No Speak Americano

Saturday night was hilarious.  Honestly, I feel compelled to hit up a bar every Saturday night completely, 100% stone-cold sober.  Most of what I witnessed that night made me reconsider what I wear out in public and thankful that the longest I’ve had to wait at a club out here is long enough to get my ID checked.

I was working a red carpet for Drew Gates, a local LA promoter and founder of the LA Clique, as well as Jaimie Hilfiger, notably Tommy’s niece and a celebrity host.

Michelle, as always, had recruited me to help.  It was just me and her this time around because it was a relatively small carpet compared to what we’ve worked before.  Consider it the usual: keep a steady traffic flow, make sure the photogs get pictures of the slates, make sure that people who think they should on the red carpet stay off of it.  It’s amazing how many people will walk up to a stanchion and say their name like they’re supposed to be on the list, knowing that they had no idea this party even existed and just want to get photographed.  Guess what people, if I can’t walk up and say “Kirbie Johnson.  I had a non-speaking part on CSI: Miami!”  Then you can’t come to me and say you hung out with Kim Kardashian a few weeks ago and she almost picked the dress you designed to wear to the Emmys.  That doesn’t count.

Anyway…

This actually proved to be a great learning experience for two interns who were working the event on behalf of the other publicist involved with the party.  They were totally sweet, but 18: scared shitless.  When someone came to the stanchion, they’d let them in.  Cue mass chaos.  I went from helping hand to trainer in 2.5 seconds.  Honestly, my training for this type of thing was literally sink or swim.  I got invited to work for Michelle after I spent a 12 hour day on an Usher video (that I never actually go to be in) and had never worked a carpet before.  I was exhausted, met Michelle once, and had no idea what I was doing.   I arrived, she handed me a clipboard and pretty much set me free.  “Figure it out, darling!”   All she asked was that I manage the VIP and celebrity guest list, a task that seems easy, except everyone here thinks they’re VIP.  It was a deathtrap that I thankfully made through.

After dealing with $50,000 billionaires and a few divas that nobody has heard of, the red carpet ended, and unintentional hilarity ensued.  We’re standing outside disassembling the carpet when three girls come stomping down the sidewalk in all of their club-gear glory.  They could not have been older than 20.  One girl in sequins was marching pretty strongly ahead of everyone else.  Apparently, ‘sequins’ wasn’t let in the club for whatever reason, andher two comrads were, which was ironic because seriously, they looked like toddlers, and ‘Sequins’ emsemble was amazing.  However, as she’s confessing to her friends that she’s “about to cry” and they should just “go in” because she is “going to take a cab home,” this random homeless guy keeps walking over to the group and is interjecting random statements that I couldn’t undestand (he was yelling and incoherent), and when the girls wouldn’t acknowledge him he’d stomp over to this plastic grocery bag of goodies while shaking his head, take a swig of his 32 oz. beer, and would then march over to the group again like it was the first time.

To make matters worse, ‘Sequins” friends are about to leave her alone there with crazy homeless man and now a woman who is trying to catch the bus.  She is trying to make convo with the girls as well, but she’s yelling, so they’re obviously getting a little freaked out.  Thankfully, being the wonderful matriarch that she is, Michelle hails a cab for ‘Sequins’ that she doesn’t actually end up using.  Instead, the girls stand and brew some more about how someone is an “asshole” until, finally, they hail another cab and ‘Sequins’ joins the cabbie in the front seat.  They pull away, and her two friends start talking shit.

Right around this point, a gigantic Escalade limo pulls up and about 25 college freshmen hop out of the thing, red solo cups in hand.  “YES” by LMFAO is playing headache-enducing loud.  I love that song, but I don’t know how these kids managed to listen to that inside the car. 

That was just outside.

We go inside to make sure the party is running smoothly.  Anyone who hasn’t experienced Los Angeles nightlife always tells me the same thing:  “Am I in a movie?”  Yes.  Yes you are.  There are no rules in Los Angeles.  The scent of weed is so strong that for a minute I thought maybe my perfume was laced with THC.  Girls are scantily-clad.  After being here a year, I am immune to seeing a nipple or two.  Then there’s the VIP section.

One thing people don’t realize is that while everyone is dying to get into the vip (as Luda calls it), once you’re there, you’re dying to get the hell out.  It’s crowded.  There is nowhere to sit.  It’s hard to hear.  It’s hard to talk, breath, think, or see.  And most of the very important people usually have their own table and don’t need to be in the VIP to validate or announce that they’re important; they aren’t caged like chickens in a coop, drinking liquor from bottles that are half-filled with water.  Irony strikes again.

There are staples in the club scene:  DJ with backwards cap?  Check.  Douchey promoters?  Check.  Songs that, if not played, could get the DJ fired: “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough,” “I Gotta Feelin’,” and a new crowd favorite, “No Speak Americano.”  Check, check and check.  Finally, the sparklers routine that accompany the champagne bottles/birthday cakes to the tables?  Check.

I think my favorite part of the night was when Michelle and I sat down at the bar to wait on the manager.  We got to watch all of the people who were finally let into the club.  Seriously, it was hysterical.  There was a girl so drunk that she was straddling a guy in her dress and making out with him — on a stool.  The looks on the guys faces who finally made it in and heard their favorite jam, DMX’s “Lose My Mind” or hysterically “Ice Cream Paint Job,” were priceless. Once they get in, you would have thought they won a gold medal or lost their virginity.  They hug.  They give high fives.  Some even walk in performing some really radical dance moves.  They were THAT EXCITED to wait outside for an hour and half.  They made it in!  They MADE IT! 

Then there was that guy who was trying really hard to mack on some chick whose knees kept buckling.  She was drunk.  Real drunk.  And it didn’t matter that she couldn’t keep her eyes open, or that he dumped an entire drink all over her — he was going for it.  Unfortunately, she probably went home with him.

All in all, I learned something:  if you need a good laugh, head to the club sober.  If not, don’t torture yourself.

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