“Into The Woods” (or Christmas Came Early For Me This Year)

On Monday evening, I got an email from Women In Film letting me know that people who are a part of the mentoring circles have been invited to an advanced screening of “Into The Woods”.

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“Into The Woods” is one of my favorite musicals. I saw it for the first time at a small production in Santa Barbara and have owned a DVD of the musical for a long time (and watch it pretty frequently).

When I first heard that the musical was being turned into a film, I was pretty nervous. Historically, the movies haven’t been my favorites and they seem to miss a lot of what I feel makes the musicals special. But even though I was scared I would hate the movie, it was one that I had been looking forward to seeing. And since it was opening on Christmas, my plan was to see it that morning.

But when I got the invitation to see it this week, I jumped at the chance. I emailed my RSVP quickly and hoped that I would get it. And wouldn’t you know it, I did!

The screening was held at CAA. If you aren’t in the entertainment industry, you might not know about CAA. They are the biggest agency in town representing the biggest and most famous actors out there. Pretty much, they are the top of the top of the agency game.

The invitation said that there was valet parking provided (since there really isn’t any street parking near CAA), and since it was raining I tried to get there early. But even with being there on the very early side, the line to valet park was a little crazy.

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Once I got out of my car, there was almost no line to check in. I grabbed a program and followed a CAA employee to the front desk to have my parking validated. Then she led me and 2 other ladies into the screening room.

She told us that we could sit anywhere that it said reserved, and I chose to stick with the 2 ladies who walked in with me. The 3 of us found seats pretty much in the exact center of the room.

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The screening room was amazing and very nice! I had previously seen the screening room at UTA (another agency) when I had one of my mentoring meetings. But this might have been a little nicer.

I started to talk with the ladies I sat next to and found out that one of them is a member of the Academy (as in the Academy Awards). This screening was an Academy screening so the members could view the film and decide if they would like to nominate it for any Oscars!

I believe a majority of the audience was Academy members and I felt very lucky and honored to be invited to such a cool event.

Jane Lynch (from “Glee”) was one of the people responsible for the screening, so prior to the movie starting she said a few words about how much she was looking forward to the movie.

Then, it was time for the movie to start.

For those of you who know the musical, you will not be disappointed. It stays very true to the original material and in some cases, I think the format of it being in a movie actually improves it. I was smiling pretty much the entire time that I was watching it. The performances were incredible and I think that the costumes and makeup were impeccable. I would be shocked if this didn’t get a ton of nominations for various awards.

The highlight of the movie for me was the song “Agony”. I think this is the funniest I’ve ever seen it done. And Chris Pine did a great job singing (I didn’t realize he was a singer).

Overall, this was so much fun to watch and I highly recommend it for everyone! I can’t wait until it comes out (or I get a screener for it) so I can watch it over and over again!

After the screening, there was a reception upstairs. I followed my seat mates (and new friends) to check out the reception (I wasn’t planning on staying, but how many times will I get this chance?).

The reception was held on the top floor of the building, and I just couldn’t get over how beautiful the building was!

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I didn’t eat or drink anything at the reception (the lines were long), but I got to chat with some very nice people and even had the chance to thank Jane Lynch for putting on this event. She was very gracious and when I was saying goodbye I said my usual thing I say to industry people (pretty much along the lines of “I’m sure we will see each other again in the future”) and she said something that rally made my day. She said that she was sure that we would see each other again because our careers are following the same path. That meant so much to me.

I left the reception on cloud 9 after that!

Sometimes, I really have to stop and pinch myself because I never could have imagined that this would be my life. I have so many amazing opportunities and I really do see my career taking steps forward. If I couldn’t imagine this a few years ago, I can’t wait to see what my life will have in store for me in the next few years!

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