So in last weeks post I described the steps for becoming a spectator at the Academy Awards red carpet. This week I just want to follow up on that topic with a few things I learned from the experience.
First of all, there are two kinds of spectators alongside the Oscars red carpet: there are the extras and the sightseers. The extras, like me, signed up through a website that casts people to be crowds for events and TV shows: they want you to look and act a certain way to make it look good for the cameras. The sightseers signed up through (as I understand it- I haven't been able to verify this) the Oscars website to put their name in a lottery to be selected as fans to sit in the bleachers. They can dress however they want, eat, drink, bring cameras and generally have a good time but are less likely to make it on camera to wave at the folks at home.
There are plusses and minuses to either route: sightseers have to arrive at 8am and sit all day in the sun while the red carpet space is set up, but they are also provided with food and drinks and can bring their cameras and can sit the whole time. Extras get to arrive much later- around noon- and arrive at the red carpet space an hour or two before they begin letting the guests arrive, but they are strictly not allowed to bring food, drinks, or cameras and must stand the whole time.
Either way: you're going to need sunscreen.
The first of the guests begin to arrive around 3pm in California time, but the faces you recognize don't show up until much later. In large crowds, a celebrities name gets reduced to it's most prominent vowel sound. Reese Witherspoon becomes Reeeeeeeeeeeeese! Charlize Theron becomes Charlieeeeeeeeeeze! Names that can't be easily prolonged make up for it by rapid repitition: Jenniferjenniferjenniferjennifer! Amandamandamandamandamanda!
There is some good people watching alongside the red carpet that never makes it into the news. Hundreds of people pour past you, all dressed to impress, and not all of them succeeding. The costume, makeup and hair people have the most creative outfits. The actors and actresses tend to be in bright colors. The post-production people tend to look a little overwhelmed.
And the celebrities stand out like lightbulbs.
This isn't easy either: once the arrivals really get going the red carpet is nearly hidden from view beneath the mass of humanity, but the celebrities move across it like magnets drawing your eye towards them. The biggest difference between the celebrities and the guests is that the celebrities typically acknowledge the crowd- even the ones who don't like to arrive with a lot of fuss (*ahem* Jaoquin-blink-and-you-might-miss-him-Phoenix) will give a smile and a wave of acknowledgement. It is hard to say who enjoys the attention more: the celebrities or the celebrators.
If you have ever wanted to attend the red carpet for the Oscars I highly recommend it. The atmosphere is invigorating and the memories will be something to treasure for years to come.