Day's Never Ending Journey Into Madness |
Behind The Scenes of The S.F. Film Festival Awards Gala
just another emily blunt day
had been volleying back and forth with attending the San
Francisco International Film Festival for a few weeks. I
adore the documentary Uncle Frank and
it was making its American Festival Premiere. I'd love to be
then there was the Peter J Owens and Akira Kurosawa
Award Gala for Kevin Spacey and Warren
Beatty. Two actors I respect. Okay Spacey infinity squared more,
but still my dog's name is Clyde (his sister was Bonnie) so
I care, I care.
I had so many responsibilities (icky adult responsible things)
that stood in the way of my being a free spirit. This obligation
status itself annoyed me
what had happened to me?
when I got a phone call from a high-powered friend at the festival
advising at least do the awards show "it's your favorite
guy (referencing Spacey) and
his philosophy behind Trigger
Street that's being honored and aren't you supporting them?
You call your self a film buff ? "
Um, yeah, true. The ideology behind Dana
Brunetti, Ross Partridge, Bernie Morris and Kevin Spacey's
company was particularly endearing to me and it would give an
excuse to plug them nine thousand more times
excuse. It was decided.
a photo, she could get the last minute pass from publicity who
adored Blunt Review. I would cover at least some part of the
festival, ironically the most "Trigger" happy of them
all, besides the screening of Trigger Street's fantastic Uncle
Frank film itself of course.
grabbed a beautiful gown (the event was black tie) a stunning
necklace, called the pet sitter, and jumped on line and booked
a one-way ticket to San Francisco. I needed the one-way flexibility
as I'd also be following my friend in her "routine "
(if ever a oxymoron) job with the festival for a report called
"a day in the life of."
dutiful platinum card was out an' workin' over time!
set into motion one of my wackiest experiences to date, and
there's tons -o-wacky story is this chickbabe's file! This tops
the breast bouncing out of the gown at the Sag Awards, or hydro
foiling front row at the Rolling Stones to get a better view
of Keith Richards, only to be on every frame of the pay per
view special (duplicate copies went to all family members rest
assured) or as a wild teen child after being "sent away"
to Switzerland, bored, I snuck out my aunt's window and went
into Zurich only to bump into Rick Danko of The Band in front
of the premiere of the film Last Waltz (which is legendary now).
He invited me in, introduced me to tons of famous musicians
(I'd never heard of...) of course I've been a fan since
admit it, I have a Walter Mitty lifestyle; things bizarre and
surreal often happen to me. They are too numerous to list but
believe me I am aware of my blessings!
having been said let me explain the hilarity around what should
have been, for anybody else would have been, a simple trip to
San Fran for a quick show and article.
got to the airport and was giddy that all was going so smooth.
Oh, how too soon these thoughts were thunk. As I stood at the
security check point I wondered what the h-e- double hockey
sticks was taking them so long getting my bag through the belt.
were being bizarre...first there were two looking at their screen,
and then three
then there were about ten police heading
towards the belt. I looked behind me going "great now I'm
gonna be shot by some ass at the Burbank airport? Figures!"
the officers were coming for me! They circled me an "escorted
me" to the wall like I was Lenny Bruce circa 1963 in Ohio
or something. I noticed the huge line on the other side glaring
at me; expressions of fear and annoyance throughout. I couldn't
even imagine what the deal was
meanest of the mean looking swat officers, with a strong George
C. Scott demeanor asked me the usual questions: "is this
your bag? I reply "yep" he says with an eyebrow up:
"why a one way ticket? " I explained the story of
a friend I was doing as well as a gala I was covering-hence
the two gowns and the fairy-tale shoes
he fished into the bottom of my bag with surgical gloves, emotionless,
he asked if I scuba dived?? What? No. I said I snorkel
quite a bit but would love to eventually
HEY! What's going
on here? Just as I was getting concerned at the way this whole
thing was going Mr. Anti-Friendly pulls out what could only
be called a two-piece spear!
Oh, I knew what it was. He snapped the two parts together
in a second flat to make one big two-foot part that looked just
like a spear weapon thingy--and looked sternly at me waiting
for my excuse . BREATH. The reason for this ominous hidden apparatus
was so silly it had to be true. It was a garden spear thingy
for a set of toy artsy fartsy bugs by a Santa Monica artist
that I had bought for my mother's birthday last year while in
Los Angeles for the Academy Awards
I had lost one of the
bugs' spikes, and low and behold here it is now
nervous girly giggle. Thankfully the damn thing was green and
had a female screw top. Story accepted. Onward.
he pulls put a package for my friend I had intended on sending
via the mail. It was in a generic yellow envelope with words
like Presidio, Film Fest with a street address and a series
of numbers maniacally scribbled across it. Oops a daisy.
Lucy you got some 'splainin' to do! Eek. Okay, sure, on first
glance it looks like perhaps a unibomberesque package of doom,
but there's a perfectly non-insane reason for the package's
scary design...the numbers were her Fed Ex account's, the Presidio
is where she works, I know the rest about her so it didn't need
to be written down
.why sideways and frantic in its scribble?
Um, I wrote it as she quickly dictated and my handwriting sucks!
Man, I should have listened to my mom and practiced my
He pauses for what seemed an eternity and said, "okay
what's this?" He seemed to be actually enjoying
my tales at this point...Oh, great he found my high tech digital
wav recorder that looks like something James West from Wild
Wild West would carry
along with the traditional recorder
with a micro tape
why two recording devices? And
why does this one look like a small hand gun? Luckily I was
able to make it sing a wav on the spot of some celebrity and
all the technophobes smiled and wanted to play with it. I suddenly
turned into a spokes model, giving them a show of how it works
to cement my story. Anything to get on the damn flight which
was now boarding! They all kind of giggled along with me at
the circumstantial terrorist I was. Ha ha. How unfunny
is that! Then sent me on my way, less the spear natch.
watched me till I boarded and made me feel pretty uneasy. The
great part was with all the mayhem I totally forgot I am afraid
got to the Oakland airport a half hour late and was whisked
off to get changed for the gala. But before we could do that...we
had to a make a side trip and grab a print (film lingo) that
needed to be in Buenos Aires by the next morning for another
it wouldn't take long. Which of course it did
but I was with my friend and we were having a ball...
that side-trip we jetted to the publicity room where a credential
was just awaiting a picture to be laminated. The only picture
I could find was of me in a NYC baseball cap looking a tad disheveled
flattering in the least, naturally.
the press credential area it was back
into the height of rush hour traffic in San Francisco to bullet
to my accommodations and switch into my gown to be whisked off
to the event.
the rush I burnt my gown with the make shift iron, ripped my
panty hose in haste, and smudged my toenail polish so I looked
like I had toenail fungus
but still I was in
good spirits. I was getting awfully hungry though
I forgot to eat today. Maybe I could eat at the gala
hurry it's past seven time to get to the Argent Hotel!
it. Dumped off, practically from a moving courtesy van,I scurried
to get introduced.
was asked to join the press line. A red carpeted line of camera
wielding folks armed with communication gear to grab the stars'
attentions. Sharon Stone arrived on my heels and graciously
answered rude personal questions from the typical press types...yech...
and warmed up when it turned to her work. Sean Penn arrived
like the wonderful Tasmanian Devil he's purported to be. Whirled
past the paparazzi wolves and into the hall. Then suddenly in
a wink of an eye
the crowd had dissipated and I stood alone
with a really nice intern. I said well where do I go now? She
advised that was it. The press was not allowed in the event.
Eeexxxcuuusssseee me ????!!!!! Um, certainly there must be a
mistake. Besides I'm not normal slithering press...
Chris the PR guy on the headset; I am here to support Trigger
Street Productions and .com, Mr. Kevin (my
acting god) Spacey, as well as Mr. Beatty. Translation:
Chop-chop the dinner's a startin and I'm starvin.
Chris was semi-sympathetic when he advised in a David Spade
character tone "there must be a misunderstanding.
The press line was the press event."
I've traveled all the way here to watch Sharon Stone saunter
in and Sean whisk himself through his personal description of
a mental mine field? Although, Sean did look very Eddie from
Hurly Burly which in itself almost
made the trip worth it. Christopher was
adamant that I was just not able to get into the dinner, toodles.
said could you at least advise Dana Brunetti from Trigger
Street that I am here and would love to quickly say hello
(I had never met the fellow yet)
tell him I'll be in the
hotel bar, which is where?
called my friend who was enroute to the function and explained
what had happened. She said chill (which I had every intention
of doing with a swell Vodka martini) and she'll be there shortly
to fix everything. I sat with a very handsome fellow in pharmaceutical
sales from Seattle...I was enjoying myself.
showed and naturally wasn't able to finagle us in through legit
alas fear not I grabbed the dilemma by the balls and did like
I always do in these situations and simply held my head
high waited for an appropriate moment and walked us into the
party like we'd not only been there since the over chilled appetizers,
but our imaginary dates had paid double for the event just
'cause they could! It works ninety-nine percent of the time.
Tonight it did.
stood with my friend against the wall pulling a Zelig. Blending
in is another key for those of you interning at the School of
Party Crashers 101. And remember no shifting about nervously
and avoid eye contact, it could be a security guy. Always dress
the part too. You don't wanna be wearing sweats when it's a
gala or your cooked! We were positioned pleasantly just
as Sean Penn took the stage to introduce Kevin Spacey for the
Peter J Owens Award. The serendipity
was not lost on this soul.
After the show, I marched over and introduced myself to Dana
and Ross of Trigger Street. They asked me to join them at Tosca's
Café to chat. Sure. They left and my friend and I headed
to the car. On the way we had a large drink at the event bar,
which of course was free so tip well and you get a double. Then
she introduced me to the California Cigarette, a true "Blunt"...a
stogie...a joint okay. I'm a light weight and immediately
starting using words like "dude" and wanted to blast
The Who. I'm a tacky stoner chick what can I say.
I forgot I hadn't eaten and by the time I arrived at Tosca's
I was a tad whimsical to say the least. This was a good
thing as I was brave enough to ask Dana to introduce me to Mr.
Spacey. I had actually met him twice before. Each time has been
horrific and placed deep in the shame and dread catacombs of
my mind. Believe it or not each time I stood mute as he greeted.
I said nadda. Even in the past when he had asked me..."which
O'Neill's your favorite?"...or the head dizzing "some
show huh?" This time I would speak. Oh, I would speak!
Should O'Neill come up...My favorite O'Neill play? An impossible
promulgation! So starting the list Long Days Journey Into Night,
Moon for the Misbegotten, Iceman Cometh, Anna Christie, Hairy
Ape (Robert Blake). I'm ready.
I spoke and tried to remember the English language and its pronunciations.
In the long run, okay, perhaps I wasn't able to be my usual
witty intelligent self, but heck, I'd had a long friggin day
I was starving and the Martini/weed combo was taking affect.
Still, I maintained composure and tried to cement every crevice
of the guy's face into my exhausted memory. I did almost lose
my "cool" when Sean Penn interrupted Spacey, Dana,
Alex and I to say goodbye. I mean come on two acting legends
next to me? I'm only a mere mortal people. I could feel the
concoctions in my body welling up...please no! I quickly
thought of bad bad things to stop my face from outwardly resembling
the Cheshire cat with a silly ear-to-ear grin I could feel taking
over. After all, Mr. Spacey is just a sweet normal guy and I
didn't want to reduce the meeting to "another giddy speechless
fan" session. I was so mad at myself. Last week I'm face
to face with Ethan Hawke and Robert
Sean Leonard babbling away...Andie McDowell
and I shared a Starbuck's coffee, cause I'd been out late before
the interview...I flirted with Jeremy Northam...I
do not get star-struck. JUST this guy! Go on just call me Dorkgirl
wacked it was hard to talk to him
I mean you can't really
be "normal" and say "so, what do you do?"
or "did you see that film about the alien guy last winter?"
And it's not an interview so I don't want to be pushy and full
of questions. Now, I can think of four thousand things to say,
sure, but then? And it's also a tad weird that I know so much
about a stranger. I mean without even actively trying to. I
always feel odd when I meet a celebrity and I know so much about
them. Where they grew up, their interests, who they are spending
time with. Hmm, perhaps when I meet for an interview, or soiree,
I should hand them a cheat sheet on myself with the same
private info to kind of even the playing ground; just a thought.
day was productive and certainly memorable. Trigger
Street's Dana Brunetti and I finally met after multiple
email chats. He's a great person and I consider him a new friend.
I got to say "high" to uber talent and snuggleufagus
Kevin Spacey, however awkward I felt
thanks to that ol' liquid courage I was able to vocalize about
when exactly he'd be bringing the Bobby
Darin project I had heard about to life. I mean my fave
actor portraying my fave musician? Um, Yum! He was allusive
I learned to be a producer at Trigger
Street you have to be gorgeous! Ross, Dana, and Kevin are
at least! I was able to cover a bit of a top notch festival.
I got to wear a girly gown and see one of my oldest and dearest
friends, Alex Cantin, do her job and realize her immense talent
at that job!
the real highlight of the evening for me was meeting director
writer Matt Ginsberg who did the documentary Uncle
Frank under Trigger Street's umbrella. He told me uncle
Frank himself read my review and was
thrilled by it
this is truly one of the nicest things I've
ever heard. Yep, Uncle Frank, who I wish I could adopt and who
made me laugh, weep and think, had a "smile" on me.
Now, that made any body searches, humiliations, airline red
flags on my name, stomach craps and colossal credit debt positively
show article here
what's so wrong thinkin' life is a song and reachin' for a star"