Thursday, October 16, 2008

The blow-by-blow of my Reel Moments

Me, Nadine and Lianne. Aren't they gorgeous?
Sunday morning: I was so anxious to get going. The car was picking me up at 2 to take me to the Sofitel where I’d be staying for the next three nights. When I get nervous I do two things: pee a lot and rapidly reapply lip-gloss. My kids were very upset that I was leaving and clung to me like little koalas in a tree. After repacking about twenty times, I sat on the couch and snuggled with my dog and my daughter while my husband was glued to some football game on television. I do not care about football.

When two o’clock rolled around, my son came in from outside and announced the car was there. It was time to jet. My driver immediately made me nervous. He looked like Count Chocula and had a thick, eastern European accent. What really frightened me was his swift blinking and opening his eyes as if trying to stay awake. A couple of times he even busted out his phone and did a little texting. I prayed I’d make it to the hotel in one piece. I came very close to asking if he was okay, confident in my ability drive without blinking or texting. He also had a whistle in his nose when he breathed. I mentally kissed the ground when I arrived at the hotel. Jesus Take The Wheel is a highly appropriate soundtrack. Rapidly Blinking Texting Whistle Nosed Count Chocula Driver did get me there safely no doubt thanks to my frantic plea’s to God.
the famous Luke O'Connor and the not so famous, me

Sunday afternoon: The hotel is lovely and glamorous and sleek. The room was small but luxurious. The bathroom had one of those large, round rain shower heads and something that looked like a microphone which shot out water too. The glass surrounding the shower was perfect to draw on when the shower got steamy. I practiced signing my autograph and making happy faces. There was a big basket filled with Suave goodies and things to eat and water bottles and a little Flip video camera. I hesitated to touch anything, first checking the mini bar. I was comforted that the big basket was not part of the overpriced mini bar offerings and I dug into the Pita Chips.

Sunday evening: I exchanged notes with Dawn (mom2my6pack) prior to the trip and we arranged to meet up for dinner. We headed over to the Grand Lux Café across the street at the Beverly Center. Dawn and I wasted no time ordering mojitos and we each found fruit flies on the mint leaves. Liz (ThisFullHouse) joined us and we dug into a basket of warm beignets. I ate too much and felt totally bloated.

Sunday night: I was just about to step into the enormous shower when my phone rang. Lianne from The Makeup Girl invited me down to get drinks in the Stone Rose Lounge. I quickly put my clothes back down and met up with her and Nadine (NadineJolie) for cocktails. I didn’t want to miss Desperate Housewives so I headed back up to the room at 9:15 or so. In bed, lights out by eleven like a good girl. I need my many hours of beauty sleep.
This is my hair as styled by Luke. I can't stand my face.

Monday morning: I couldn’t wait to work out in the “world class gym.” I was really excited for this. And it was all that I imagined and more. Plus, there was only one other person in there so it was like having it all to myself. The machines were truly state of the art and all cardio equipment was outfitted with tv’s. I loved being in there. Until Sweaty Man came in and grunted as if he was giving birth to a donkey. If you have to groan loudly while exercising, maybe you are lifting too much weight. Plus he was super sweaty. I left shortly after and leave Super Sweating Grunter at the leg press.

Mid morning: strolled along Beverly Blvd. looking for coffee. Found the Coffee Bean. Then I went to Marshalls to look for shoes. Didn’t find anything. I went back to the hotel to prepare for the rest of the day. I figured that I should shave my legs since I’d be getting a pedicure. I had some razor stubble, minor- but still. I used my brand new razor and didn’t realize that I had sliced into my leg and was bleeding profusely. What if my blood leaked onto the carpet? The garbage can held the evidence of the razor blade carnage and I was embarrassed for the maid to find it. I wrapped my bloody tissues in clean tissues. The blood wouldn’t stop. I even tried to hold my foot over the sink while blow drying my hair. Gah! What to do, what to do…didn’t have a band aid…but I did have a cotton pad, tissues and a pony tail holder. I managed to make a tourniquet-band aid thing around my ankle, finally the bleeding stopped.
Rodeo Drive. I kept singing that Weezer song, Beverly Hills.

Monday, noon: After getting ready in blissful silence, the car picked me up at the hotel and deposited me at the Lukaro salon. I had a car and driver like a true diva. The Lukaro salon is run by Luke and Rona O’Connor. Luke is a celebrity himself, a stylist who does the hair of Debra Messing, Lucy Liu, Blake Lively and Julia Louis Dreyfus just to name a few. Even though my hair was recently cut, he said I had split ends. He whipped out the scissors and worked his magic. Luke used all Suave products on my hair and I especially loved the Volumizing Root Lifter. It worked! My hair held up into the night. When I said I loved big hair, his eyes lit up and he went to town. I completely trusted him and if he told me I should cut all my hair off, I would listen. He’s a master at what he does and a very nice man to boot.

After the manicure, pedicure and hairstyling, I sat down to speak to the Suave team. I asked how the products could be so good but so cheap. I really thought that the integrity of the product was compromised by cheaping out on ingredients but that isn’t the case. Because Suave uses such a huge amount of ingredients, they get it at cost, enabling them to pass the savings on the consumer. I truly loved the Suave products Luke used in my hair and when I got back to the hotel, I tried out a body scrub that was in my basket and liked it a lot. I’m not sharing with my family. Someone always steals my body scrubs. That would be my daughter.

After my whirlwind of styling, I took a walk around the block to check out the stores. I’ve been to Beverly Hills many times but don’t usually stroll Rodeo so I took the opportunity to do just that. I even treated myself to a mocha. I stay away from sugar but figured what the heck. Live dangerously. This is when I spotted Dean McDermott. Now if I had seen Rachel Zoe, I would have called out, “I die! I die! OMG! Bananas!” but since it was Dean, I kept my Nars coated lips zipped.

Tuesday morning: Bose radio alarm went off and I added another hour. Some alarm in the hallway woke me in the middle of the night which wasn’t cool. I wanted to exercise but the bed was so comfy…

Mid morning: All the ladies met on the back patio at Simons at the Sofitel for a brunch and a Q and A with the women involved in the Reel Moments event- Leslie Russo, associate publisher and the brainchild behind this Reel moments, Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith- screenwriter of the House Bunny, Francesca Silvestri- producer of the films. Andrea Buchanan moderated. I said, “Oh, yes I know of Andrea!” but it wasn’t the Andrea Buchanan who wrote the Daring Book for Girls, FYI. Although this Andrea does have a book coming out which I hope to review and discuss with her in the coming weeks. She was wonderful.
The brunch was, to borrow Rachel Zoe’s phrase, to die! Delicious food kept coming out from the kitchen. After we ate, the ladies talked about the project and they took questions from us, the audience. What I really got out of this was that you need to have passion and keep following your dreams, don’t take no for an answer and keep moving forward.

After the talking I approached Kirsten about screenwriting and mentoring and she was polite but anxious to get away- from me. Maybe I should have pointed out that I saw her green underpants when she sat down. I talked to Bill Wackerman, publisher of Glamour and owner of blindingly white teeth, who kindly lent me his sunglasses when the sun was obviously in my face.

Tuesday afternoon: I wrote about meeting my new pal Nancy Redd. She’s awesome. You need to check out her website.
Late afternoon: Time to get ready. I lay down on my host of fluffy pillows and tried to take a power nap but it didn't work. I suffered from high anxiety and needed to get my heart rate under control. There is no reason to be nervous but I was. I think it's because I didnt know what to expect or what the night would hold. Also, I'm always scared of acting foolish or saying something dumb. Like I did with Kiwi earlier in the day.

After a long shower, I got ready but here’s the problem. My dressy, strappy shoes made the outfit look unbalanced.I I tried on my knee high boots which are one hundred percent more comfortable than the strappy ones and decide to go with them. I ask a gay guy in the elevator (I can tell he’s gay) and he gives me the thumbs up on the boots and confirms that the strappy shoes would have been the wrong choice. I really need a main gay at my 24 hour disposal for fashion emergencies!

All the writers met up in the lounge. I sat by myself and feel like I don’t belong there. I know my legs look good because they are encased in black boots and I don't have to worry about my scab from the razor incident. Suave needs to make good shaving gel. Anxiety takes over and I go back up to my room to gather my thoughts and calm down.

That night, attending the Reel Moments films at the Directors Guild, meant so much to me. It represents what I want to do, where I want to go in my career…I could barely take it. When you grow up and dream of this very thing, it's like living a fantasy. The only way it would have been better is 1.) if it was my movie up there on the screen 2.) if my friends and family were with me 3.) if I could stop peeing so much. Maybe I need to check out the NASA diapers that woman wore when she drove cross-country.

I was in and out of the bathroom which is where I saw several celebs. I forgot to mention seeing Gabrielle Reece, Brittany Snow, Sarah Wright, Madeline Zima, Ron Livingston. It was a feast for the eyes. I’m still thinking of how amazing Soliel Moon Frye’s hair is, like a shiny sheet of silk. Oh and I stood next to the guy who played Stanford on Sex and the City.

The movies were great as I wrote about yesterday. We were chauffeured over to the Chateau Marmont for the exclusive after party. I need to go back and see the architecture of the place because what I saw in the night light was amazing. The outside patio area was hopping with celebs, wannabes, agents, managers, models. The loud music, people, flowing drinks and atmosphere …too much to be believed. It was truly surreal.

Unfortunately I made a bad call and drank too much, too quickly and made a hasty retreat back to the hotel where I collapsed. But not before taking off my boots and realizing that the rubber sole on the bottom of the heel had come off. This happened when I was standing by the patio and my heel got stuck between the grass and stone path. I was standing next to Madeline Zima, trying to make small talk since we were both waiting to be waved in to the exclusive patio. A bouncer-type guy was limiting the number of people allowed in. I asked Madeline what other work she’s done and she gave me a weird look and said, “A lot of things.” Later when I checked the IMDB, I saw that indeed there were too many to list. Like The Nanny with Fran Drescher.

When Wednesday morning rolled around, I was anxious to get back home to my family. I wanted to hug and kiss my kids and see if my husband had vacuumed/done laundry while I was away. The driver wasn’t Count Chocula but a tall man with a Jheri curl who wore frosted orange lipstick. He was really nice and didn’t balk when I told him I felt sick. I got home in one piece for which I’m always thankful!

I am so grateful to Suave for inviting me to the event and pampering me, a big thank you to the PR girls: Janna, Jillian and Sarah for being so fantastic, to Luke O’Connor who trimmed and styled my hair and was extremely down to earth and kind, to my new friends. Oh, that sounds like an acceptance speech!
The interior of the Lukaro salon

Thank you Suave!

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Blogger An Indian's Makup Blog ! said...

Hi Cindy,
Thank you soooooooo much for all the Glytone products !! I dint know I won until I received my package. Thank you !!

I ma glad you had such a nice trip ! I love the new hairstyle !

Indian Girl

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Liz@thisfullhouse said...

We had so much fun - didn't we!?!? I was very happy to get the chance to meet you and feel like I've just made a new friend. It's a pretty cool feeling ;o)

3:06 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

It was so lovely to meet you, Cindy! I will never forget our Mae Anderson moment ;)

I hope I will see you again on another trip like this!! ((hugs))

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the blow-by-blow, and meeting you and all of the girls!! Jillian

1:22 PM  

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