I sat in the Golden Globes ballroom and here’s what happened
A lot can happen in six hours.
For a Golden Globe Awards attendee who arrives on time, that’s about how long you spend in the Beverly Hilton ballroom to celebrate those that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association deems the best in TV and film.
Those six hours can have emotional extremes. Here are ten strong feelings you might have at the schmoozy, boozy awards soiree if you’re a first-time guest who’s under the weather. (This reporter was a bit feverish, which may explain some of the heightened emotions.)
First feeling: Excitement
You’re there at 2:30 p.m. PT, when the invitation said cocktails are served. The rest of the ballroom is empty, save for a handful of photographers snapping pictures of the stage, table placards and centerpieces. You wait for them to finish clicking away, so you can take photos of your own, and examine who is sitting where: film stars including Meryl Streep, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone get prime spots on the floor closest to the stage, TV actors like the Game of Thrones squad are stationed one level up from them, members of the HFPA– many of them elderly in pearls and ascots– are a row up from there, and you’re another step away from that.
Second feeling: Loneliness
By 4 p.m., you’re still the only person at your table that seats at least ten. (Later, you’ll learn that other journalists are also seated at table 316, but they know not to arrive so early.) The dozens of other tables have only a couple of guests each. Every salad but yours is thrown out. It feels wasteful. You eat your entrée of fish and steak alone. You joke with the waiter. You miss him when he leaves.
Third feeling: Admiration
Half an hour later, “talent” begins arriving . You find some of your favorite stars in the bars outside of the ballroom. Sylvester Stallone has a friendlier and younger-looking face than you imagined. He orders bourbon as you comment to his brother Frank about how interesting those mini champagne glasses with the attached sippers are. Frank pretends to play one like a trombone.
You’re distracted by the stunning back of a yellow gown next to you. You realize it belongs to Emily Ratajkowski, who actively avoids eye contact with you when you consider complimenting her on it.
You chat with the bartender who just served Anna Kendrick, and look over to the actress who appears very petite with a puddle of silver dress at her feet. You think about telling her that her hairstyle inspired your own, but her body language indicates she doesn’t want to talk to anyone outside of her inner circle.
Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman stand out in the crowd. Even if you didn’t know who they were, you’d know they were special– their faces kind; their skin perfect; their body language approachable. The two nominees have a genial chat in the doorway.
You see a person you later realize is Casey Affleck, but for a moment think he’s an old, man-bunned friend of yours you can’t place. You get lost in Chris Pine’s ocean-blue eyes for a moment. You recognize that a hoarse voice asking for directions to the bathroom belongs to Cuba Gooding Jr.,…