Winter and early spring in L.A. is Awards Season in the business, culminating in the biggest award, the Oscars.
Yesterday in the course of my work I happened to be at the site of one of the first award ceremonies of the season. Most of the time, my work takes place before the guests show up. My concerns involve the vendors' deliveries, the setting of tables, the distribution of parking passes, and the cleaning of bathrooms. I'd seen the rehearsals and heard the sound check. I'd walked through the hall, passing the cardboard cut-outs of celebrities propped in chairs - they put them there in rehearsal so that camera and lights can focus ahead of time - and seen the famous names on placecards.
But last night, all work done, I was standing off to the side while the guests made their way to their tables.
I sometimes think I have a kind of Celebrity Dyslexia. I never recognize celebrities when I see them in the flesh. If I see someone who looks striking, with glamorous teeth and hair, perhaps in a nice car or dressed fashionably, my first reaction is to think "Oh, there's a person who looks LIKE [Insert Celebrity Name Here.]" It's only after they've passed that my companion will turn to me and say, "Wow, that was [Insert Celebrity Name Here.]"
Of course, nowadays, there are some celebrities I don't recognize because I actually don't know who the heck they are. Amanda Bynes? Well, she had a shocking pink dress. But who the heck is she?
Anyway - there I was, a fly on the wall. People were filing in. Champagne corks were discreetly popping behind the curtains over the scullery area. The buzz and chatter of conversation rumbled beneath the low-volume music. Extremely glamorous young women strode with purpose through the halls - they were waiters, handlers, escorts, or seat-fillers, scurrying to convey messages, request accommodations, or fill empty seats. Across the hall, a pop-star whose earring glittered at me from 60 feet away was surrounded by an entourage of men wearing Blue-tooth devices.
"Okay," said my friend, "it's getting close to showtime. Let's check the lobby." And we turned to go out the side door.
Only there was a group of people coming through the door. We stepped back so they could pass us. Oh. It was Them.
Photo from VH1.com
She's really tiny. He's tall. Her skin is flawless. He's....I'm speechless.
We smiled. They smiled. Did he nod in my direction? He cupped her elbow with his hand as she stepped daintily over the bundled cables on the floor by the camera boom. Then they were past us, walking into the light and buzz by the front of the stage.
"Let's stay here a little while longer," my friend said. "This is a pretty good location."
I can further report that Laura Dern is really tall. Kate Beckinsale's dress was pretty cool. Marisa Tomei wore cute shoes. Mickey Rourke looks like hell.
And here's the back of Clint Eastwood's head. So much for my career as a paparazzi.