I really just wanted to publish an album with pictures on Facebook, but it would not nearly do the Oscar experience I was allowed to live in 2014 any justice. So here are the dirty details for those of you who want to know more :
I got an entire three (!) hours of sleep before waking up on Sunday (day of the Oscars). I was more nervous than a little girl on Christmas eve. The night before, I had just walked part of the red carpet before it was revealed. I saw the huge golden statue standing on the corner of Hollywood and Vine in all its glory (wrapped in plastic). I saw Ellen DeGeneres smiling down from a billboard high up, whispering “yes, you are really here and part of it”. I was. Oh, I so was.
At 4.30 PM, I decided to peel myself off the couch and glam up for the big night. After all, I would be casually chit-chatting with celebrities, bumping shoulders with influential and important people, and be part of the magic that is Hollywood. I feel good. Tonight’s the night. Disney songs (don’t judge, just… stay with me here…) blasting away from my laptop and I WAS the magic.
We arrived (I went with a “friend” who got me into this mess, I mean party, and there were no favors involved – just to clear the air at this point!) at 7 PM. The party wouldn’t start until 8, after all, the Oscars were still being generously distributed to whomever the industry sees fit (yes, judgment).The venue was a Beverly Hills Vineyard on top of a hill. Beautiful mansions all around, a long winding road up a hill dipped in darkness, the occasional security guard complacently pretending to do his job. He has a glow stick-he gets to make the decisions!
The actual party took place in a series of tents, all grouped together at the end of a red carpet. This is where the celebrities would later arrive and I would stand right there- watching them bathe in the flashlight of the photographers. Poor photographers – every single one of them would rather be somewhere else, but they have to “endure” this on the lookout for the money picture.
Ferraris and Lamborghinis lined the carpet, photographers were getting ready, the waitresses were slutting up in the VIP area, and I got my little green wristband which allowed me to go anywhere I wanted. Green means go, right? Right… So I went… and sat down, and looked at the empty tent – the view of the LA scenery in the background was breathtaking. The city looked so peaceful, and glamorous – from afar.
Of course I googled the event before I got there (my adventurous side only goes so far), a single entry ticket was estimated at around $1,500; full area access at $65,000. Who’s got that kind of money? And if you have it, why spend it here? And there they came… on cue… the plastic invasions of terror… in red. And blue. And white. And gold. Lots of gold. I have never smelled so many different perfumes within 30 seconds in my life.
They smiled, they laughed, they were visibly freezing (it was a bit on the frosty side that night… but as you know, it stopped raining). I was back outside on the red carpet in my leather jacket, watching the first “celebrities” being photographed. The first was a young man whose father I would meet later on. Shortly after, James Cameron joined the party as everyone was drifting inside. Important people, more important people, and the most important people. I’m still smiling. I’m taking it all in. I’m enjoying myself. And then it stopped.
I have no idea what happened, but it’s as if the sequins were poorly glued onto the walls and just fell to the ground with a deafening shatter. Picture slow motion – I turned around, went inside the tent, past everyone trying to get inside. Suddenly, they all looked the same. Beautiful, gorgeous – they must chew on just a leaf of lettuce per day, work out more than anyone can imagine, and have the previous doctor’s mistakes retouched on a regular basis – so beautiful. But completely empty. There was no light. Once I saw that, it was like walking through an empty storage place of mannequins (you know the ones in the H&M window? No face, just a nice body, nice clothes, and no light… just no light). I made my way through the mannequins and got a vodka on the rocks. Ok, I got a pink strawberry cocktail, but vodka would’ve fit the situation.
I was confused: I expected Hollywood glamour, the one you see in the movies, the one that you always believed in. And then you see a bunch of people who married other people who pay for them so that they can show other people who married more rich people that they can also be there. To me, that’s not glamour. Just beautifully empty shells. To quote a sentence I read the other day: I was more confused than a mood-ring on a paranoid, bi-polar, schizophrenic chameleon in a bag of skittles.
And in the words of Arielle: “Maybe there is something the matter with me. I just don’t see how a world that makes such wonderful things could be bad.”
And then I saw Gene Simmons (from KISS). Try to process that! The VIP area started to fill up, some host from a TV show (I don’t know his name) interviewed him while more “VIP’s” flooded the area to take pictures. Cat fights broke out here and there. I walked on a little improvised balcony to hear James Cameron speak. If the sound hadn’t been so terrible, I’m sure I would have acoustically understood what he was trying to convey. His gestures and mimics were impeccable, though. He had the crowd. They applauded him; he left after his 30-minute speech. After all, this was not a social event for him. It was work.
I mingled with a handful of people. A man whom my “friend” was talking to, told me that he is also from Germany (I will not tell you how good his German was… he sounded like from a war movie “Guten Tag mein Fräulein”. That was literally it!) He was the father of the young man mentioned earlier. He told me his son is one of the most successful and influential movie makers today. He was maybe 25 years old. A Chinese (governor? King? God? Dragon tamer? I really don’t remember what he said) who was a billionaire had flown out to LA just to see his son and have a meeting with him. Was I impressed? Absolutely not. The man looks down at me and goes on to ask “So what do you want to be? An actress or a model or something?” – I was offended. I smiled. You could hear crickets—tumbleweed flew by. I turned around. And I walked away. I’m sure it was nice to meet me.
Next up: Ne-Yo. Ne-Yo was hot! That’s all that needs to be said about him.
I went backstage since that is where to porter potty bathrooms (believe it!) were, as well as the dressing rooms for staff and entertainers. I decided to hang out for a little while. The heaters were on and I’d rather not have had my own version of “Frozen” in the VIP tent. It must have been around 11.30 PM and I turned my head for just a second as Paris Hilton breezed by me. I decided then and there that it was time to “let it go”.
I stick to what I posted before on FB – this event was a dream come true and I was the luckiest girl alive… For being able to have seen what I saw.
I’m sure that by becoming as empty as all of those people, you gain a lot, but what are you willing to lose? To go back to Arielle: I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be part of that world.
I will always watch the Oscars, look up to what some of the empty ones are capable of, always laugh at every joke that Ellen DeGeneres cracks; I will keep having secret fake marriage fights with Leo DiCaprio, have a dangerous crush on Johnny Depp and daddy issues with Sean Connery. I will keep trying to walk the walk of Heidi Klum, and end up singing the song of Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones, laugh and cry to my favorite Disney movies and think they were made just for me. The ones who really make a difference are not seen at these parties. The scandal-free ones like Tom Hanks, Jaime Lee Curtis, Claire Danes and luckily many more.
My mom has given me one of the most valuable pieces of advice ever right before this night, and I will always carry it with me on a little piece of paper. She said (I will paraphrase only a little bit): “You are a silent one. Those who hear your silence are the right ones for you.”
After hearing that, it’s very easy to spot the right ones.