Feb 28, 2011

Oscars 2011

I worked the Elton John AIDS Foundation 19th Annual Oscar Viewing Party.   It was awesome on so many levels... my mind is blown (or maybe that's just the headache I've been nursing upon awaking this morning.  Tomato, To-mah-to).  The event raised $4 million for charity!  An applause is in order to Elton and the team who worked so hard to put it all together.

I got to the party at 1:30 to prepare.  It was a long, hard day, but definitely worth it.  Honestly, everything was so hectic that I kind of forgot that a) I was freezing (and subsequently pissing off my immune system even moreso than before) and b) I was wearing five inch heels that will probably ruin all feeling in my feet for the rest of my adult life.  My job at this event was to check in media in addition to other guests and also help Eddy talent spot from my post when necessary. 

So here's the setup of the party: immaculately decorated giant tents, starting with the check-in tent, then the red carpet, followed by a cocktail area with a dance floor and a side lounge (for smoking), and finally the main event, where around 20 or so 70 tables are stationed for the sit-down dinner.  People purchase tickets to benefit Elton's AIDS Foundation and celebrities are invited, which really makes it a glorified sorority formal for people with a crapload of money (and in some cases are famous and extremely good looking).  If they want to watch the awards and have dinner, they arrive before 5:00.  They are asked to fill out a ballot before dinner to guess who will win each award.  Whomever guesses the most correctly wins some sort of prize.  After dinner, there is a live performance and then an after party.

Florence & Elton courtesy of Zimbio.com

The carpet got started around 3:45, when Elton showed to walk the carpet.  Florence (of Florence and the Machine) came shortly after, before running over to the Oscars to perform, and then ran back to EJ's party to sing her heart out.  It was nothing short of amazing -- Elton even popped on stage and they dueted to "Tiny Dancer."

Dianna courtesy of Zimbio.com

Kim courtesy of Zimbio.com

Noteables:  Kim Kardashian and Dianna Agron (in J. Mendel) looked beautiful as always in navy -- actually, Kim's dress looked navy but was actually blackChris Colfer arrived and shortly thereafter Matt Morrison (who got a blowout), JC Chasez and Chace Crawford all showed up (they have the same publicist). 

Heidi courtesy of Zimbio.com

Hayden courtesy of Zimbio.cmo

Heidi Klum rocked a fierce gown that looked like broken glass; Hayden Panettierre looked sleek in cream Luca Luca number, and I was so excited to see Paul Rudd and Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)! 

Kelly courtesy of Zimbio.com

Kelly Osbourne came after her E! coverage to visit mom Sharon (both looked amazing) and Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens made their way in during the after party.  I caught them both dancing to "Teenage Dream" on the dance floor.  Nicole Richie came with husband Joel and she looked hot in a white dress with a red lip.

Vanessa, Joel and Nicole, Zimbio.com

Steven Tyler was there with a date and Joel McHale showed as well.  It was a pretty solid turnout.  After the performance, we caught JC and Lance from *NSYNC chatting (or, NC).  I should have busted out some dance moves to convince them of a reunion tour... but alas, that didn't happen.

The party was gorgeous.  A lot of gold, a lot of bright lights, open bar, and Godiva Chocolate Bar?  I mean really.  The picture of my ideal birthday celebration.  What was awesome is that they had a really great camera/production crew, so they showed the performance on all the TVs throughout the party and it looked like they were filming for a concert or awards show.  Should I expect anything less from Sir Elton John?

Everyone looked stunning.  I was in my $50 H&M dress, but then again I am the help, not the hottie.  But everyone's gowns were just amazing.  Made me want to go to a fancy party so I could wear a floor length gown (and lose 10 pounds).  One of these days... 

I think the funniest part of the night was all the people trying to crash.  "I'm the princess of a country in Europe."  "I work for Elton's PR team." (Hilarious because we are the PR team and had no idea who this person was.)  I have to hand it to these people, they were willing to put on a full charade to get into this party.  I don't have enough energy (and too much pride) to subject myself ot that kind of humiliation. 

On that note, I had several "friends" and friends ask me if they could come ot the party or how I could get them in.  First off, totally inappropriate.  This was a work function for me.  I wasn't hosting, and everyone invited as specifically approved by Elton John's Foundation.  And some people bought their way in at a hefty price (all for charity, of course).  So unless you know EJ himself and/or the general public would group you into that "famous" category... you're not getting in.  And I'm not risking my job for you.

During the lull between the dinner red carpet and the after party red carpet, we had counted the ballots so the prize could be awarded.  This was fun because we got to sit and watch the show.  My thoughts on "Oscar" (as ABC has been calling it): he made me grouchy.  The only decent part of the show was Sandra Bullock.  Perhaps she should host next year?  I mean COME ON! James Franco was lit out of his mind and needed an excuse to put on a dress; Anne was overcompensating for James being a whack job -- to the point that I was annoyed.  ENOUGH with the forced, fake laughter!!!!  I'd love to have seen her paired with Hugh Jackman (had he accepted the offer).  They were amazing in '09.  

While  everyone else munched on a gourmet meal, we got the In-N-Out truck!  No harm done, I was starving and was pretty psyched to eat a cheeseburger.  Once done eating, we picked up and got ready yet again for another red carpet. 

After our work was done, we got to go in and enjoy the party.  I proceeded to introduce everyone to the Ciroc Obama.  The party appeared to be sponsored by Ciroc, but I'm not sure.  They were making speciality Ciroc cocktails (so I'm assuming yes) and I informed the bartenders of my beverage and they all instantly loved me for my genius concoction (I'm obviously very proud of this).  Don't worry, this was a work event so I kept it classy and knew it was going to be a one drink maximum. 

Ladies, if you're looking to impress people, just throw the Ciroc Obama out there. It's a rather fruity drink (Ciroc Coconut and soda with a splash of pineapple), but the name will get people talking.  This rang true when myself, Kourtney and Marina were about to nom on some desserts and Ryan Kwanten (aka Jason Stackhouse from True Blood) WINKED at Marina.  Obviously if a very attractive Australian man winks at you, you approach him.  I think there might have been a back story to this encounter (like talking to him on the carpet); regardless, we all went up to talk to him and he appeared to be having a blast.  He even hand-fed Marina a chocolate covered pretzel stick... and ordered five Ciroc Obamas, none of which he drank.  I mean really. 

The other highlight of the night had to be when we were getting down on the dance floor.  I was dancing and all of a sudden I feel some guy's hand on my back and he says, "Hey sweetie, I just wanted to let you know your bra is showing."  Mortified and slightly alarmed, I turn around and it's Taye Diggs.  Before I can answer that I had sewn my dress because it was cut in a way that exposed a good portion of my back, however I needed to wear a bra (and didn't have time to grab a strapless/backless bra), so I had sewn it accordingly and it must have come undone while I was dancing, he starts trying to zip up my dress (which will not zip up any farther).  He's trying to fix my dress so my bra isn't exposed! I'm laughing so hard I'm crying and so are Marina and Kourtney.  Then, my coworker Mike comes up and is like, "YO Taye, that's my wife!"  Taye's eyes bug out of his head and starts apologizing like crazy!  Hilarious.  We were all getting a good laugh out of it but he wasn't being creepy -- he was just helpin' a sista out. 

It's getting kind of ridiculously awesome how often I'm seeing the same people.  I see JC every five days (maybe an exaggeration, but I see him frequently), which is so odd considering how much I LOVED him as a kid.  Now he's a part of my job.  SO BIZARRE!!!  And just last week at Teddy's our promoter JP took us over to a table and sure enough it was Taye Diggs'.  So we were making and mixing drinks and he didn't give a crap.  Next thing you know he's trying to help me save some face.  It all comes full circle I suppose.

Other guests included Jamie Foxx, Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott, Chaka Kahn, Sharon Stone, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, Cee Lo Green, Jane Lynch, Paz Vega, Baz Luhrmann, Serena Williams, Emma Roberts, Seal,  and Rufus Wainwright.
All in all it was an awesome experience and I am so excited to have had my first Oscar party memory!  Definitely a time I will never forget.  I feel really blessed to get these opportunities. 

Coverage of the event:
Kim Kardashian's blog
Nicole Richie Twitpic
E! Online
USA Today
Daily Mail
LA Times
People Style Watch
Celebrity Footage {VIDEO}

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