On the red carpet at the Emmy's
This time last night I was at the Emmy’s. On the red carpet and at the Governor’s Ball, no less. My last post hinted at some celebrity culture coming up, Well yesterday I was eyeball to eyeball with Tom Hanks, Jon Stewart and (even) Mary Tyler-Moore – and hundreds of others who, much to my children’s annoyance, I didn’t recognise. It’s a lesson in how glamour comes when you least expect it.
The truth is, of course, a little more complicated. For a year or so now I have been in email contact with the Senior Vice President of the Emmy's, that is the US Television Academy (such are the surprises of electronic communication). He had read my Triumph book and thought that there was a ot of overlap between the Roman Triumph and the Emmy’s – and thought I might like to come and take a look.
So off we went to LA, me and the husband, and were quite enthralled. We didn’t just sit in the auditorium, but we went to the Green Room (with its 10 million dollar chandelier) and even onto the stage for a quick peek. The funny thing was we were sitting just in front of the tele-prompter. So, if we turned around, we could see the messages displayed to the winners as the made their acceptance speeches. Usually “Please wrap it up now” in big letters.
I should say that the husband noticed something the matter with Heidi Klum’s now famous fall (above). I didn’t – or at least I thought it was uncharacteristically good acting.
But was it like the Triumph?
Well, in all kinds of ways, yes it was. For a start it was a brilliant display that was totally ephemeral, designed for even less than a day. By the time the show had started in the auditorium, the press booths on the red carpet were already being dismantled.
But then too there were all the ambivalences of celebrity, the gaze and the points scored in the “who is looking at whom” race. OK, the winners didn’t have a slave behind them remind them of the transience of fame. They didn’t need one. Their fellow nominees – sometimes clearly more beloved by the audience – too that part.
And as for the Governor’s Ball. Dinner for 3,600, with the ceiling of the Convention Center draped in black with shimmering stars (the celestial variety) all over it . . . Julius Caesar would have been proud.
As for me, my heart was warmed rather differently. I had never expected to find someone in the top ranks of the Emmy organisation who was not only down to earth -- but as smart at talking about triumphs and Classics as about celebs.
But perhaps that’s why the Emmy’s work so well.