.
"Okay, let's meet the crew." She opened another door at the end of the hall.
It was a relatively big room. A meeting room. Sophisticated decor indeed. There were large windows surrounding the room which were covered by beige curtains, matching the color of the walls. In the center of the room, there was a 14-seat wooden table. A blue centerpiece arrangement gave the room some color. All of the seats were taken, except two. Ours, I assumed.
Head of the table was occupied by Phil McIntyre, the boys' manager. The next three seats to his left were taken by Nick, Kevin and Joe, in that order. Next to them John Taylor was seated. Around the rest of the table were other people I didn't recognize at the time but soon learned their names after Felicia introduced me.
I felt more nervous than I had ever been since I accepted the deal. I was there. They were there. It was all real now. Shaking each of their hands, I felt guilty as ever. The meeting was filled with pep talk and other administrative topics more than anything, and while Felicia took notes of everything, I was completely spaced out thinking about my mom and what she would say if she found out about any of this.
That night, we didn't interact much although they were friendly enough to say hi after the meeting was done.
I was standing close to Felicia, who was engaged in a conversation with Mr. McIntyre, when I saw them approach me.
"Hey," Joe was the first one to speak. He shook my hand again. "Thanks for accepting the internship."
"Yeah, tours are complicated and every help we can get is highly appreciated." Kevin followed.
Nick just nodded in agreement.
"Thank you, guys. I'm grateful for the opportunity." I smiled at them.
"How long have you been in the show biz?" Nick spoke up this time.
"Oh, uh, for a while now." That technically wasn't a lie.
"Cool, who have you worked for?" Kevin asked.
"Uh.. all types of artists." I stuttered nervously. "Very big and famous ones!" I nodded, trying to convince myself more than them as I cursed myself mentally. Great, now they think their new intern is stupid.
They smiled awkwardly, and before they could ask any questions, Felicia stepped in. She handed me an iPad.
"Boys, tomorrow is a busy day. Show day. You know what that means." They all sighed annoyingly.
"You must know by now Fel is our babysitter." Joe raised his eyebrows sarcastically.
Felicia forced a smiled at him. "We've been over this. So, your bags are already in your rooms. Sophie, Priyanka and Dani's flight is delayed, but they should be arriving later tonight. I have some things to go over with Phil so Charlie will take you to your rooms." She turned to me now. "Here are their rooms." She pulled it up on the iPad.
"We can find them ourselves. Charlie must be exhausted." Nick looked at me pleadingly.
"Very smart." She faked a laugh. "She's fine. Now go."
We were all headed towards the door before Felicia called my name which made us all turn around.
"Charlie, your things are in your room too. You have the information over there as well." She motioned towards the iPad and I nodded before heading out.
Turns out their rooms were all next to each other on level 34 and I was only three doors away. How convenient. Nick's room was the first one. After a quick thank you, we walked to Kevin's next. It had two beds. Joe joked about him getting the biggest room, when his was just as big.
"So, do you need anything?" I asked before heading out. Truth is, I was exhausted and unsure about how to do any of this.
Joe was already by the large window at the end of his room, taking a peak outside. He walked towards the bed and threw himself on it.
"A drink." He smirked at me, raising an eyebrow.
"Trying to get me fired on my first day, I see." I said with a laugh.
"Right, I forgot you're our Junior Babysitter." He chuckled as he stared at the ceiling.
I went to say goodnight before he spoke again.
"This is madness." He said, lost in thought. "I didn't think we would be touring again, yet here we are. Tomorrow's show has been sold out for weeks. It's crazy." At this point, I figured he was talking to himself more than he was talking to me.
"But that's good, isn't it?"
He grimaced and fell silent for a moment. "I guess so."
"Hey, it's okay to be nervous." I gripped the doorknob behind me, smiling sadly at him as my mom's words came back to me. "Just think about all the reasons why you decided to be here again. Grip onto them."
"You're right," he sat up and returned the smile. "That's definitely something to think about."
I nodded once. "Goodnight, Mr. Jonas."
"You'll have a hard time referring to me and my brothers as that." He chuckled. "It's Joe."
I nodded again. "Goodnight, Joe."
"Night, Charlie. Thanks."
After walking out and closing the door behind me, I let out a long sigh. It felt like I had been holding my breath the entire time I was in there.
I walked into my room and checked my phone. Messages from Ana and my mom were displayed in the notification screen. I pulled out the BlackBerry next.
"All good?" Don's text read.
Of course not, you insufferable bastard. "All good." I replied before heading for the shower.