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Staffer Condolora goes to 65th annual Emmy awards

Mary Condolora

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A few months ago, my dad asked me if I would join him at the 65th annual Emmy Awards. “Duh,” I responded.

My dad was able to get tickets to the Emmys because he has been in the entertainment industry for many years and votes for the Emmys as well. Weeks before the Emmys, my excitement grew and grew. I repeatedly tried on my gown, imagining myself walking the red carpet. When I finally arrived in Los Angeles and took my first step on the red carpet, the night started to feel very surreal to me. The red carpet was huge and packed with people. There were double velvet ropes and security guards in between to divide the celebrities from the non-celebrities. On the celebrity’s side, there were a few TV channel boxes for celebrity interviews.  The non-celebrities were packed onto the smaller side of the red carpet, and were asked to continue their way down to the theater because the show was about to begin. Because of the rush, I managed only to glimpse Alec Baldwin, Julian Hough, the cast of Veep and get one picture of my dad and I “working the red carpet.”

Inside the theater, I found it amusing to see both celebrities and non-celebrities hustle to get to their seats before air time. The impatient announcer made a few snippy remarks, such as “Stop taking selfies and please sit down, three minutes until air.” Needless to say, that part was not as glamorous as I expected.

Then it was show time. Neil Patrick Harris did an excellent job of hosting the show; it was not overdone at all. But I’m not going to tell you what happened during the show, because you can simply turn on your DVR for that. But what you don’t know is what happened during the commercial breaks. Everyone whipped out their phones to text and take pictures of the event. Celebrities in the front rows left the theater via a separate exit for drinks and bathroom breaks. Occasionally, the producers would put on old clips of previous Emmy winners’ acceptance speeches. It was all fun and exciting, even though the cameras weren’t rolling.

After the show, my dad and I went to the HBO after-party at the Pacific Design Center. I was thrilled to go see such an extravagant the venue was, to eat such delicious food and to “party” with celebrities. The party was 70’s themed, with funky prints and kaleidoscopey moving images projected on the surrounding buildings. The food consisted of various small appetizers that were displayed so beautifully I just wanted to take a picture of them and not eat them.  The center of the party was a tall metal cylinder with seating on the inside, and was reserved for the upmost elite celebrities. From what I could observe, the cylinder mostly hosted the Game of Thrones cast and other A-list celebtrities. Closest to the cylinder were other celebrities from HBO shows and other networks. Furthest from the cylinder were the non-celebrities, or as my dad and I joked, the “insignificants.”

After scoping out the beautiful venue, my dad and I took a few laps around the cylinder to say hello to his work friends as well as to scope out the celebrities. After three loops around the cylinder, I was a few feet away from Michael Douglas, Lena Dunham, the cast of Veep, Will Arnett, James Cromwell, the cast of Portlandia and many more. It was exciting to see these talented actors and actresses up close and interacting like “normal people.” I usually get jittery and nervous in the presence of a celebrity, but at the HBO party I felt comfortable. Maybe it was because seeing them act like normal people, and they are just people, made me rethink all the hype around them. Or maybe it was because I realized that most celebrities are actually really short in person, which made me feel extremely tall. I spoke with David Spade while grabbing desert, and I practically towered over him. Those misconceptions about celebrities, the fact that they all are so tall and thin or that they aren’t “normal,” were very entertaining to me when I realized that they were false.

It was an incredible night, and I feel fortunate to have been able to attend the Emmys and the HBO after-party. If I had to boil down the night into two highlights, it would be Will Farrell bringing out his kids onstage in sweats, and seeing how terrible Will Arnett’s spray tan was in person. Hollywood is always entertaining, even off camera.

HANGING WITH THE STARS: The entrance to the Emmy awards opens up to the red carpet, where A-listers mingle before entering the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

HANGING WITH THE STARS: The entrance to the Emmy awards opens up to the red carpet, where A-listers mingle before entering the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

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An upbeat website for a downtown school
Staffer Condolora goes to 65th annual Emmy awards