2. How Do You Get To California?
Unless you live locally, are very big on road tripping, or possess the ability to teleport, getting to the Oscars will require you to enter a tin-can filled with other people’s morning breath and be launched towards the west coast at very high speeds. My tin-can left bright and early at 7 AM. I thought about taking a peek in First Class for celebrities, but I soon realized that no self respecting famous person would ever agree to a 7 o’clock flight.
3. How Do You Get Your Credentials?
The Oscars aren’t just like your neighbors’ 4th of July barbecue. You will not be able to Wedding Crashers your way into this thing. That’s why I had to head over to pick up my security badges the morning before, otherwise I’d be stuck on the outside looking in, like that tattoo guy who used to be married to Sandra Bullock.
The Academy Awards take place at the newly renamed Dolby (formerly Kodak) Theater in the impressive Hollywood and Highland complex, just a few blocks from my hotel down the star-lined Hollywood Boulevard. The whole street is like a giant carnival midway with mechanical Gypsy fortune tellers, Egyptian throwbacks to the 1920s, and, of course, palm trees. Mannequins, wax museums and McDonalds fill the thoroughfare. I’m probably not the first one to note that Hollywood can sometime seem a trifle…fake. I hustle over the Hollywood Walk of Fame sidewalk. It’s very long and filled with an insane number of really random no-namers. So if you’re a celeb and you haven’t got your name on a star already you should probably re-examime your life choices
Finally I see the red carpet site up ahead, smack in the middle of the closed-off road. It felt vaguely undignified to see such a high glam event in the prep stages. Like walking in on someone talking a shower or something. The 15-foot golden man standing at the end of the carpet is wrapped in protective Saran wrap and gaffers tape like a massive Edible Arrangement. Tech crew were running amok over the space. And the red carpet badly needed to be vacuumed. Plain clothed crew walk around wearing sheets of paper with famous names (Channing Tatum, Kelly Rowland) attached to them. I’m kind of surprised how small the whole affair is (about a short city block wide from start to finish). Scaffolding and camera cranes tower all around. It’s not like you see on TV. In true Hollywood tradition, they know all the good angles to shoot.
I head in to the complex’s Lowes hotel and wait in line to be photographed and get my badges. It’s just like a glittery DMV, but full of really well-dressed people with cameras and tape recorders dangling around their necks. A few minutes later it’s all official: I’m going to the Oscars.