It’s been a bleak few weeks for the blog, for a lot of reasons. The most important one is that I went on a vacation in which I mostly disconnected from technology, hung out with family (including adorable children), saw old friends for the first time in way too long, explored Seattle all over again, and finally ended up in LA, hanging out at the actual Red Carpet for the Oscars.
Also I caught the plague from previously mentioned adorable children and am still a snot factory and temporarily deaf in one ear. Turns out a terrible cold can turn into my very first sinus infection with a side of ear infection.
But yes, you did read that correctly I was just chillin on (well, near) the Red Carpet with my new besties Lin, Taraji, and Dev. No big deal.
Except very big deal.
How? You ask. Well, about a month ago I got a mysterious email from People magazine/The Skimm saying I’d won first prize in the Oscars Fan Experience Contest. Naturally I assumed it was a scam, but I decided to research it further because the whole thing sounded vaguely familiar. Eventually I found that I had in fact entered on a whim and The Skimm verified that it was not only a real contest, but I was one of the winners.
I didn’t win grand prize including air fare and hotel accommodations, but since I’d planned on being in Seattle already and have an awesome friend in LA, the detour only cost me an extra $80.
For the Oscars.
I invited my friend from Grad School and we arrived at the Oscar Fan Experience location at 9:30 on Sunday, the big day. Well, 9:35 because the map they provided did not include all of the streets or the curvature of the main road (this is why we need to teach geography in schools).
I’m not going to lie, I brought a book because I definitely couldn’t figure out what we could possibly be doing between 9:30 and 2, when the Red Carpet officially opened. I assumed they just needed a lot of time to seat all of us.
But when we arrived we were immediately given a swag bag (notable gifts include a USB power bank, a seat cushion, adorable sunglasses, a billion snacks, and an Oscars Fan Experience t-shirt), donuts and tons of coffee. We were then directed to the various “glam stations” which included hand massages, a hair bar, photo areas and tarot card readings. This was followed by a delicious lunch. We were plenty busy until it was time.
Around 1:50 we made our way to the bleachers and looked out upon the Red Carpet, the press, and the manic-looking assistants/interns/coordinators. I was told by an obnoxious* woman in front of me that we’d missed some big stars (Ryan Seacrest, who remained on the carpet all night, and some reality star dude).
It took about an hour for celebrities to really start arriving, but once they showed up they were there in droves.
Because I can’t even describe to you all the feelings and excitement, here is a list of the celebrities I was within 15 feet of on Oscars night:
- Lin Manuel Miranda (he saluted us)
- Dev Patel
- Jim Parsons
- Busy Phillips and Michelle Williams
- Trevante Rhodes
- Taraji P. Henson
- Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
- Kate McKinnon
- Felicity Jones
- Emma Stone
- Andre Holland
- Dwayne Johnson
- Octavia Specer
- Darby Stanchfield
- Mahershala Ali
- Jason Bateman (he winked at us)
- Andrew Garfield
- Salma Hayek
- Michael J. Fox
- Sara Bareilles
- Nicole Kidman
- Halle Berry
- Janelle Monae
- Matt Damon
- Kirsten Dunst
- Charlize Theron
- Ashton Sanders
- Brie Larson
- Ruth Negga
- Emma Roberts
- Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel
- Denzel Washington
- Meryl Streep
- Ryan Gosling
- Naomie Harris
There were others, I’m sure there were others, but my excited little brain stopped processing new information at a certain point.
After the Red Carpet excitement, we were taken to the El Capitan Theater nearby where we were given food upon food upon food and sat down to watch the show. Even though we didn’t get to be in the real theater, watching the Oscars in this delightful old theater (while stuffing my face with free food) was pretty cool.
I know you’re wondering and yes I took pictures but honestly they are terrible in comparison to what you’ll find if you just use google.
You should know though that John Legend and Chrissy Teigen love each other that much up close and everyone else is exactly as attractive as you thought.
Best of luck.
*Barbara from Ohio spent the entire evening in my personal space, leaning back on my legs to show me her pictures and asking who each and every celebrity was.