Last year, when I was at the Emmy Awards…

Sorry, I ‘ve been wanting to use that line for so long, and with the 63rd Annual Emmy Award  ceremony coming up in the not-too-distant-future (September 18th to be exact), I knew my window of opportunity was getting short.

What reminded me of it was this video on YouTube, I came across the other day.  It is basically the red carpet segment, and I actually watched a little bit just to see if I could see myself in the background somewhere, but I was a no show.

Of course even with living in Hollywood for so many years, it was still exciting to actually be there, walking down the red carpet (oh yes, if you have a ticket, you walk in on the red carpet, even if you are not a celebrity or even connected with the television industry).  How it was to be that I was walking the red carpet with my partner is a story unto itself.

I hadn’t even realized that the Emmy Awards were happening the same weekend we would be in |L.A. when we left Holland.  We first stopped in New York to surprise my  parents who were celebrating their anniversary.  The next day we left for L.A., which was  only included on our itinerary for this trip, to handle a driver’s license issue which couldn’t be resolved by phone or internet from Europe. We arrived on a Friday around noon and were leaving Tuesday morning,

On Saturday, I decided I would show my partner a little of the west side of L.A..  As we drove, we heard a mention of the Emmys being the next day, and I told my partner we could drive by them on Sunday just so he could see from a distance.  But I wasn’t sure if they were at the Kodak or not.  So as we were heading down Sunset Blvd, he did a search on his phone for the location.  And that’s when it happened.  In the search results, there was one saying “Emmy tickets available.”  By the time we reached Patrick’s Roadside Cafe in Pacific Palisades for lunch, he had already ordered them through some convoluted way, which, for sure, made you assume these were not going to be real and would require a call on Monday to American Express telling them not to approve the $1500 transaction from Saturday.

But when we arrived back at the friend’s house where we were staying, my partner received a phone call saying the order had been processed and that the tickets should be picked up the next day (Sunday) at 2:00pm at an address in West Hollywood.  We felt a bit better, but knew there could still be a chance this would turn out to be a hoax.

So on Sunday we headed over to West Hollywood at the assigned time, with the intention to just pick them up and, if in fact they were real, we would head back over the hill to Studio City, get ready, and then leave for the show, being held at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles (no where close to where we were staying).  We found the address specified, but thoughts of a hoax crossed our minds again, as it was a house on a small residential street, seemingly not the place you would expect to be picking up tickets to an event you had purchased online, let alone the Emmy Awards.  But, lo and behold, he came back to the car, opened the envelope and we saw these….

Emmy tickets

Now it was about 2:30, and for the first time, it sunk in that:  a) were were really going to the Emmys and b) we had so little time to get ready.  But we soon added a c) to the list as my partner read on the tickets, that the dress code was “formal” (black tie optional).  Because we hadn’t planned on going to anything big in L.A., and because we were headed to my condo in Florida from L.A., where I keep a separate wardrobe from Europe, we hardly had ANY clothes with us, let alone anything that would have been acceptable to wear.

But being in L.A., I thought of just the place where we might find something acceptable to wear but without the price sticker, since the tickets themselves had cost so much.  Crossroads! The second-hand designer and trendy clothing chain popular in L.A. and there happened to be one right there in West Hollywood.  So off we went!

Luck was on our side when it came to the clothes because we were both able to find something fairly quickly.  I scored a pair of Calvin Klein black pants, a 7 Diamonds black shirt with a faint metallic asymmetric stripe pattern, and a black Tahari blazer which was a little small, but it worked.

It was 3:30pm by the time we arrived back at the house.  In a conversation with my hosting friend, it was determined that due to the short time frame, and the possibility that there could be major traffic trying to get through downtown, that we would have to take the subway (which I had never taken in my life when I lived there).  While I normally wouldn’t have experimented with an unfamiliar means of transportation to get to something important, there wasn’t time for any other alternative.

So there we were, sitting on the train on our way to the Emmys, surrounded by people who, how would I say it… were not on their way to the Emmys!  It was a very strange experience, to say the least.  But I will say that it was probably the right decision time-wise, as the connection was fairly smooth, and the station where you get off is just a two block walk from the actual Staples Center.

We were stopped for the first time about a block from the entrance by security who asked us if we had tickets and gave us a look as if to say they would be surprised if we pulled out anything that looked remotely like an Emmy ticket.  Well, surprised they were, and we were let past their station.  It was only as we approached  the opening in the gate that we had been referred to by the unbelieving security personnel a half block back, that we realized it was the red carpet entrance and as cars pulled up, flashes went off.  We said to each other, this can’t be right.  So we asked a woman who had a pass of some sort hanging from a chain around her neck where the entrance was, conveying a little disbelief so we wouldn’t be too embarrassed when she told us where the real “non-celebrity entrance” was.  But she looked at our tickets and motioned to the red carpet.

Being somewhat self conscious about our outfits not being quite the same quality as the Armani or Tom Ford custom made tuxedos that were obvious on some of the other people walking in, we tried to make ourselves as least noticeable as one can make themselves when walking the red carpet.  Luckily, there was a bit of a backup, so we were able to hide a bit behind the people in front of us.  And thank God for good Prada sunglasses, which didn’t come off until we were well inside the auditorium.

On the way, we  passed Heidi Klum, with Seal, being interviewed by one of the entertainment shows, like E or Access Hollywood.  It turned out our seats were pretty good, located just off the floor so we only had to go up one elevator.  We hung for a few minutes in the hall to take a breath from the whirlwind few hours that had just occurred and realized from where we were standing, we could see out the window back down to the red carpet area we had just been on.

But within minutes, we heard the announcement that the show would be starting so off we went again, this time into the auditorium.  As we sat there, before the lights went out, my partner was surreptitiously taking photos with his phone and posting them on his Facebook page.  And all I could think of was picturing myself, at some point in the future, here in Holland, saying to somebody, “last year, when I was at the Emmys…”