Emmy Excitement

So yesterday, after walking between honking cars announcing an approaching float, as I navigated an un-announced parade that blocked off the nearby major streets to my home, I headed downtown to meet the niece of a friend who recently moved here from Chicago. The niece moved from Chicago, not the friend. Her school is in downtown LA, and so she lives in my neighborhood, and wants to get to know LA better. All without a car.

So I gave her the name and approximate location of a coffee place open on Sundays, and she had trouble finding it, but enjoyed it once she found it. She has been introduced to one of the charms of LA, the exclusivity of knowing where something cool is that isn’t obvious to the unknowing. We walked about downtown LA, me pointing out places and districts and interesting facts, and she was game to go on this hour plus personal walking tour. We parted ways, she had another meeting with a fellow grad student, and I took off looking for a drinking fountain. She had mentioned her friend was really into the celebrities and glamour of LA, and was excited about the Emmys taking place down the street at LA Live, and that Figueroa was closed off as a result.

After I had relaxed in the shade with some water for a while, as I began walking down Figueroa to check out what could possibly be seen, a slight detour on my way home. I saw paralleling me on the opposite side of the street, the same niece and another woman. Eventually they crossed to my side, a stop light had us all at the same street corner waiting for the light, and I introduced myself. The three of us then went and saw what we could of the Red Carpet proceedings of the Emmys.

Limousines, Town Cars and the Parking Patrol on a Sunday; The Emmys

Limousines, Town Cars and the Parking Patrol on a Sunday; The Emmys

We managed to get inside the ESPN Zone bar, and it being a multi-level establishment, there were a multitude of windows to gaze from. We gave up our second floor roost when we realized we didn’t see anyone we actually knew as a celebrity, but kept hearing the women at the first floor window saying names of people they spotted. What were they seeing we couldn’t?

Turns out, from the ground floor, you couldn’t see the carpet, but you could see into the ET and E! booths where the interviews were taking place. Look! There’s Ryan Seacrest! But darn it if the technical crew, the lights and cameras made it difficult for clear photographs. The ET booth was best, because its walls were made of orange plastic, so could be seen through. There we saw Jimmy Fallon and Sarah Silverman, Jon Cryer and Charlie Sheen, and Kevin Nealon.

Kevin Nealon, Clearly through the Orange Plastic Walls!

Kevin Nealon, Clearly through the Orange Plastic Walls!

Those were the ones we were able to name, or could see clearly enough. The same celebs would then move on to the next booth, and get another interview from Ryan Seacrest. They were starting to wrap up and close shop, when Justin Timberlake showed up.  Everyone stopped what they were doing and the cameraman over at ET actually stood up to get the interview, the first time we had seen him move.

You could tell this was a class gig, because even the sound and camera guys were wearing black pants, white shirts, black bowties, and some with black vests. They might have had black jackets, but they were probably shed hours before, due to the heat. Inside an air-conditioned building, but standing in the full sun through the window, we were sweating. I was drinking water, and the tech guys were all drinking Red Bulls and Coca-Colas, Coke seeming to be a major sponsor, because women in sequined red dresses carrying newly designed Coke bottles  in their hands kept walking about. We saw a couple of bottles of water being passed into the E! booth, but realized it was for the celebs. Then the make up was re-applied before shooting resumed.

Ryan Seacrest's back interviewing Justin Timberlake's Hair!

Ryan Seacrest's back interviewing Justin Timberlake's Hair!

After Justin Timberlake passed through, the booths did shut down, and I saw giant cue cards pass to the back of Ryan Seacrest’s booth. Cue cards! And he had a sheet of paper in his hand during all the interviews, obviously notes or questions to ask. Who were the cue cards for? We walked out of the building and into the square where the actual red carpet leading to the entrance was, and could hear the crowd shouting Justin’s name for his attention.

This went on for quite awhile, and I wondered what other celebrities were using Justin as cover to get into the venue, because we had noticed the minor celebs came early, the bigger stars later. But when the still photographers all started taking down their umbrellas and tripods and packing up their gear, we headed for the nearby Starbucks to get refreshments and we were done.

The friend was from New York and she was amused by the West Coast’s slavish devotion to broadcasting at a time convenient for the East Coast. It was only mid-afternoon when the Red Carpet was done, but the Emmy Show broadcast itself wouldn’t start for another few hours. Welcome to the magic of tape delay and television. And optimizing your ratings markets. Welcome to LA!

Cameramen and Attendant Crew at Emmy Awards Show 2009

Cameramen and Attendant Crew at Emmy Awards Show 2009

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