Jesse Chen: Master of finessing

Jesse Chen, senior international studies major, could be considered the king of finessing on California Baptist University’s campus.

Chen has had the chance to attend a plethora of events including concerts, award shows and album releases, all for free.

He also had the opportunity to be a seat-filler for special events, such as the MTV Video Music Awards. He did so by signing up online at, which was simple and easier than many people would think.

“My favorite memory from the VMAs two years ago was watching Macklemore perform and crowd surf,” Chen said. “This year, my favorite memory was watching Logic and Alessia Cara perform the song ‘18002738255.’ I started getting into award shows and concerts when my friend Adam Harris taught me about being a seat-filler.”

Chen said one of his favorite celebrity experiences was when he attended Niall Horan’s album release party. He said he was one of the few guys attending the event among more than 250 crying girls who were anxiously waiting for Horan to make an appearance.

“As we were waiting for Niall to come out, I tapped the girl’s shoulder on my right and asked if she was a big fan. It seemed from her expression that it was a dumb question to ask,” Chen said. “As Niall came out and played his music, I glanced over at the girl on my right and tears were streaming down her face. I asked her if she was OK and all she said was that she is in love with him.”

Troy Schmidt, senior international relations major, has been attending festivals, grand openings and concerts with Chen over the past four years. Schmidt said the most memorable event to which he has been with Chen would be camping outside of Raising Canes for its grand opening.

“We instantly got along with all the other people in line. Everyone brought something to make the time go by for the whole group,” Schmidt said. “One guy had printed enough coupons to get us each three free meals at Raising Canes. We brought blankets and games and one girl brought pumpkins for us all to carve.”

Over the past four years, Chen has attended the iHeart-Radio Music Festival, VMAs, iHeartRadio Music Awards, MTV Music Awards, iHeartRadio Concert Series, America’s Got Talent and other events or movie screenings for free.

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