Sunday, February 22, 2009

Next Time, Wear Heels

To attend the Independent Spirit Film awards was truly a dream. I learned my lesson from my indulgent Cosmo consumption at the last celeb-studded affair I went to and drank only water so I could keep my head on straight. I don’t want to get a reputation as a lush before my career even starts.

We began the day in the On 3 tent, where vendors and various celebs milled about. The atmosphere was relaxed and happy. There was a curtain separating the gifting lounge from the prestigious Elle tent. My pal Shartelle and I, walked through the magic curtain and arrived seconds later in the land of fashionably dressed women in stiletto heels, upswept hair and skinny black dresses.

Getting dressed for an event is always a challenge. I wonder what to wear and stress about it like I’m going to perform open heart surgery. I decided to go comfortable and casual, wearing a chunky, short cardigan with an embroidered Lucky brand belt and True Religion jeans, brown boots and an oversized purple Kiplinger bag. I felt good- although my hair was flat and my skin was shiny- in the On 3 tent. But as soon as we stepped into the Elle tent, my self esteem plummeted to my boots. Every women there was decked out in a short dress and stiletto heels. I felt like a bucktoothed country bumpkin compared to these stylish women. The men were pretty hip too but I didn’t give much thought to what they were wearing.

Waiters and waitresses carried appetizers on silver trays, a cappuccino machine churned out lattes in the corner. The editor of Elle, Roberta Myers, floated through the crowd, gorgeous and sleek in a skinny black dress and spiky heels. I couldn’t stop looking in my compact mirror, wishing I had smaller pores, bigger hair and a better outfit. I debated whether I should leave, go shopping for a better ensemble and return with more confidence. Nervous I wouldn’t be permitted back if I left, I stayed put on a white couch, sipping my coffee and people watching, tucking my clunky boots under the couch as far as they would go.

I had to resist the urge to walk over to Jennifer Westfeldt and inform her she looked good with a bandaged head on Grey’s Anatomy. She was wearing a short blue dress, her longs were long and skinny like a colt’s. Her husband, Jon Hamm was all casual elegance with messy hair. I don’t know how long we sat on that white couch, observing celebrities mingle. I wonder if it’s a writers job to always feel like an outsider in order to have perspective and funny stories?

We decided to roam and make our way over to the Heineken tent where cocktails were mixed and poured, a buffet was laid out and we felt more comfortable and appropriately dressed. I only took a little food and drank water, fearful my anxious stomach would act up and Id have to make a hasty retreat to the portable bathrooms. My gut feeling told me to talk to the guy in the striped shirt sitting two feet away from us but I wanted to play it safe and cool and not make a fool out of myself. I had a feeling he was a producer or writer and I was determined to network a little. But I used restraint and didn’t say a word, later he won an award for In Search of a Midnight Kiss.

We were permitted to walk into the press tent and feeling bold, I picked seats in the front row. When am I going to have the opportunity to sit front and center at an event like this? The press tent is where the winners of the awards answer questions from the press after they receive their awards. They stand in front of the microphone as the press call out questions. There is only about three minutes of questions then the winners are swept off to….I don’t know where. Back to the event I guess.

James Franco was the first win. After seeing him in so many movies, it was quite thrilling to be less than six feet away from him. We could never be a couple; he’s smaller than I am. He seems thoughtful, well spoken and smart. Next win was Penelope Cruz.

I love to see what the actresses look like in the flesh. I’m telling you this as a blanket statement for any celebrities that I will ever mention- the women in Hollywood - they are super duper skinny. Teri Hatcher could wear my eight-year old daughter’s clothes. She is praying mantis skinny. Mary Kate Olsen? Purely infantile. Elizabeth Banks? Not so short but little bones. Zooey Deschanel? Itty bitty. Penelope? Her shoes were bigger than her legs. Sheryl Crow? More petite than you would imagine.
As the winners came up to the stage and answered their questions, I was in a trance. It’s not the whole Hollywood lifestyle that gets my blood pumping. I don’t care about having a four million dollar house in the Hollywood Hills. It’s not driving around Beverly Hills in a Range Rover or shopping at Neiman Marcus that I’m after. It’s being part of a creative team, putting out work that people want to watch, it's being recognized as a writer and seeing my concept on the big screen that I want so badly. Being around these people who share the dream, who make it happen, it's almost too much. I began to get anxious and nervous. I needed Xanax. A drink. A hug.

I really looked forward to seeing Mickey Rourke live and up close but he didn’t come into the press tent. Too bad! I’m sure we could have forged a very meaningful relationship based on our mutual love of dogs and pocket chains, mullets and long dirty nails.

When the awards ceremony came to an end, we wanted to go back to the glorious and esteem crunching Elle tent. Actually, I was after some people-watching and a hot latte. But this time, we were turned away. Turned away from the Elle group! I knew I should have worn my heels. Not having a green Elle wristband or pass, we didn’t make the cut. Security had been tightened. We stood with a look of longing on our sad faces like Oliver Twist looking for more porridge, except we were after hot coffee and a warm place to rest our weary buttocks. The sky was pure gray and a chill hung in the air. We huddled together, watching every thin and stiletto- heeled celebrity mingle with media elite. The air crackled with excitement which I so longed to be a part of.

I wasn’t after a chat with Mary Kate Olsen or Jessica Alba. I wanted to talk to the screenwriter of Milk. But Dustin Lance Black, in his pink tie and worn jeans, was no where to be seen. I admit, I wanted to see Cameron Diaz up close. I was curious what she looked like in real life. I spotted Michelle Williams and I don’t think I need to tell you that she is positively nymph-like, a forest fairy all small and blonde.

I noticed the director of The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky who by the way, is married to the lovely Rachel Weisz (again, petite). {Sidenote: he has an IMDB credit for SuperMarket Sweep, a show I watched ten years ago} He stood alone for a second and I began to walk toward him but my path was intercepted by Vondie Curtis Hall. I wanted to ask Darren about choosing projects and screenplays but I’m not sure if I had the guts to do it in a graceful manner. Thank you Vondie, for saving me from myself.

Oh how I longed to be a part of the awards ceremony. What is it like to be the creator of a screenplay or movie that is honored and awarded? It’s the dream that I chase and with that intention I sit at my computer every day and read countless screenplays and study the craft and learn about the people who have done it before me. I will funnel the excitement and the joy of the day to my projects if I can stay off Facebook for longer than an hour.

Now, it's almost time for the Oscars so excuse me while I do a little creative visualization. Someday... I will be there.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. Captioned pictures would have been great, though. Who is the woman in the first picture?

9:10 PM  
Blogger PrincessGreen17 said...

Oh no! I feel so bad that you felt underdressed...I'm sure you looked plenty cute but if every other woman was wearing dresses and heels...glad you stayed though! :) I would be hyperventilating if I saw all those people at once.

12:55 PM  
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