September 19th, 2005
Aren’t the Emmy’s all about people saying, “Um, me?”
Well, it should be — because the most amusing part of the whole Emmy awards ceremony and after parties is the fact that every single person attending, from the most lowly Television Industry assistant to the highest Network President is constantly angling to get themselves in a position where the attention is slathered upon themselves.
Sadly, it’s just our friendly neighborhood stars who get the true Emmy attention.
But in order to give you the whole entire rundown of the whole entire sordid affair — I must first turn back the hands of time to Saturday night when I attended the NBC/Vanity Fair pre-Emmy party at Spago in Beverly Hills.
With only about 500 people attending this event, it was a surprisingly casual affair — it afforded me the unique opportunity to confirm once and for all that Donald Trump‘s hair actually does all connect up to somewhere on his skull, that The Wonder Years’ Danica McKellar (a.k.a. Winnie Cooper) gets asked two questions more than any other question by her fans (“Where’d your name come from?” and “How was working on The Wonder Years?”), that Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush does indeed wash his hands after going to the bathroom (thankfully), and that certain soap stars are very down to earth, very cool, and (I think) mannequins due to the perfectness of their skin…
I realized that some stars can’t get enough of the free lobster and shrimp like Scrubs‘ Donald Faison, others can’t get enough of the sweets like Law & Order‘s S. Epatha Merkerson, and that people like Glenn Close and Marlon Wayans, despite their completely different careers, have entourages just as big and just as intimidating.
But at least the Saturday night pre-Emmy party afforded everyone the opportunity to become equals in a not-so-equal town. It was last night, at the Emmy’s where the true line between stars and not-so-stars suddenly became more than obvious.
For those not arriving in limos to the event (the regular folk), we weren’t permitted to drive right up to the red carpet itself, but were instead directed to a parking facility sort-of, kind-of adjacent (but not really) to the Shrine Auditorium. Once there, hundreds of attendees dressed in their blacks had to wait in line (yes, in line) for shuttles (yes, shuttles) at which point they were taken to the event. But due to the lack of coordination among the shuttle commanders (this was the first year, apparently, of the shuttle service) — all the shuttles were late to the event. And when you get to the event less than 15 minutes before it starts…you get shut out. Despite all the jokes about the transportation obviously being run by our good friend the ex-F.E.M.A. chief — the worst part was the waiting to get inside.
There, corralled in non-air conditioned hallways leading to the inner-sanctum of the Shrine, people were forced to fan themselves in a desperate waiting game I like to call The Next Commercial Break Rush or I Will Push You Into Your Girlfriend So Her Purse Falls And So I Can Pass Her By And Get Inside Before You Two Fools. That’s where you wait, packed like sardines in small corridors, for the next commercial break so the doors will open, the air will rush inside, and you push your way into the auditorium as fast as you can to get inside. If you’re not one of the lucky ones who get inside within the 30 seconds of the door opening — they close again. Now you’re closer, sweatier, and still waiting to get inside. Many people turned around, choosing instead to buy (yes, BUY) the taquitos made lovingly by the Shrine Auditorium’s staff.
Aah, but once inside? Once you’ve sat down in your gloriously tiny seat next to people who normally wouldn’t fit in their gloriously tiny seat, you can watch the monitors from the balcony to get a glimpse of what’s actually happening on stage. “I think I see Ben Affleck talking to Jennifer Garner in the front row!” people would say. “I can tell from his hair that it’s Jon Stewart!” When people go to the Emmys and sit next to you with binoculars — you have to wonder two things. One, who are they…
And two — who am I?
But alas, there are even stars (and I use the term loosely) who aren’t treated as stars. At the Governor’s Ball after the Emmy Awards (a smaller, catered dinner in another ballroom of the Shrine Auditorium) — the biggest stars are awarded the unique honor of getting to eat their dinners at tables on the main floor. But the smaller stars and those who make them stars (the creatives, the marketing/publicity, the financial and administrative personnel) are allowed to eat above them in a balcony section that looks down on the bright dinner tables below. There’s nothing more amusing (to me) than watching non-stars point out semi-stars who have been relegated to the balcony dinner tables versus the ones below. “He must not have good agents…” they say. “Well, nobody watches his show so, you know, it makes sense…”
But then just as one starts to think of themselves as “not-a-star” due to their balcony seating or their off-site parking, they receive the unique opportunity of attending the hot after parties on Sunset Boulevard. Where other non-stars stand watching you (also, the non-stars) in your suits and dresses getting into the parties they wish they could get into.
At least, it would be a great personal star moment for yourself if the Entertainment Tonight/People party wasn’t “shut down by the Fire Marshall” at 9:30 pm PST. Sure, there’s the Showtime party across the street where they’re serving free sushi and drinks? But the ET/People party has Earth, Wind & Fire. And $3000 gift bags. But, the Fire Marshall closed the party. Free sushi, now…or $3000 gift bags if you can get the Fire Marshall to really really like you. Weighing the options… Testing the odds… What…will…you…do… hotshot?
You can never win.
In the end — there are five very important basic facts one must remember for Hollywood, Awards Ceremonies, After Parties and Stars. These five very important basic facts must always be remembered if you are ever to remain sane as a normal person in a town of stars. And they are:
- You may not be famous, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get free lobster.
- You may not be hungry, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat as much as your stomach lining can handle.
- You may get into the party, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good party.
- You may not meet the stars you want to, but that doesn’t mean they care.
- You may get the $3000 gift bag — but that may not mean there’s anything in it for a guy.
Man — if I only had a use for concealer or a facial mask.