Tag Archives: Oscars

Watching The Oscars (or Costumes and Twitter)

I’m sure by now you have all seen and read about what happened at the Oscars. If you haven’t here’s a great article about how the wrong film was announced as best picture, how it happened, and what was done to try to correct it. While that is a huge part of what happened at the Oscars, that was only a small time at the party I was at.

I went to Chris and Marie’s house for the Oscars as I have every year for a long time. It’s a great party every year and I’m always looking forward to it. The group of people who go to the party are a mix of those of us who take the Oscars very seriously and those who aren’t super into the awards but love any opportunity to dress up and hang out.

I had an idea for a costume around New Year’s Eve, but it seemed too complicated for me to figure out how to make and I gave up on it. I had another idea for a costume and even went out and bought things for it, but I decided that I wouldn’t be comfortable in the costume. I started researching what movies came out in 2016 (since the only rule for costumes is that it needs to be related to a movie that came out in the past year), and finally found the perfect idea for me!

I went as Anthony Weiner’s twitter account (inspired by the documentary “Weiner”). I had a dry erase board with his twitter profile picture where people could write tweets and I wrote on tape on my body a couple of statements Anthony Weiner had made after his scandals were in the news. It was another easy/lazy costume, but fortunately people at the party found it really clever and fun.

As always, Chris and Marie decorated their house and yard for the party. This year, the theme was Arrival and they did an amazing job making decorations that were exactly like the movie. I especially loved the photo set up they made with the aliens from the movie!

Since there is a mix of people at the party, the viewing areas are split up. There is the quiet room and the regular viewing area. The quiet room used to be much more quiet, but over the years we’ve gotten a bit chattier. We are still very quiet during all the speeches, but we will occasionally talk or say a comment during the show. And of course we are super chatty during the commercials. But my favorite party of the quiet room is that the video is projected onto the wall of a room so we have a giant screen to watch on!

We have ballots to use for the guess the winners contest at the party, but pretty quickly I knew I wasn’t going to do so well with that. While “La La Land” wasn’t my favorite movie of the year, I knew so many critics loved it and I assumed it was going to win more awards than it did. I also hadn’t seen all of the animated, documentary, or short films so for many of those I had to guess. But so many people and films that I wanted to win did and I was really enjoying the show.

Then there was the moment when the wrong movie was announced as Best Picture. I don’t think I’ve heard so much screaming before during the Oscars. We were all so confused (as was probably everyone watching) and we couldn’t believe what was happening. I’m glad that the error was corrected during the show so the producers from “Moonlight” could get up and speak, but I know that it was a moment during the ceremony that will not be forgotten. I know it was an honest mistake, but it was a big mistake.

I think everyone was in shock after the awards were done, but we all headed to the backyard to start the costume contest. We all go around and announce what our costumes are so we can vote. When I announced my costume, I got a bunch of laughs, but I knew that my costume wasn’t going to be a winner. So many people had amazing costumes and I was just happy to see how creative other people can be.

I loved my friend Regan’s Hidden Figures costume (she was with some friends who played other characters from the movie). Their group got first place in the costume contest.

And the funniest costume I saw was actually the costume I was originally thinking of doing! When I went to see Dr. Strange, I immediately thought how cool it would be to go as the cape from the movie. I was trying to figure out how to make a cape look like it was levitating in front of me, but I never could figure out a simple enough solution. But my friend Andy figured out a really easy way to do it and I think his costume looked so much better than anything I could have done!

After the costume winners were announced, the party started to wind down pretty quickly. Most of the people at the party had to work the next morning (I had an early workout the next morning) so a lot of people were trying to get home. I left pretty early too, but since that’s when most people were leaving I didn’t feel like I was missing too much of the party. I went around saying goodbye to all of my friends and walked out to my car.

On a random side note, this was the first party since my car died on New Year’s Eve and it was a little stressful driving home. Even though I have a totally different car, I was still paranoid something would happen on my drive home. I’m sure I’ll feel like that for a while because things like that stick with me. But I got home safely and I’m so glad that I have a car that doesn’t have any problems!

Overall, it was yet another amazing party for the Oscars. I love getting together to watch the show and it makes me feel a part of an amazing community. Most of us know at least one person who works at the Oscars (I know 3 or 4), and we love getting to celebrate movies and be proud of our friends who are there. Hopefully one day I’ll get to attend the show in person, but I know if that happens I’ll probably miss going to the party since that’s what I look forward to each year!

Scared Speechless (or A Book Giveaway!)

I’m doing another giveaway! I know I still have my “Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera” giveaway going on, but this is another amazing giveaway that I think you will all love! So I had no choice but to run 2 giveaways at the same time! You can enter both of them and I really hope that you do!

I met Steve Rohr when I was at the Entertainment New Media Network Conference last year. He was so amazing when he spoke to the group that I had to talk to him immediately after he spoke and pitched him to be on the Inside Acting Podcast. I’m glad he said yes because I absolutely loved his episodes! The stories and knowledge that he shared is amazing and I know how lucky we are that he was willing to speak with us. And I’ve been fortunate that Steve has stayed in touch with me because he’s a seriously awesome person (beside everything else he does, he’s the publicist for the Oscars!).

Steve recently shared with me that he and his friend Dr. Shirley Impellizzeri wrote a book called “Scared Speechless”. It’s all about taking the fear away from public speaking and how to become the best public speaker you can be. He offered to send me a copy and of course I said yes! While I don’t do much public speaking, I figure that any help I can get to be less nervous when I speak would be good plus I love reading self-help books!

I was so excited when it arrived at my doorstep and loved that Steve and Shirley signed it for me!

Scared Speechless Signed Copy

I immediately started to read it. I read it so quickly that I was done within 2 days and would have put this post up sooner except that I wanted to read it again before blogging about it! I felt like I read it so quickly that a second reading was needed to I could digest everything I was learning and make sure that I didn’t miss any lessons.

This is such a wonderful book! Obviously, it’s great for people who have to do public speaking or presentations at work or school. But so much of this book is perfect for actors who are nervous about auditions. It discusses some of the science behind fear and how to overcome them. It shares ideas for speeches and how to write different types of speeches like presentations, toasts, eulogies, and commencement speeches. And it has a great list of speeches you can watch or read to be inspired and to help you with whatever you may need to come up with.

What I love so much about this book is how it is broken up. Each chapter could be viewed as a standalone article. You could read just what you need to or read the entire book and still get a lot of information out of it. Each chapter starts with a chapter focus (listed on the first page of the chapter) so you know what you will be reading about. Then toward the end of the chapter there is homework or ideas to try to help work on the lessons that the chapter discussed. And finally at the end of each chapter there are key notes from what you just read in the chapter. It’s almost like someone already wrote notes on the book so you can make sure you didn’t miss anything and you know exactly what you should have gotten out of that chapter.

I read a lot of non-fiction books and I have to say that this one is one of the easiest books that I’ve read in a long time. It is very clearly written and the chapters are split up nicely so it doesn’t feel confusing or like it is repeating itself (which is a common issue I see in non-fiction books). I think that this really is relatable and anyone could find something in the book that connects to them and their public speaking (or auditioning) issues. This may be the first non-fiction book that I honestly think everyone no matter what should read.

You can go online and buy the book in paperback or on your Kindle now, but I have a signed copy to giveaway! There are a ton of ways you can enter. You can follow people on twitter, visit different fan pages on Facebook, comment on this post, or tweet out a message (and you can tweet out a message every day for extra entries!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can’t wait for you all to read this book. It really is incredible and I have a feeling that this will be a book that I come back to from time to time to help me with my auditions and any public speaking moments I might have in my life.

Good luck and I can’t wait to announce the winner!

Oscars Time! (or Inside Out vs. Star Wars)

After seeing my sister-in-law on Friday night and spending Saturday day/night and Sunday morning in San Diego, I was ready to lay low on Sunday and relax. But that was not in the plans for the day. This past Sunday was the Oscars, and as always I had an awesome party to get to!

I had planned out my costume carefully for the party. I knew that I would be coming back from San Diego that morning and wanted to make sure that even if we got caught in horrible traffic I’d have time to get ready. So I decided to make something that was easy to put on in case I only had minutes before I had to get out the door.

There were a couple of ideas that I had going for my costume, but the one I went with was actually the original idea I had.

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I was Riley from “Inside Out” and had all the emotions coming out my head. I accomplished this by attaching each character to a zip tie that I had tied around a headband. It took a couple of tries to figure out something that would work (glue wasn’t helping to keep the characters upright), but I think it looked pretty cool in the end!

I was super excited to see how Marie and Chris would decorate their house. They definitely go all out and over the top, and I love it! And this year didn’t disappoint!

Star Wars Yard

That X-Wing plane was made out of cardboard and PVC pipe and took up a good chuck on the backyard. And they made the BB8 and R2D2 out of various things they bought (the bottom of BB8 was a yoga ball). This was so impressive and amazing and we all took tons of pictures of it.

Before the Oscars started, I saved my seat in the quiet viewing room and got some food. I got there early enough that I had time to hang out with my friends before my focus went to the show.

Overall, I enjoyed the Oscars this year. I know there is a ton of controversy surrounding the show and the lack of diversity, but I think the Academy is taking some really great measures to make sure that this does not happen again. And of course the lack of diversity was mentioned a lot on the show so they weren’t trying to cover up for anything.

Normally I’m pretty good at guessing the winners, but this year was pretty bad for me! I got a couple of random ones right and best actor/actress correct. But there were plenty of surprises this year. While I enjoyed seeing “Mad Max”, I wasn’t expecting them to win as many Oscars as they did. They were all deserving wins, but not how I thought the Academy would vote. I also think that so many people were surprised by the supporting actor category as well as the best song (we were all crying watching Lady Gaga perform). And we were all pretty split on what would win best picture, and even though I really liked “Spotlight” it was not what most of us had picked to win.

Even though I was in the quiet viewing room, we were a bit louder than usual. Nobody seemed to mind so it worked out really well. There were a couple of people who were new to the Oscar party so we kept them informed on what the plan was for the night. I helped to let people know that after the In Memoriam segment several of us would gather to do a shot in memory of those we had lost in the past year. This year there was a special twist to it. At the New Years Eve party I had brought some of my grandpa’s vodka. The entire handle wasn’t consumed so we used that for the shot. And I had also brought the last jar of my grandpa’s blue cheese olives so many of us ate an olive (or added it to our shot like I did and made it like a martini).

For Grandpa

After the show ended, we all gathered in the backyard for the costume contest. While there was some variety in the costumes, it seemed like a majority of the costumes were either “Inside Out” themed or “Star Wars” themed. It was pretty crazy to see how many of us had the same idea (or the same costume like Dani and Marie had).

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Even though I liked my costume, I knew I didn’t stand a chance in the costume contest. I just like getting to participate and see what else everyone comes up with. I was the only person who had all the “Inside Out” characters on their head, so I was proud that I was at least a little bit original.

After the winners of the costume contest and award guessing were announced, most of us started to head home. I had an early morning the next morning and was still pretty exhausted from my weekend.

As I do every year, I had the best time at this party! It’s so much fun getting to watch the awards with friends who are just as excited about them as I am. And seeing how creative all my friends are with their costumes truly inspires me. Thank you Marie and Chris for being the most amazing hosts and creating such a fabulous party!

With Chris With Marie

I can’t wait to see what you come up with next year!

Fitting Splurges Into My Meals (or How I Need To Eat For Life)

I’m still getting used to post-cleanse life. It’s tough to find a balance even though I completely understand what I need to do now. But I had some opportunities to test out my new knowledge with some splurges over the past week.

It started on Sunday with the Oscars Party. I ate cleanly and limited my calories before going to the party. I tried to go to the party without being hungry, but I knew I could be there from about 3-10pm, so I’d have to eat at some point. I did make some good choices like cut up veggies. But that wouldn’t be enough to hold me over for the evening.

The traditional thing that Chris and Marie make for their party is queso dip with chips. So I made a small portion of that for me and it was really delicious! By eating so clean and plain normally, things that are different taste more extreme than I’m used to. So less of it filled me up and satisfied me. Beyond that, I stayed with pretty healthy options for the rest of the party. My weight the next day was up a little, but that was to be expected because of sodium.

The next test for me was Disneyland. I ate breakfast and lunch at home (and also did a pre-Disneyland workout at Orangetheory) and brought a snack with me. The only thing I ate at the park was my soup in a bread bowl. No treats or candy for me. And all I drank was water. With my smart choices and all the walking I did, I lost the weight that I had gained from the Oscar Party while at Disneyland and splurging a little.

I also had a minor setback/splurge this past week with some crispy M&Ms. Those are my favorite and they only just came back into stores after being gone for a long time. I didn’t need them, but I had them. But I balanced it out by not eating as much for dinner that night.

I’m also looking at finding more good options for lunch. Now that my lunches can be cooked, I’m exploring what else I can eat while I work (which means that I need it to be ok to eat cold). Right now, I’m loving the quinoa cowboy veggie burgers from Trader Joes. I had one the other day with half an avocado and a banana. This kept me satisfied and full even through my workout!

Vegan Lunch

I’m hoping to not have as many splurges/treats in a normal week. This weekend will be tough because I’m going wine tasting and will be going out for some nice meals. But once I’m back, I will be back to my almost always clean eating. But this is normal life, and I have to learn how to live this way and still continue the right way on my weight loss journey.

Being “Wild” (or Not Guessing A Lot Of Winners Right This Year)

For the Oscars this year, I was at Chris and Marie’s house like I always am. It really is such a great way to watch the awards and everyone who comes to the party is so awesome!

I was trying to plan out a super clever costume for a while and I decided that going as a Lego figure from “The Lego Movie” would be perfect! I was looking up costume ideas online when I noticed that someone else who attends the party had recently pinned several pins on Pinterest about Lego costume ideas. I was almost completely sure that they would be going as a Lego person, and I didn’t want to compete with that.

I was feeling a little uninspired by other movies so I was stuck on an idea until a few days before the show. I realized that while it might not be the most clever costume, I did have the clothing and some of the gear to go as Reese Witherspoon’s character from “Wild”. If I did that costume, I wouldn’t have to buy anything and it would be pretty comfortable to wear for the day.

So on the day of the party, I put on some workout clothes and my hiking shoes and grabbed my hiking poles and my backpack (which I stuffed my purse inside) and headed to the party. Considering the lack of effort I put into the costume, I think I looked pretty good!

Wild Costume

I knew that my costume was pretty unlikely to win an award in the costume contest (I’ve only placed in that contest one time), so I was focusing on picking the winners on my ballot and hoping that I would place 1st or 2nd in that (since there are 2 prizes for guessing the winners). This wasn’t my most prepared year and I hadn’t seen as many of the films as I would have liked to, but I made my best guesses and felt pretty confident with what I picked.

That confidence was pretty short-lived once the show started. I did guess all of the acting categories correctly (and I’m super excited that JK Simmons won because he was a guest on the Inside Acting Podcast right before I started working with them). I also got the documentary and animation categories correct. But there were more that I guessed incorrectly than correctly.

I knew that there was no chance for me to win a prize, but that didn’t damper my experience at the party. I was having a great time and I thought that the Oscars were really good this year! I enjoyed the opening number as well as the performance for “Everything Is Awesome”. And while I was initially a little disappointed that Lady Gaga was the person doing the “Sound Of Music” montage, she did an amazing job and I really enjoyed watching how much Julie Andrews enjoyed Lady Gaga’s performance. And while the winners weren’t what I picked, I think all the winners were great choices and there were no awards where I was upset by who won.

After the awards were done, it was time for the costume parade so we could vote. Then it was time for the host and hostess to pass out the awards.

Oscar Party Awards

The friend who had pinned the Lego costumes on Pinterest was one of the winners. And all the other winners had costumes from “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

Overall, it was the perfect way to spend Oscar Sunday. The rain was a little annoying, but since I was inside watching the awards pretty much the entire time, it didn’t bother me too much and I was able to have an amazing Sunday afternoon/evening!

“The Theory Of Everything” (or The Fanciest Movie Theater I’ve Ever Been To)

Last week was full of movie screenings! First I saw “What The F@#- Is Cancer And Why Does Everyone Have It?”. Then I got invited to check out “The Theory Of Everything” in an advanced screening!

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“The Theory Of Everything” is the story of Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane. The movie was based on a book that Jane wrote about their relationship. I was super excited to see it, and I invited my friend Robert to be my plus one.

The screening was put on by Women In Film and held at iPic Theaters in Westwood. I knew that it was a fancy movie theater, but I had no idea how luxurious it would be!

I’ve been to some fancy movie theaters before, and I’m well aware that I am spoiled by that. But seriously, this was more than I could image! When Robert and I walked in, we realized that basically every seat in the theater was a leather recliner.

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We got there pretty early, so we were able to get 2 recliners pretty much right in the middle of the seating area. A few minutes after we sat down, a waitress came over to us. She explained that Women In Film was treating us to 2 drinks and whatever food we would like to order (up to a certain amount).

I was totally not expecting that!

So Robert and I checked out the menu on the iPad that was at the little table between our seats.

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I got a water (since I didn’t feel like having a cocktail in the middle of the afternoon) and some truffle fries. But there were so many food options available including entrees. I have no idea what the fries normally cost, but I’m sure they weren’t cheap. While we waited for the movie to start, we googled the theater and realized that the seats we were in usually cost $25 each for movie! Definitely not something that I could afford normally.

The movie started and soon after our food was served. And after that, complimentary popcorn was served too (I turned that down since I was happy with my truffle fries). We were definitely treated well at the theater! And I thought having waiters going around the theater during the movie would be distracting, but it really wasn’t. The way that the seating is arranged, the waiters are never really blocking the screen as they help other patrons.

And the movie was incredible! I didn’t know that much about Stephen Hawking before seeing the movie. Just some of the basics like he has a disease similar to ALS and that he is a scientist, mathematician, and a writer. But this movie covered his life pretty much from college until about his later 40’s. And his wife Jane was pretty amazing too! I actually downloaded the book that this movie was based on onto my Kindle as soon as I got home.

I have no doubts that this movie will be getting a lot of awards during awards season. I think it could totally win Best Picture at the Oscars. The performances were so amazing that at times I forgot that I was watching an actor play Stephen Hawking and not the man himself. It’s just so mind-blowing!

After the movie, Robert and I were in agreement that this was one of the most amazing movies that either of us has seen in a while, and easily the best movie of the year! The movie officially comes out in a week and I highly encourage you all to go see this movie!

Oscar Party (or Looking “Frozen”)

The Oscars were this past weekend (but I’m sure you all already knew that). This is like the actor’s Super Bowl so of course it was a big deal!

I always go to my friends Marie and Chris‘ house for their party. I’ve been going for almost as long as I’ve lived in LA. And every year it’s a costume party.

I hadn’t felt too inspired with the movies this past year for a costume. The movies I loved had costumes that would be either too complicated to make or would be too simple and I wanted to try to do something a bit more.

After my hair was dyed, I realized that my hair is almost the exact same color as Anna in “Frozen”. Here’s a photo for reference:

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I have a maroon sweater that looks like the cape and I wore blue jeans (because I thought I’d be too cold in a skirt). And I went to the beauty supply store and bought white/blonde clip in extensions so I could add the white streak to my hair. I tried to braid it but the extension kept getting lost in my hair, so I went with pigtails. After doing my hair and makeup, this is how I looked.

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After getting dressed, I thought I did a pretty good job creating a more modern version of Anna.

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Although my costume was tame compared to the hosts (aka cheerleader from “Monsters University” and Rayon from “Dallas Buyers Club”).

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The party was awesome (as it always is!). There were great decorations and amazing food.

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There were two different viewing areas to watch the awards show. I chose the quiet room for two reasons. One, I wanted to be able to hear all the speeches and the show. And two, Marie and Chris project the show on their garage wall so it’s a huge screen!

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That was Chris celebrating as Jared Leto won for “Dallas Buyers Club”. He looked pretty good in drag and had great legs in heels.

I didn’t do too bad with my guesses for the winners. I got 20 out of 24 correct. But the winners of the guessing contest got 21 right! That’s ok. I’m happy with all the winners and thought that everyone deserved their awards.

After the show was over, everyone headed outside for the costume parade and a group photo.

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Before I knew it, it was time for me to head home. I had such a great time at the party. I got to hang out with a ton of awesome friends and I got to see actors who I admire getting their Oscars.

Thanks again to Marie and Chris for being the best hosts ever! I can’t wait for next year!

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Hollywood Superbowl (or Where I Was For The Oscars)

Oscar Sunday is pretty much a holiday here in LA. And as a holiday, you want to spend it with those you love at some sort of gathering.

Probably for the past 10 years, I’ve always spent it at a party at my friend Marie‘s house. And her parties are always awesome!

First of all, it’s a costume party. You are supposed to come dressed as a character from a movie in the past year.

I’ve had some great costumes in the past.

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I’ve been Edna from “The Incredibles”. No capes!!

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I’ve been a drunk bridesmaid from “Wedding Crashers”.

I’ve also had some not-so-great costumes. One year, I just wore jeans and a top, and on one pockets I had a bunch of pictures of international destinations and on the other pocket I had a bunch of different sorority letters (I was the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”).

This year, I didn’t have a fabulous costume, but it wasn’t horrible either.

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I was a citizen of The Capitol from “The Hunger Games”. And yes, that is my wig from The Color Run.

Marie (and her husband Chris) really do a great job throwing this party. They have a red carpet.

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And two different screening areas. One is in the living room around the tv and in that room, it is considered the chatty room. The other is in the garage where they project the show on a wall. In the garage, that’s where the serious watchers watch (and that includes me).

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Overall, I think the show was pretty good. I didn’t love Seth MacFarlane as a host, but I was expecting it to be much worse. The opening was way too long (if that was cut down it might have ended almost on time).

I didn’t do too great with guessing the winners. I got 16 right, but I guessed a few of the major categories incorrectly (I picked Tommy Lee Jones for supporting actor and Steven Spielberg as director). I thought all the speeches were pretty amazing, especially Ben Affleck. I loved the end of his speech.

He said, “It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life; that’s going to happen. All that matters is you’ve got to get up”. That advice is great for an acting career, and even better for life in general.

After the show ended (just over 3 1/2 hours later), I headed home where I got my stuff together to prepare for my last week of work for a while.

Thanks again to the hosts, Marie and Chris, for throwing another awesome party!

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And in case you are wondering, Marie is dressed as Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and Chris is Fix-It Felix.

Oscar Prep (or A Hollywood Adventure)

This past Friday, I was done with work at 1pm, so my friend Kate and I decided to take a bit of an adventure and go to Hollywood and Highland to see all the prep work being done for the Oscars.

There were a ton of streets closed in the area, so we tried taking the Expo Line (light rail) to the Red Line (subway) to get there.

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On the map, we went from one end of the light blue line to connect to the red line and got off at the Hollywood/Highland stop.

The light rail wasn’t bad. I had taken it once before with my dad. But I had never taken the subway in LA before. It wasn’t bad, but it was really crowded. On the ride out, Kate and I both ended up standing (it was like a core workout when the subway stopped and started). But it took 50 minutes to get from my place to Hollywood, which isn’t too bad.

Once we got off the subway, we checked out the prep going on on Hollywood Blvd.

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It was pretty crazy. And while we were walking down the street, we ran into my friend Daniel (who works for a show that tapes right where the Oscar prep was going on), and he told us to go into the lobby of the Dolby Theater. You were able to walk on the red carpet (while it was cover by plastic).

So we headed straight over there, and I have to admit, it was pretty awesome!

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(the last picture shows the red carpet under the layers of plastic)

Kate and I were people watching for a while. There were a couple of categories of people. Those who were regular tourists, those who wanted to see where the Oscars were happening, those who were working for the event and were just trying to get stuff done, those who just wanted to shop at the Hollywood and Highland center, and then the oddballs (included 3 Spidermen and a woman dressed as an astronaut with a white wig).

After checking things out for a bit, we headed back down to the subway (the station was pretty cool looking), and headed home.

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Seeing everything in person really made me even more excited to watch the show this year! And being in that environment had such an exciting energy that it made me smile for a couple of days.

Tomorrow’s post will be my recap of the award show (and showing off my costume from my friend’s party!).