Accidentally volunteering at a red carpet event

Why has The Funyun gone dark? Less posts in a week? The honest answer is that the author has gone dark. Is that too real? Does that take away the artiface image of an empowered young feminist happily tapping away some satirical commentary into existance? That image girl exists, but she caught a flight out of Los Angeles a week ago and left behind nothing more than a shell of a person. I am that shell. As I’ve been getting ready to become a person again and leave Los Angeles this Saturday morning, memories of the semester’s highs and lows pour in. Because I’ve already started off this post pretty dark, let’s ignore those lows for another time and focus on one of the weirdest days of my life: October 14th. 

At 7:30ish in the morning I arrived to the Beverly Hills Wilshire’s ballroom wearing a black bodycon dress that cost $12.99 at H&M, a $10 clunky silver necklace from Target, and a pair of black nylons that would tear later in the day and lead many women to point it out to me. 

I was volunteering at Variety’s Power of Women honoree luncheon event for community service hours, and that was all the information I was given. I had no idea that later that same day I would be directing Scarlett Johannson to the bathroom, earning a ‘sup’ nod from Miley Cyrus, and conversing with Laverne Cox’s mother about her daughter’s busy schedule. #Relatable. 

Upon arrival I was given tasks that you would expect as a volunteer: setting up, stripping boxes, and oh, lightly placing Marc Jacobs gift bags onto the seats in the function hall. Then it was hours of standing by. As we were setting up I could hear the program directors on stage reading the prompter cues in rehearsal. It was then I learned that my favorite actress Rachel Bloom was the host of this event. Shit just got real. 

Once set up was finished – I’d love to say how I reveled in how glamorous the Wilshire was – but to be honest with you, it was a lot of standing around for a while, and I was convinced that there was no longer any job for me to do the rest of the day volunteering. I was bored until we got assigned jobs a few hours later. That’s when it got real good.

My job, I shit you not, was VIP check in at the entrance of the red carpet, which at first I didn’t even realize existed. I was given a headset, a walkie, and was positioned at the bottom of an ornate staircase that led directly upstairs to the flashing lights. I was given a piece of paper with pictures of the celebrities I was to welcome and discreetly identify into the walkie as to say “______ is headed up to the carpet now.” In this room it was me, one other person, and just the passing celebrities with their handlers and that was it. The only time my voice cracked when speaking into the walkie was after I cleared my throat really hard and said, “Um, H-Helen Mirren is headed upstairs to the carpet n-now.” She was lovely, by the way. 

I identified and greeted every celebrity that walked the carpet that day. Some of were amazing. Some completely ignored me. I think they could tell my interior is made of of 98% anxiety. My favorite encounter was Victoria Justice. I love her. ICYMI Victoria was only one of the most iconic Nickolodeon queens in shows Zoey 101 and Victorious, and she recently starred  as Janet alongside Laverne Cox in Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show. Victoria was the sweetest and nicest to me. I shyly said hi to her and she excitedly said hi back and asked how I was doing. 

She smiled really hard and wore a dark lipstick with really good winged eye-liner. As she talked to me she really made it seem like for even just a second that the situation we were in was completely normal when it was anything but. Later I would speak to her again as I handed her a celebrity gift bag. Out of all of them there she seemed to be the most genuine and real (unlike some other cough cough Ashley Tisdale). Jamie Brewer from American Horror Story was so kind and beautiful. She arrived early with her mother and I told her she looked amazing and she smiled. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth ascended together, he seemed shy the entire event while Miley was anything but, laughing, smiling, and overall having a good time. It was as if Liam Hemsworth was dragged into a Sephora, except this Sephora was giving an award to his fiancée. Laverne Cox is a straight up goddess and commands any room’s attention – partly because she is so tall and partly because her beauty is blinding. 

Scarlett Johannson is a tiny little thing. She was the last to arrive at the red carpet and asked me if she had time to pee before going up. I of course was not going to say no. “Should I pee? I should pee.” would be a great title of  my next romantic novel about Scarlett and I’s relationship. I did not interact with my fave Rachel Bloom because she was the host of the event so she didn’t do the carpet when everyone else did because she was rehearsing. I tweeted her about being in the same room as her though and she tweeted back at me “Awww!” “Awww!” is the title of my next next romantic novel about my online relationship with Rachel Bloom.

After all the VIPs were checked in I got to watch the event for a little bit. Miley Cyrus, Ava Duvernay, Scarlett Johannson, Helen Mirren and Laverne Cox were all honored as powerful women with powerful charities. It was really inspiring hearing Scarlett talk about Planned Parenthood and to just be in a room full of such inspiring women.

Later on the other volunteers and I distributed gift bags to the guests. It was crazy. The bags were practically 20 pounds of free expensive shit. Why do celebrities need so many free things when they can afford literally everything in that bag? I am going to stop complaining here though, because I totally got a gift bag. It was awesome. I got that glow kit I had been eyeing at Sephora for months but couldn’t convince myself to splurge on. I got a copy of the female ghostbusters which I am inlove with. I got a luxury  $40 candle, because why not? Leaving the event in shock, toting a heavy gift bag, my roommate and I pass Helen Mirren, just chilling on the sidewalk waiting for her car, alone. Lily and I exchanged a glance and stared for a few seconds before moving on, but yeah that happened. 

This day was the craziest day of my semester, and I think the fact I had no idea I was walking into any of it made it all the better. So in summary,  I accidentally volunteered at a red carpet event, I have no regrets, and I am a shell of a human being.

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