I had the pleasure of working with Michelle Czernin von Chudenitz (again) at the 2010 Collide Gala, which was held at the beautiful Sofitel in West Hollywood. The night’s events were to commemorate the achievements of their inaugural graduating class and it was definitely a night the students will remember, as well as myself.
I arrived around 4:00 to help Miki with anything she may need: assisting with the press, tying up loose ends, really anything she needed I was willing to do. She cracks me up because she gives me so much authority on things that sometimes I stop and think: if I was a monster, I could really screw this up. She has this outstanding faith in me, something that has been lacking from my current job that is easily fulfilled when I work for her.
I was feeling a little Cinderella-ish because I did not have an evening gown to wear to this haute couture event. I know that is the first thing on my list to get sometime soon — a really elegant floor-length gown. Regardless, I think I did a good job with what I had. Someone even offered to buy my shoes off of my feet!
The night starting off with some interesting moments. First, a woman came up to me after staring at me for awhile. She politely introduced herself and her seven-year-old daughter, who was being honored at the gala with a scholarship. Then she asked if she (the daughter) could get a picture with me. “Of course!” So we went to the red carpet, took a few snapshots, and as we finished the mom told me how gracious she was and how she (the daughter) loved me and thought I was a great role model. Not one to knock off a complement, I smiled, but I imagine I looked a little perplexed before asking her as to why I was a great role model. “You’re the singer, right?”
I kept laughing and told her no because he told me that she thought I was Carrie Underwood. First off, lady, you just made my life. Second, don’t offend Carrie. Third, you just made my life. We decided not to tell her daughter, who was obviously really excited. That night at the fashion show, right before she walked on the runway, her mom asked me to go up and reassure her she was going to do great. Carrie Underwood or not, it was a really heartwarming feeling.
This night was filled with royals of all kinds. Michelle, being a Countess herself, was able to wrangle in some of the most refined guest the world had to offer. I was able to meet Princess Theodora of Denmark and Greece, the guest of honor who was receiving an award. She is completely wonderful and totally sweet. When she walked the red carpet, the media kept saying, “Princess!” instead of, “Theodora!” which made me smile. I mean, she’s a PRINCESS. Legit.
I got to speak to Baroness Kimberly Moore, who is the Goodwill Ambassador to the United States and a wonderful humanitarian. She started The Echelon Club and supports so many wonderful causes. I was truly honored to speak with her about her efforts and she was a complete doll.
Michelle always introduces me as her “right hand.” I love that. In fact, I think that’s just fabulous. So I think people were giving me a little more authority that I had actually signed up for. I was running the red carpet and we were having a blast! I was able to meet Charlotte Ross (Glee), whom looked absolutely stunning and thought my dress was a Herve Ledger. I immediately loved her. I also met two great reporters from US Weekly and InTouch, which will both be great contacts to have.
I met two of Miki’s clients, Max Ryan (Sex and the City 2) and Scott Elrod. Ladies, trust me, these are two guys you swoon when you meet. Most women’s knees would buckle. They would stutter. If you’re me on a normal day, you probably trip over your feet while walking on a flat surface. However, contrary to popular belief, I might swoon over men in magazines and on TV, but I’m not a “let’s freak out in person” type of gal. Hell, I don’t believe in autographs and I get really anxious when it comes to asking for pictures because I think that’s just WEIRD. Last night was no any different. I was strong-arm Kirbie, meant to do a job. Max was waiting in line to get checked in, and when I saw him I immediately rushed over to get him. “Max?” “Yes?” “What are you doing?” He looked at me weird. “I’m Michelle’s assistant.” He smiled and I lead him over to the red carpet for his money shot. “Walk the walk, Max. Michelle will meet you at the end.” And he did, and she did, and it was flawless.
Scott showed up a little later than I had expected, but he was really nice and everyone was just dying to get his picture. Mr. Elrod is featured in the new movie The Switch with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman.
The last guest to walk was the most anticipated. I had no idea she was coming to this thing, but she did in fact show with her producer. Ali Fedotowsky, The Bachelorette, was incredibly nice and totally genuine. I really liked her producer, Cassie as well. They both looked beautiful in Catherine Malandrino.
After they walked the red, I knew I had to go talk to them because of my mom. She’d kill me if I didn’t get away without singing Ali’s praises. I walked over to their dinner table and told Ali how I felt so bad about last week’s episode, and how I also felt weird referring to her life as an episode. She was so gracious and really down-to-earth. Her producer suggested that we get some pics for Mom… so here’s one!
The show was spectacular, the food was delicious, and overall the night was one to remember.