Emmy (Or, Um me?)

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 ScrubsDonald 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:

  1. You may not be famous, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get free lobster.
  2. You may not be hungry, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat as much as your stomach lining can handle.
  3. You may get into the party, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good party.
  4. You may not meet the stars you want to, but that doesn’t mean they care.
  5. 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.

30 Comments

  1. Wow that sounds exciting – hey I’ll take the concealer and the facial mask.

  2. damn. sounds, more or less, like a bust! isn’t the fire marshall on hollywood’s friggin payroll?! did he not KNOW who he was dealing with?!

    you totally should have brought the flask.

    pictures? maybe?

  3. Author

    Don’t get me wrong — not a bust.

    You just have to adjust your expectations when you go to these things.

  4. How’d you get the Fire Marshal to really really like you, offer him some free concealer?

  5. No ipod? Cell phone? Latest gadget? What kind of giftbag was that?

  6. well, what DID you expect, paul? there, my dear, is your STORY. it is the post you were born to write.

    but seriously…pictures?

  7. Author

    No, Kristinel. The real story I was meant to write is about how Billy Bush washes his left hand first, scrubs it good, then goes onto his right hand.

  8. i love it when you call me KristineL.

    as for bush boy? freak! excellent character.

  9. Pauly D, your fascination with Trumps hair is scary, but you know what’s also scary is that I just wrote about you and Trumps hair prior to reading this. Looks like we are sharing cosmic conscienceness.

  10. So how were the taquitos?

  11. Please promise you won’t “Go Hollywood,” with an ascot, beret, and oversized sunglasses.

    It’s no use, I can already feel you slipping away…

  12. The Moviequill September 19, 2005

    I hope to one day be on the stage just so I can look up into the balcony and say ‘this one’s for you, gang!’. But of course, my foreman on the cleaning staff will scream at me to get the hell back to work and all thoughts of stardom will come crashing back down to reality

  13. woah, baby. DEFAMER LINK.

    how you keep so humble, i will never know.

  14. Spoken like a man who has his priorities in order.

  15. Don’t dismiss the gift bag so quickly! If you use all $3,000 worth of the products in there, I’m sure you could also have the flawless, porcelain brow of a soap actress.

    Living vicariously through you,

    Eve

  16. I used to live by People, US, EW, Movieline – anything Hollywood. I watched every show and read every word I could get my hands on. I even wanted to be an agent (thank goodness that didn’t work out!).

    Last night I watched The Lord of the Rings on TNT for the 100th time instead of the Emmys. I figured between you and Reuters, I’d get all the scoop! I was right!

  17. All I have to say is: You were in the same room as Jon Stewart? oooh…what I would give to be in the same room as him one time.

  18. You can pass that $3000 gift bag off to me! ;)

  19. It’s funny – we worked in the business most of our adult lives and we never watch any awards shows. In the case of the Emmys I suppose it’s because we know the nominating process (and the judging, I used to belong to the Academy) and it’s so flawed. But, we have friends who are still shlepping their sorry asses around from studio to studio and they all watch the awards shows. I wanted to call one of them last night and knew I couldn’t b/c she wouldn’t pick up the phone and then would chide me later for having called during the Emmys (oh yeah, she has one of her own).

  20. Once, …while working at Xbox, …Linkin Park walked right by my office. True!

    (You’re so cool Mr. D. Even at balcony level.)

  21. Pauly, baby, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal. I know it was just an oversight on your part that you forgot to invite me to Spago’s…and I know you had too much on your mind to remember to invite me to the Emmys themselves, let alone the after-parties. And I forgive you, because I’m gracious. But don’t let it happen again, ’cause then I’ll be hurt, and you wouldn’t want to hurt your old pal annabel lee, would you? Mm-kay, kiss kiss.

  22. Fascinating, the machine that is celebrity. At LAX today, everyone was on their cellphones talking about this that and the other party and who was there and who wasn’t. No one mentioned Pauly D, but I knew they were just awed by you…

  23. Cutiepie2 September 19, 2005

    You know, your 5 things to remember are similar to things to know at any hoity-toity function where there is free food and gifts. Especially, the eating all you can even if you aren’t hungry. as a caveat to that -I always make it a point to be hungry coming through the door.
    I suppose the celebrity thing is the difference. I should say that all of the celebrities that I have come across are always never what you expect. So, I never hold high hopes for that. (Except Dominic Purcell……..oh yeah! He’s perfect.) But, anyways, glad you had a good time!!! (Oh, you’re perfect, too) ;-)

  24. Shit, I’d just take the bag itself, even if it’s empty. Then if I ever get to go somewhere nice, I’ll pretend it was mine and not let anyone see what’s inside. Inside will be crackers, some Vaseline and my house key.

  25. I was going to comment on something you wrote in your post, but since it took me several hours to scroll down through your comments, I’ve forgotten what is was. You’re getting to a be a regular Zach Braff, Pauly, with all your comments and such.

    Just don’t let it go to your head!

  26. Author

    People love taquitos, don’t they. Well, sorry to say I didn’t have any taquitos or any cheese sticks — but I heard the cheese was way awesome. (I mean, c’mon – when is cheese NOT good?)

    As for you Annabel — I totally left you a message about this whole thing. Your machine must have, I don’t know, messed up? That’s the only thing I can imagine happened. Damn technology!

  27. billy bush makes me smile. i am glad he knows proper hygene. i wouldn’t have cared anout all the line ups and balcony seating, i would have just enjoyed the people watching. i’ll bet people watching was amazing that night. i like seeing how people react in certain situations.
    wow, you’re like almost famous and you read my blog.. .if only to gaze at my dog photos, but still. ha! i feel all special now.

  28. Wow that sounds like an amazing night! As for the gift bag, I read somewhere it was all the rage in Hollywood for men to use facial masks to help keep their skin looking youthful. :)

Trackbacks for this post

  1. A Night at the Emmys

    Wish you could have attended the Emmys? Paul Davidson went, survived, and today gives the lowdown, from pre-parties to the main event and Governor’s Ball at the Shrine. Conclusion: It almost sounds worth it, if they gave you the gift

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