Los Angeles. City of Angels. City of Dreams. City filled with people who can not drive worth sh*t. I live here.
Living in L.A. is not like you think it will be when you are dreaming of sunshine and palm trees in the midst of an endless Chicago winter. I really hate to say it, but television lied to me. This city is not not glamorous, there are not movie stars everywhere you turn, you do not eat every meal at In & Out, all the Trader Joe’s are great but the parking there sucks, the streets are really poorly maintained, and chunks of Beverly Hills are decidedly low rent. All in all it turns out that it is just a big American city, like all of the other big American cities out there, only with better weather and more earthquakes. I have lived here about 7 months now and have acclimated pretty well I think. I do my things and stuff. I am within walking distance of three awesome independent coffee shops (I maintain you can not trust a barista who does not have at least a half sleeve tattoo and some sort of facial piercing) and I found a place where I can fence. Also, the Valley is way more awesome than it gets credit for being, though could I think that simply because I don’t live there. All in all, it is a normal life most of the time only with more high speed helicopter chases.
And then there are the days you go to the Saturn Awards.
What in the what? I am still not quite sure how that happened. I am not a person who has what anyone would consider connections in “the industry”, and honestly I kinda gagged a little even typing out the words “the industry”. I am a contrary person by nature and the more I settle into L.A. the more I find myself turning into a crotchety old lady who resents having to share her space with “the cool kids”. That is my CVS and I deeply resent having to share it with REDACTED, even if REDACTED was here first. That said I do know a few people who work in entertainment, but that is their gig not mine, so it was the height of surrealism when a friend contacted me about going to an actual Awards Show as her camera crew. Go to an Awards Show, like that was a thing people actually did and not something E! made up to give the Kardashian’s something to do in between bikini waxes. Her normal camera wrangler couldn’t make it and I think I was the back up of the back up, which makes sense since I have not handled that type of recording device, pretty much ever. ( I know, this so could have ended in tears and me replacing a ungodly expensive piece of equipment and not eating for six months while I recouped the financial loss. Believe me, I cradled that thing Like my first born child when I held it in my arms.). Whatever the mysterious and foolish reasoning behind her kind act of asking me, I was game to go. What’s the worst that could happen? (Besides me dropping the camera?) These words will most likely end up on my tombstone.
So, that bit of introductory information said and done, what was the experience like? Unlike anything else I have ever experienced, but also kinda meh at the same time?
- First off I had to dress up, like an actual human being going somewhere nice dress up. I have not dressed up, nor put on actual adult makeup in over three years. I usually fake it with BB cream and powder, throwing on some eyeliner if I am feeling particularly dowdy. Not this time, nope. There was eye shadow contrast involved, and non smoky smoky eye (I can’t actually do real smoky eye, when I attempt it look like like I just stepped out of an episode Law & Order: SVU as a middle aged Eastern European sex worker and I have since was 18), and lipstick that I am pretty sure had not seen the light of day since the last presidential election. So much primer went on my face I am still scrapping it off three days later. I HAD TO PUT ON MASCARA! I am lucky I did not lose an eye! And heels, my grown up ones, that were actual heels and not the wedges I usually fake it with when I want to feel tall. The most difficult part? I had to find a dress that fit and was not covered in cat hair. I was only partially successful on this front, which is why my friend was rubbing my ass with scotch tape as we waited in line to get her press credentials. Because classy. So, yes, dressing up to hold a camera because Award Shows require it.
- The Red Carpet…. So weird. The only comparison my brain would provide for me was an assembly line. The press gathers on one side of this little walk way cordoned off with a velvet rope, each with their own assigned spot on the line and the famous product walks down the other side stopping at each station to do their bit of song and dance before moving a foot and a half down the line to do it all over again. The corridor they walk sports an actual red carpet which some how makes it less tedious for them to answer the same question over and over again I guess? Sometimes someone will wait desperately for someone to ask them something, anything, and eventually wander off to get something from the open bar when no one does. Publicists will work the line prior to their client, to pimp them out to the press, and there were one or two random hot chicks in great dresses who I found out later were there simply as set dressing. Because women are furniture in this industry. Once the “red carpet” was walked then the actors, writers, film dudes and the like just sort of milled around behind the press line up and hit the open bar as well. Some folks dodged the line completely, others slinked along back being seen but not heard as they avoided the press, and a few liked it so much they did it twice.
- The food was…eh. Banquet food? Chicken with brown sauce and some veg on the side. It was exactly like what you would find at a Shriner’s dinner, only with less booze, or at a local rotatory clubs Woman of the Year banquet. And the water was sticky. Actually the entire evening had the feeling of a local club’s annual banquet meets a high school senior class dinner, the cool kids being forced to mix with the AV club in order to graduate.
- My butt fell asleep.
- Big Ass Spider won a Saturn Award and so did Hannibal, Revolution and Iron Man 3. I really can’t remember the rest of the winners, but I am sure you can find them online.
But enough about that, I know what you really want to hear about. The movie/television stars…. I apologize for my lack attention to this bit, I think I may have lost some fundamental part of my soul where I can get excited about this sort of thing. I should be. Excited I mean. I am that girl, the overly excitable fangirl filled with squee and the flailing? That is totally me. Or at least it used to be, I had a rough year and I think the part of me that could experience joy was a casualty of that. I hope I get it back. At least I still love Captain America, so there is that.
- Mostly though my thoughts on the famous folks were of the “wow, that person is way taller/shorter than I thought they would be” nature. Seriously the dude who play Colossus in X-men? Pretty sure he actually a small skyscraper that wandered on to set one day thinking it was downtown Columbus Ohio and he had a skyline to settle into.
- Ernie Hudson looks exactly like you think he should in real life, minus the proton pack, as does Brad Dourif and Malcolm McDowell, who killed it with his hilarious acceptance speech. That man knows how to work a crowd and curses like a longshoreman.
- Kristin Chenoweth is super tiny and appears to be literally made of spun glass, I spent the evening thinking she needs to be kept in some sort of curio cabinet for her own protection.
- Robert Rodriguez is stupidly tall, and when he passed by my chair my face was less than a foot away from his crotch. Words I never thought I would type in a million years.
- The cast of Continuum seems really close and they spent the after party hanging out together instead of working the crowd which made me like them even more than their train-wreck award presentation did (It was such a hot mess, but profoundly adorable).
- Jamie Summers (Lindsey Wagner) and Col. Wilma Deering (Erin Gray) got a standing ovation from at least 70% the dudes in the audience because I think they were responsible for for their sexual awakenings.
- And also Jamie Summers hair is still as bouncy as it ever was while running in slow motion on The Bionic Woman. Full stop.
- Robert Picardo is incredibly well spoken, as you would expect.
- Shane Black is younger than I thought he was and Brian Fuller is taller, both gave great speeches.
- James Gunn looks like he is 12.
- I spent parts of the evening in a vaguely confused, mildly disgruntled fog of where the f*ck to I know you from? I ended up being a little resentful over the fact that this person and that other person over there in the cute dress and terrible shoes were faces my brain had committed to memory but I had no idea who they were.
- Sorry if you are fans of what’s their faces, they seemed really cool and I am sure they are lovely, but I don’t know who they are enough to comment on them, I only know just enough to know they are in a thing.
- And finally Robert Downy Jr made a C.H.U.D.’s joke in his video acceptance speech that I loved and also made me want to throw my shoe at him because I had a C.H.U.D.’s poster on the wall of my room when I was a kid and they were my thing not his. (Even I know that is me being unreasonable, but in my defense it was late and I was tired and irritable from sucking in my gut all night while trying to keep up good posture in a strapless dress. Stupid grown up cloths.)
Also of note:
- The after party was cute and filled with adorable cos players who really were the hit of the night. Well done guys.
- And then I went home and face planted.
There you have it, the Saturn Awards as seen through the eyes of someone who had no idea what the heck was going on. I hope it was enlightening or at least mildly amusing. If I do any other things of this nature I will be sure to give you all of the details, which will probably not be the ones you are interested in but hey you get what you get when you are relying on nerdgirlrising for your dish.
I would like to give special thanks to my friend for tagging me in on this adventure, I am glad I did not f*ck things up. Especially the camera.