Opening Night Party (or Getting To Be A Party Hostess)

Friday evening was the opening night for the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival. The party didn’t officially start until 8pm, so I worked my usual half shift that morning and made a last minute run to Staples for some supplies (I seemed to need a lot of office supplies this past weekend).

I got to Busby’s East (where the party and the screenings were held) super early so I could set up and make sure everything was in its place before any of the filmmakers got there. I was also crazy nervous because not only was this the first year I got to help run the festival, I was doing it without the other 2 co-directors who are usually there every year (they leave in New Orleans and couldn’t make the drive this year).

My awesome volunteers showed up 7:30 and they got to work on some of the last minute tasks that needed to be done for the festival (getting filmmakers checked in, cutting tickets, and collecting materials from the filmmakers).

I was feeling a bit panicky before the party started, but by 8:30, we had a nice crowd there and everyone was having a great time. In the past, I always worked the checkin table, but this year, since I was in charge, I had to make sure to walk around the entire time introducing myself to the filmmakers and their guests. All the filmmakers were so incredibly kind to me and they all seemed so excited to be screening their films (and to be screening in a room that had a private bar).

Everything really did run smoothly through the entire evening. The only minor issue we had was with other bar patrons trying to come into our room that was reserved for our group. There was a sign at the entryway of the room saying it was closed for a private party, but people kept coming in and asking if we really needed the room (I wanted the room to stay just for us so the filmmakers knew that all the people in the room were fellow filmmakers). I just kept asking those crashers to please wait until 10:30 when we no longer had the room reserved.

Before I knew it, it was 10pm and time for us to clean up. We had everything ready to go back into my car in a matter of minutes, so the volunteers and I decided to take advantage of the photo booth in the room we were using.

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It was only $4 for the photos and it printed out 2 and gave us the option to email it as well (I emailed it to myself and then forwarded it on to the volunteers).

I was so relieved that the evening went well and everyone had fun. I was still very stressed out about the screenings the next day, but I knew that this event had gone as well as I could have hoped!

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