Adventures in Beautyland: Inside Scoop from the Independent Spirit Awards

(A girl and her press pass.)

 I could go on forever about all of the fun I had last weekend at the Independent Spirit Awards, courtesy of Aveeno, one of the sponsors of the award show. But I'll try to give you the scoop from the event in easily digestible bits.


When we first arrived at the event, we were let off near the entrance for the arrivals, which was at the top of the red carpet, which wasn't really red. Does that make it a really long step and repeat or is it a red carpet? I'm sticking with red carpet for bragging rights. Anywho...


Hitting the red carpet was surreal. There were fans lining the beach, held back by fences and paparazzi in droves, lining the non-logo'd side of the tent. People were yelling at us not to stop and then to stop. It was so odd. Anne and I tried to take photos of ourselves on the carpet, but, like many photos of the day involving me as a subject, it didn't quite work.

(Anne looking awesome. Me looking goofy. The wind sure wasn't helping me.)

Celebrities were everywhere. As a superfan of all things television and movies, it was really odd to see so many people you think you know.

 (Illeana Douglas telling someone to take a hike.)

Illeana Douglas said hi and replied, "so do you!" when I told her she looked lovely.

Anne Heche was unbelievably striking in real life. Nia Vardalos and Kate Flannery even posed for some bloggers (and then later posed for me) and couldn't have been nicer.

(Jennifer Lawrence)

I almost bumped into the beautiful Jennifer Lawrence. I am also delighted to report that I didn't fall once. Success!

(Rosario Dawson was incredibly gorgeous, even with her coat covering her dress.)

Once I reached the end of the red carpet, there was a crush of everyone trying to get to their tents, seats or find their assistants to put on their coats. It was freezing outside! It was so cold for LA that no one seemed to care if things got wrinkled or if the wind destroyed their carefully coiffed 'do. It was just too cold to care.

 (Leonard Maltin)

I wasn't sure where to go next, so I struck up a conversation with Leonard Maltin, famed movie critic. We debated the merits of what would win Best Picture at the Oscars - he picked The King's Speech (safe choice, Maltin!) and I picked Winter's Bone. Ultimately he was right, but I still maintain Winter's Bone was better.

 (Melissa Leo)

Next, I got the chance to say hi to Melissa Leo, who I've adored since her writer-induced, non-makeup wearing days as Detective Kay Howard on the TV show Homicide. In a long fur coat, emerald sheath and aviators, she looked like a rock star. Well, a rock star who had some good stories to tell.

While everyone has asked me if I saw Nicole and Keith (Nicole, constantly. Keith, never) or Natalie, I was more excited to see the actors I adore like Will Arnett, Paul Rudd and Dale Dickey.

(Dale Dickey)

I missed Will and Paul, but did get the chance to say hi to Dale, who could not have been sweeter to speak with.

Not knowing where to go next and not being able to find anyone from my gaggle of 25 fellow Aveeno bloggers, I opted to blend into the end of the red carpet and take photos. Turned out, I was also a savior (if I do say so myself) for one particularly sad British cameraman , who didn't know Jessie Eisenberg from Danny Boyle. Embarrassingly enough, the only person I didn't recognize was Aron Ralston. Considering he had an obvious "tell", I can't believe I saw him so many times and never put two and two together.

 (Jon Hamm asking/pleading not to have to go back to the car.)

The next thing I knew, I was answering questions for ISA crew members about who had arrived and had been seated. Jon Hamm and his lovely girl friend, Jennifer Westfeldt, had forgotten their tickets and were asking to please not be forced to return to the car to fetch the tix, Oddly, the ISA team debated on if he really needed them to be seated. Ultimately, they let him in.

 (Naomi Watts)

The hysterical Craig Robinson, the incredibly beautiful Naomi Watts and equally beautiful Terence Howard passed right by me, and Kerry Washington high-tailed it in heels across the pavement to sign autographs for her fans.

 (Ashley Bell)

Rosario Dawson is possibly one of the prettiest people I have ever seen in person, and adorable Ashley Bell is one of the sweetest. (It's odd for a horror movie to get a nom from anyone with a televised award show, so if you didn't see her movie, The Last Exorcism, check it out. It's actually pretty good.)

 (Darren Aronofsky)

As the afternoon wore on, everyone stopped caring what they looked like and started getting real. By the end of the awards, Natalie was wearing two coats and I am fairly certain people were going to tackle Darren Aronofsky for his scarf.
 (Me in the Aveeno tent during the broadcast, where it was only marginally warmer.)

After the award show, almost everyone changed before heading off to an after-party at the Viceroy Hotel. I changed into jeans, a cute top and a jacket I had no intention of removing. Anne and I were on the hunt to find out what people got in their swag bags. One gentleman I did not know proudly showed us a ginormous bottle of Jameson (also a sponsor of the event), along with some fabulous goodies from Aveeno. It's safe to say he was more excited about the Jameson, but he'll appreciate that sunscreen in 5 years when he won't have to visit the dermatologist to reverse the signs of aging.

(My new pal Casey, on the left.)

Anne then stopped Cassavetes Award-winner Casey Neistat to ask how heavy his new ISA statue was. I don't think Casey would mind me telling you that while he was thrilled to win an award and be recognized for his film, Daddy Longlegs, he was really stoked about the secret swag tent he discovered while following Vanessa Hudgens for fun. Finally getting the real details, Casey told us that he received some amazing sunglasses, a huge 3-D television and loads of other amazing gifts. After discovering that I am a television commercial producer by day (and he directs tv commercials on the side) we became fast new friends.

Before the night came to a close, Anne and I had heard that Zach Galifianakis was on the other side of the hotel. I suppose because of my day job, I'm not one to ask for autographs or ask for people to pose with me (although it does happen from time to time). But I know Loxy loves Zach G. and his really annoying web show, Between Two Ferns. So Anne and I set off to find him and take his picture. You know, for Loxy.

If you don't already know who Zach is, you might not get how funny this is. But stick with me. At the Viceroy, there was a reserved room that was full of rich wood, high backed beautiful chairs and loads of old books. Sitting in the middle of the room (and in direct view from the doorway) was Zach Galifianakis in what I think was a red jacket, with his legs crossed and a huge goblet of wine. I only glanced his way once, trying to look cool, so I could have some of the details wrong. He was talking to David Cross and Amber Tamblyn, holding his huge goblet up above his lap, as if he were holding court in the study, discussing important things. Anne and I grabbed new pal Elizabeth, from, to enlist her to help us pull off the old "we'll pose, but really get the people behind us" trick.

(Anne is the shorter shadow. Zach is in the background, with Amber to camera left and David Cross on the right.)

Sorry, Loxy. We tried.  And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Zach got up and shut the door after our failed stunt. After that major photo FAIL, I decided to not leave the party without getting my picture taken with at the very least, an Independent Spirit Award. So I went and found my new bud Casey and asked if I could borrow it.

Old friends by now, he just handed it off to me like a big brother who doesn't want his pesky kid sister to interrupt his rap with Aveeno spokesmodel, Summer Rayne Oakes. Right before Anne snapped the pic, he opted to be in the photo, which is cool, minus the flash not working. Another picture FAIL. (Except Loxy thinks that's James Franco in the background, so look, James Franco!)

It doesn't matter. We still had an amazing time I'll never forget.Want to see even more pictures from the event? Check out the I Spy photos on the right side of the blog.

Trip was paid for by Aveeno. Stories, photos and opinions are my own.

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  1. This had to be one of the MOST epic nights ever. I love our blurry photo trick fail!!! And of course, you and Casey need to hang out again. :)

  2. This sounds so wonderful. I love reading your adventures and can only hope that someday I'd be this lucky. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time.

  3. Thanks MarciaF! It was so much fun, although I barely slept.

  4. I love all your photos! It was such an AMAZING weekend I'll never forget and so glad I finally got to meet you!

  5. I had so much fun with you! I can't believe it was a week ago, already. I still feel like I haven't slept.

  6. This is so cool! You rocked it girl! :)


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