Last week I wrote a really hilarious post, and I don’t think enough people commented on how cute the puppies are so I’m linking to it again.
Also, in the post I made reference to being two hours late for work and implied that a story would follow as to why exactly I was two hours late to work. Well, after being inundated with about two emails saying, “Where’s the story!!!?”1 I finally got back the pictures I was waiting for to write the post telling the story.
For everyone outside of New York and Los Angeles, here’s a little background: Here, we have this entity called The Industry. Back in the old days, The Industry was comprised of movies, music and the theater. Then Frank Sinatra slept with everyone in it and things got weird. Then everyone started doing drugs and it was cool again. These days “The Industry” also includes television, clothing designers, digital media, porn, reality show winners, reality show judges, reality show losers, sports stars, pet groomers, posses, David Blaine, Kevin Federline and anyone who has Paris Hilton naked on film. I have friends in both the music and theater industry, meaning that I fit in under the “posse” category, although I was also in a reality show a couple of years ago making a cameo on the ill-fated “Into Character” where I slapped my friend’s ass in commendation of him being chosen to pretend to be a Blues Brother. I don’t think I really need to say any more than that.
Being in The Industry means a few things. It means that you’re better than everyone who isn’t in the industry; it means that when you don’t go to the Oscars, it’s only because you decided you didn’t want to go; and it means that you will be invited to tons of cool events. Because The Industry throws a party for every single thing that happens. They throw parties like Calista Flockhart throws up. It’s a formulaic chain of reactions, kicked off by some seemingly unimportant occurrence culminating in George Clooney taking home the waitress and the hostess. Basically if you’ve ever seen an episode of HBO’s hit series “Entourage,” it’s exactly like that, but with better acting.
My latest dip into The Industry party scene was not very unlike an episode of “Entourage.” Only instead of Hollywood, it was Broadway. And instead of a movie premier it was the opening of an exhibition of posters for Tony Award winning plays. And instead of it being at a Malibu beach house, it was at the Library of the Performing Arts. Otherwise, the similarities are actually quite striking.
Celebrities never pay for anything when they attend Industry events. Free food, free drinks, free car service, free gift bags. The works. No different at this event.
I walk in after passing through a narrow walkway lined with photographers2 and find my friend John, who curated the show and was the reason I was invited. He told me I could check my coat at the coat check. I walk over and hand my coat to the lady in the closet. She hands me a ticket. Transaction over. Slowly I hand her my bag. She hands me another ticket. Transaction over. I change my mind and say that I want to keep my coat on, so she hands me my coat and I hand the ticket back. That’s three total transactions. All for free.
I head over to the bar where they are giving away drinks. GIVING THEM AWAY. I see everyone around me drinking wine, so I also ask for a glass of wine. “Red or white?” he asks. RED OR WHITE! For free.
After some interesting conversation with my friends concerning a new TV show we’re thinking of pitching3 suddenly out of nowhere a man approaches us with a tray full of food. You take it, you eat it, he walks away. And not only that, but he comes back periodically over the course of the night with different types of small food. For free. Just like on “Entourage.”
Just like on “Entourage,” it is inevitable that at some point in The Industry party experience, professional photographers will want to take your picture. It’s an unwritten rule that by attending the party, you’ve agreed to have your picture taken.4
For half of the night, my friends and I managed to stay under the radar and out of fame’s way. Then, as the party was winding down, we could hide no longer and a woman photographer approached us, gaining our confidence by singing a show tune (sneaky bitch). As we complimented her, she struck up a conversation with my friend Matt.
Woman (who is clearly at least 50 years old): “I’ve been photographing the Tony Awards for 20 years.”
Matt: “You mean you’ve been doing this since high school?”
I swear, you could see her blush right through her hot flash. In two seconds Matt managed to make that woman feel like she was 38 again. After that, the picture floodgates opened.
She corralled all of us and started snapping away, drawing the attention of other photographers who flocked and barked directions:
“Look this way!”
“Who are you?”
Finally the crowd disperses and we are left feeling used, pawns in The Industry’s game, and chasing down the photographer to ask her to email us the pictures.
A License To Go Wild
Regular laws don’t apply to celebrities. Just like on “Entourage” how they’re always smoking pot in public places and driving fast, so too do the laws not apply at all Industry events.
At the end of the party (the remaining few are my group of friends, the two girls they are hitting on and a scary guy no one knows) we are huddled around the bar as they are closing up, making sure that we will be refilled up until the last possible moment when the wine is literally taken to a different room, one that we are not allowed in. As we are standing together talking the inane Industry talk, I look over my friend’s shoulder through the wall of windows overlooking the promenade out front and see what appears to be my friend BJ rolling my friend James around on a flatbed handcart. Turns out it appeared that way because that’s exactly what it was.
Of course, I immediately head towards the exit to join in the fun when I notice a security guard perched at the door. I’d much prefer to bring my wine outside with me, so reason dictates that I should carry it inside my jacket. I am, if nothing else, a reasonable man.
Once outside with my wine, I too hop on the hand truck and “surf” around the promenade with my wine glass held out front, like a beacon for all to see that the vehicle fast approaching them is not a sober one. At this point, everyone else has left as well and we decide to make our way across the street to a restaurant to continue the party (otherwise known as “The Afterparty” similar in many ways to the afterbirth5).
Halfway across the promenade, we hear a shout. “Hey, stop right there!” My friends, clearly misunderstanding the man, run. I remain, though I do step off the handcart, and my friend John approaches the security officer. They have this conversation:
Rent-A-Cop: “You know those guys?”
John: “No, I just had an event at the Library, they were there . . .”
Rent-A-Cop: “So you don't know them? Not even that one.”
(John turns around and sees Matt pop up from under a plant)
John: “Nope. Where does that cart go? I'll go put it back.”
Rent-A-Cop: “Nah. I'll just call maintenance.”
(Rent-A-Cop talks into his walkie talkie for his partner to back off)
That’s right, this is an Industry Party. Your rules don’t apply.
Hot, Loose Women
Hot, loose women are so ingrained in The Industry, that I don’t think “Entourage” would even exist without roles like “Hot, Loose Woman #1” and “Hot, Loose Woman #2.” The same was true of our Afterparty at some fancy Mexican restaurant across the street.
Upon arrival, I roll up to the bar and order a Pacifico beer. Immediately a girl adjacent to me at the bar leans over and sneers, “Did you just order a Pacifico? What the hell is Pacifico?" I reply, "Have you ever been to Hawaii?" She says no. I say, "Your loss then." After that my friend BJ comes over and says that we went to school with Colin Farrell in England and he loved Pacifico.
I mingle with my friends some more as slowly but surely all the bachelors are drifting off with women, until finally I find myself isolated with a girl who may have been cross-eyed, or whose crossed eyes may have been well hidden by the dim lighting. Regardless, I am being polite as we talk about our respective Manhattan neighborhoods, until this happens:
Her: "Are we hanging out after this?"
Me: (enthusiastic) "Hell yeah! Where are we going next?"
Her: "My place?"
It was right around this time that I decided it would be best for me to leave. I say my goodbyes and prepare to gather my belongings when I come to the stark realization that I have no belongings to gather – because I forgot to reclaim my bag from the coat check room before sneaking a glass of wine out of the building. Which brings us back to the focal point of this story: Why was I two hours late to work? And the answer is because unlike an episode of “Entourage,” in my bag were important work papers that I needed to retrieve before showing face at my office the following day. Obviously the only thing to do was leave a message for my boss at 11:30 at night that I had a doctor’s appointment early the next morning only to wake up late, recover my bag and arrive at work, as previously stated, two hours late.
What I learned: The Industry is an exhausting world in which to live. Sure, it may seem exciting to roll around on wheeled carts while drinking free wine and have lazy eyed women pawing at you all hours of the night; but I assure you, it’s not all fun and games. It takes its toll on you.
I also learned that apparently the theater industry is very tolerant of shenanigans. I can only conclude that they were distracted by our overtly heterosexual behavior, much like an indigenous Australian tribe watching March of the Penguins for the very first time.
1 It was actually an email from my mom saying that they’re going to fire me if I keep showing up late. And she accidentally sent it twice.
2 This walkway lined with photographers was really for a tribute event to Jessica Lang being held at the neighboring Avery Fisher Hall. At the time, I had no idea where I was going. Later in the night, it was rumored that you could get into Avery Fisher Hall by taking the elevator in the back hallway of our event. After a few drinks I tried to do just this, but never found the way, only riding the elevator up and down three times and seemingly exiting at the same exact floor every time.
3 For the twenty fifth time, while drunk I tried to sell people on my homeless reality TV show ideas including "Queer Eye For The Homeless Guy,” "Survivor: Homeless,” "The Homeless Apprentice” and "Average Homeless Man" where 20 girls are brought to a castle in Scotland thinking they are meeting the man of their dreams, only it's a homeless guy.
4 Unless you’re Lindsey Lohan, in which case it is actually written into the photographers contract that they “happen to snap a photo at the time she reveals a sex organ,” with a stipulation stating that in this context the ass is considered a sex organ.
5 . . . . .