If you’ve tuned into any social media platform in the last few hours, days or weeks, you probably know that the Academy Awards were last night. As I was scrolling through hundreds and hundreds of photos from this year’s red carpet and gala (we can all agree that Zendaya’s dress stole the show), I figured it’s about time I tell the story how I ended up attending them just last year with a complete stranger (and it’s not as scary as it sounds, I promise).
I still don’t exactly understand how I got there to begin with, but here goes my story.
Take it back to December 2016. At the time, I was working as a barista in a little café in Brooklyn. One day, as I was just about to get off my shift, I started scrolling through Facebook and that’s when I noticed a new post in one of the groups I’m a member of, named „Dictator of Good Taste”. It’s a closed group with a few thousand Polish people actively inspiring one another by sharing their own art or art they like, movies, music, you name it. Other than those things, we start threads quite often that go something like „what’s the most saddening song you’ve ever heard?” or we help eachother with any problems we have or decisions we have to make. That’s when I noticed a new post from this girl Julia. She had just written about how she won tickets for the Oscars and she didn’t know if it’s worth the struggle of travelling overseas and trying to get a visa just to come for the event (she was in London, the event was in California, that’s a good 8,558 km so, yeah, understandable). Being a huge Oscars fan, I immediately commented something along the lines of:
„Omg congrats! You can only get a chance like this once in a lifetime! Take it! Memories stay forever, it’ll be worth the trip! P.S. Take me with youuuuu! Hahaha”.
And about two minutes later, Julia messaged me. She said she’s pretty convinced to go, as long as she gets the visa, but she actually doesn’t have anyone willing to take the trip with her, so if I’m down, I could actually join her. WHAT.
Let me just make it clear, when I was writing that comment, I was completely joking. So when Julia wrote those words, I jumped out of my seat and wrote back YES in a heartbeat and I didn’t believe it was all happening until the day we actually flew out. Julia and I had never met before, I had no idea what she looked like and even though I’m usually super careful about who I talk to over the Internet, I just knew this wasn’t a hoax. Getting emails from The Academy’s official email made it pretty clear that everything was genuine. Either way, it was a pretty insane thing to do.
A few months passed by and we were in constant contact so that we could figure out the formalities, documents, etc. I had been saving up for this trip ever since I heard about it, so when February came, I was super excited.
Since I was living in NY at the time, and this was Julia’s first trip to the States, we decided it’d be cool if she could see the east coast first. She flew into New York from London and on the day we met, we were both pretty stoked that we aren’t serial killers and the entire online friendship was real. I got off early from work so we could do some sightseeing and touring of the Big Apple. The next day, Julia came over to stay the night because we had our flight at around 6am the next morning. We booked a 3 day trip (February 25-27th, the Oscars being on February 26th).
The first day was calm because we flew in very early and we had the entire day to see Los Angeles. We booked an Airbnb right in the center of Hollywood. It couldn’t be more perfect. After we got settled in, we walked around Los Angeles a bit (okay, a lot) and we both fell in love with it immediately. To this day I believe it’s my favorite place on earth.
Let’s get to the most interesting bit:
The day of the event, we had to come suuuuper early. All the streets around Dolby Theatre had been closed off, so we had to wait in line by one of the gates until an organizer came for us.
We were taken behind the bleachers, while the red carpet was still being readjusted and everyone was running around chaotically.
We received our identification and information:
The entire Oscars Red Carpet Bleacher Experience was organized by People Magazine and they did an amazing job at keeping us entertained until the real show began. Behind the bleachers, there was basically 6 sections prepared for us:
- Food & goodie-bags! After a few Krispy Kreme donuts (my favorite) and some coffee, we were each given bags that were filled with essentials that we could use during the event, as well as souvenirs: an Oscars t-shirt, sunglasses, snacks, wet-tissues, a foam-cushion, a phone charger, the latest issue of People Magazine, etc.
- Hand massages
- Hair stylists
- Gif-maker Photobooths
- Chill & phone charging lounge
- Tarot card readings
After a few hours of chilling at these stations, we went to sit down in our spots on the bleachers so we could start seeing the action. This part was filled with a lot more waiting, And then suddenly, the red carpet went crazy. It got packed and for the next hour or so, our eyes did not leave the chaos. Julia took tons of photos of the celebrities, scroll down to see them!
My favorite moment was definitely when Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling passed by because I had been obsessing over La La Land since it’s premiere. (I still am).
After all the fun and once all the stars were in the Dolby Theatre, we were taken to the El Capitan Theatre right across the street. There was a huge buffet prepared for us and a screening of the live show. It was amazing, we shared so many laughs and I’ll never forget the moment of confusion when they annouced the wrong winner for Best Picture.
If that couldn’t be any better, I landed us tickets for Kelly Ripa and James Corden the next day! But we never made it, we were so jetlagged and exhausted after everything that even the loudest of alarms couldn’t of woken us up. We were pretty upset about it but if we did, we’d get about 20 minutes of sleep and we would barely make it in time for our flights back home n the evening.
Just like that, the Oscars dream trip was over. I feel incredibly lucky that I had this opportunity in my life and I’d really like to thank Julia once again for deciding to take me with her on this journey! It was a dream come true.
Also, huge shout-out to the Facebook group that made all of this a possibility.
If you want to try your chances, make sure to sign up for a chance to win tickets for next years Awards once the contest reopens!
What did you guys think of this years Academy Awards? Let me know in the comments!