Friday, February 08, 2008

More Tales From the Tour

On this, the first monthiversary of the release of LOVE, HOLLYWOOD STYLE, I thought it would be the perfect time to share another of my favorite stories from my time as a tour guide at a motion picture and TV studio.

Herewith, I present to you all the tale of the night I attended (read: worked) my first movie premiere...

At the time I was scheduled to work as an usher at my first Hollywood movie premiere, I’d lived in Los Angeles for less than a year. Growing up in Philadelphia, my prior celebrity sightings had been limited to meeting the local news team when I interned at the CBS affiliate. Now, while it’s true that, working on a movie studio lot, I had more than the average celeb sightings ... this was a MOVIE PREMIERE! The kind of star-studded event I’d been hearing about all my life. There was a red carpet and everything!

The movie was CLUELESS and even though the cast was largely unknown, invitations had gone out to all the major stars the studio worked with. Considering how much buzz the movie was generating, everyone knew it was going to be a huge event. At the very least, I was sure to have a sighting of the new "It Girl" everyone was raving about: Alicia Silverstone. Maybe I’d even get to show her to her seat!

The premiere was held on the lot in the mondo-plush theater. Seriously. It’s the nicest movie theater I ever have and probably ever will be inside in my life. Nobody puts their feet up on the chairs in this theater, mainly because their feet can’t reach the chairs in front of them. There is no snack stand. Food is not allowed. And the audience is made up of people who work in the industry and understand the concept of actually shutting up and watching the movie! Could there be a better venue for your first movie premiere?!

I should have known I was in trouble when I saw the excessive number of tour guides that showed up to work the event. We were only needed to help with check in, work the door, and escort guests to the reserved rows. There were way too many people for the job. That was when I learned exactly how big the premiere was. So big, and with so many guests, that there was going to be spillover seating in the smaller, far less cush, studio theater on the lot. To get to that theater, you had to walk one block down the main pathway, turn a corner and walk another block down an alley.

Any guess where I was stationed to work on my first movie premiere?

Nope! Not the studio theater.

I was directed to stand at the corner. You know, that point where the people had to turn off the main pathway to go down the alley to the studio theater. I was handed a flashlight with an orange cone—like the kind you see people using to wave in planes at the airport—and my glamorous role for the evening was to wave the cone in the direction of the studio theater to guide the spillover audience that way.

And, let me tell you, not even the D-List celebrities were being sent to the studio theater. It was reserved for the behind-the-scenes folks. A lovely group of people, truly, but not what I'd been imagining all those many years when I dreamed of Hollywood.

Ah, but the evening was not a total loss. I don’t know if she was dropped off at the wrong parking lot, or if she was coming from someone’s office. But from the direction opposite the red carpet and beyond the studio theater, came Alicia Silverstone, looking stunning in a mint green suit. She even flashed me a smile and a “Hello” as she passed me and my orange-coned flashlight, heading to her film premiere.


Jennifer Echols said...

That is SO COOL. I love that movie with all my heart.

Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

I just picked up Love, Hollywood Style yesterday. It looks fantastic! :)

P.J. Ruditis said...

Hope you enjoy it, Jessica!