I didn't have a chance to watch the Academy Awards on Sunday night. We were busy celebrating my sister-in-law's birthday and chatting-it-up with family. But, I did record the event to keep me company during long stretches of busywork this week. Anyway, while watching a bit of the show last night, I was reminded about my own Red Carpet experience - one of the many odd, suppressed Hollywood memories I alluded to in my About Page, but have never launched into here.
It was a dark and stormy night... It was a long and taxing day...
...at the downtown Los Angeles library. I had spent hours researching patents for my hair accessory business (another story). I was tired and hungry, but comfortably- dressed in some random assemblage of unremarkable lounge clothing. Strapped with a messenger bag full of photocopies and notes, I exited the library carrying a 12"-tall stack of hefty books. When I called my husband to report that the day's work had been accomplished and I was heading home, he replied, "Hey, you're right next to the Oscars, you should go have a look!"
Heather: "How close is "right next to?"
Isaac: "Oh, a couple of blocks."
Heather: "Uh...ok. Sure."
Isaac: "Stay on the phone and I'll tell you how to get there."
So, I headed to the right, tall stack of books in arms, instead of to the left, where the car was parked a few blocks away.
-- And let me just say here that everything looks smaller in a Thomas Guide -- add to that a couple of wrong turns and we're talking achey, shakey
arms, with a couple of blistered heels on the way -- By the time I made
my way to the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, past the protester-packed
corners and the swarm of limousines stacked end-to-end along the road,
I was determined to see this tiresome adventure to some worthy end. Why turn around now, right?
So, I headed cautiously toward the back of the bleachers and the flurry of activity that surrounded them. I was certain that I'd be stopped and questioned by the police at the street barracade or the security guards peppered throughout the crowds, but I wasn't going to turn back until I was told, "Miss, this section is for VIPs," or "Tickets, please," or the like. No one stopped me. No one was concerned. Somehow, little innocent me, with my conspicuous and dorky stack of patent books made it all the way to the security station -- you know, one of those metal-detector thingies you have to walk through. There I was at the end of the road.
But, there was no one there. No
one to ask, "How can I get into the bleachers?" or "When does this
thing end?" or "Where am I allowed to stand?" So, I peeked my head
through the gateway to search for its manager. No luck. (But, no alarm
sounded either.) So, what did this bedraggled young-lady-in need-of-adventure
do? I walked on through, around a corner... and oops, right onto
The Red Carpet. No, not the front-and-center part of The Red Carpet,
but The Red Carpet no less. I stood there for a bit, awaiting my
security guard and getting the lay of the land, somewhat in shock at where I found myself and even more surprised by my brassy behavior. I just stood there, bent
over with books, between the reporters and the tent full of dining
tables. No one ever questioned me. Nobody minded.
After a few minutes, I found my way up into the bleachers, stood in shock a while longer, assessed my own mounting exhaustion, then promptly headed out. I was at the Oscars for all of ten minutes. Sometimes I wonder... should I have just kept walking, could I have made it into the front row, would I have been awarded a gold statue of my own?
-- Ok, that last line's not true, but it makes the story sound more metaphorical, doesn't it? --
The truth is, I had no desire to make a name for myself as "The Library Girl" on international news, nor interrupt the fashionable proceedings with my tennis shoes and jeans. By that point, I just wanted to put my books down and get my hands on a tall glass of water.
∆ ∆ ∆
One Hollywood story down, how many more to go?
What did I call them in my little bio, "somewhat meaningless celebrity
Let's see, there's the time Cameron Diaz grabbed my arm, and the night Claire Danes stepped on my foot, oh and the bomb-scare at the grocery store with Christina Ricci (strange day, not scary). And several more -- all meaningless, I assure you. But, as a collection, they're almost interesting.
(Footnote: The photos are a re-enacted and the shoes are BC brand.)