FAME WHORING

i’ve had a hard time waking up lately. as soon as my brain activates, it floods with content. i’ve run out of RAM.
i have too many subjects to cover. 

“as in life; in blog.”

what’s the latin for that? i want a plaque.

so, i simplify.

i wanted to talk about the golden globes. 

later, i will talk about all sorts of other crazy shit, like getting married, and…stuff.
hell, looks like i have my whole fucking life to talk about that one, what’s the rush?

…………

so, the golden globes, and fame whoring.

we went because “coraline”, which was based on neil’s book, was nominated for best animated feature.

in order to understand the background of all this, you need to know a few things.

i do not ever go to the movies. i have almost no awareness of famous hollywood people.
when i’m in my chiropractor’s office i will occasionally read a tabloid, or i will get wind of some cultural phenomenon through links that people send me.

there were probably 70+ films up for nominations spread across the actor awards (“avatar”, “inglourious basterds”, “up in the air” and a few others were hugely represented)  

of these 70+ films, i had seen ONE of them. 

coraline. 

(i’d seen ONE of the television shows: “entourage”).

no offense to neil, but if i hadn’t been his main squeeze, the chances of me seeing it would have hovered close to below zero. 
i just don’t make time for movies. ever. even on planes nowadays, which used to be my film-culture catch-up ground, i end up sleeping or reading.

so…i felt like an alien. but i have to say, i enjoyed the fact that i had a VERY VAGUE idea of what people are supposed to do at these things. 
i decided to keep it magical, do no research (how would you fucking research this anyway? buy “the red carpet for dummies”? call fucking j-lo?) and just do what i’ve been doing my whole life: wing it. 

(i actually just googled “red carpet etiquette” and theres a slew of shit. thank god i missed that.)

we showed up from the airport (focus films paid for everything, thanks guys) a few hours before we had to get to the joint for the event. (the golden globes are held in a beverly hills hotel restaurant-banquet-hall.)
a team of stylists descended upon me, arranged a few days before by me & fabulous lorraine, neil’s main assistant. the make-up was done by jennifer (who came through neil’s LA assistant, kitty, who knew she’d toured with tori amos), the hair was done by chris (also a friend of cat’s) and my dress was whisked in and tailored by a fantastic gal named jessica, who saw my blog about looking for a dress and emailed in. she found the dress, rented it for me with money i wired into her account, and showed up with silicone tit-shields, a fucking SEWING MACHINE and a cute friend named max who took a picture of the three of us attacking me into glam shape, snip-snip-here-merry-old-land-of-oz style:

i’d narrowed the dress selection down to the slinky beady one and kambriel’s beautiful coat-dress, and we decided, group consensus, to go with the beads. (thanks for all your input, by the way. i think about 700 of you weighed in with your opinions).

jessica had brought a bunch of slips to go under it, and HAND-SEWN one to match (she’s a serious find), and we tried out every combination.
the ending consensus, including neil (and this was his gig, so i didn’t want to ho-bag him out at his own event) was to sport the balls-out slipless dress for the carpet and keep kambriel’s for the afterparties.
i folded up kambriel’s dress and kept it in my ukulele case, which i carried around all night, since i don’t really own a purse. my 8 year old EMS hiking backpack and the beaded dress woulda clashed.

then we got in a car and drove off.

have you ever wondered how the red carpet shit works? i’d never thought about it.

the red carpet attendees all have to arrive by limo and line up in a queue.

you’re on camera when you get out of your car.
i, of course, being impatient and knowing fuck-all about the protocol, didn’t realize i was supposed to wait for a valet to escort me out of the car on the side where all the cameras were, so i hopped out of my side, lugging my ukulele case with me and missing the shot to be captured by network tv for posterity, which means i can kiss my fucking acting career goodbye forever.

then you wait in another line to enter the event via the official red carpet, where the camera crews are lined up. 
the red carpet is long, flanked on one side by the press and paparazzi and on the other side by those giant fake walls covered with logo endorsements that you’re used to seeing.
above those fake walls are stands of high-paying onlookers, who observe the entire circus from above.

this was all outdoors and it was raining, which happens once every decade or so in LA. this was clearly pissing off all of the celebrities who had paid a fortune to look amazing and were now getting fucking wet, especially the chicks in long dresses whose trains were now soggy and discolored. still, the smiles were wide and never peeled off, because when the cameras are on, you don’t stop that shit.

i never knew how this worked, and i’m sure there’s more of an art to it (someday i’ll ask a famous actor), but you’re basically supposed to parade casually and slowly down this long carpet and wait for the photographers on your left to yell at you if they care who you are. if they care who you are, they yell, you turn, preen and pose, and all the other photographers next to your yelling photographer will chatter and twitter and decide if you’re important enough for them to look away from who’s coming down the pike. it’s really, really weird. there were several red carpet “stations” throughout the night. the main one was the one when we entered, but there was another one inside the hotel, and one outside the NBC party later that night. at one point, i saw a german newspaper and they yelled at me so I went over and chatte with them in german (i think that’s where the below photo came from). i noticed a crew of bored-looking australian newspapers a few people down. mind you, they’re all behind a little waist-high cattle wall. i hadn’t been yelled at, but australians are generally friendly. i walked up to a woman, said hello, and started to chat up my upcoming tour dates in oz. the woman glared at me and hissed

“please back off. we’re only talking with the real talent here.”

oops. and ouch. i backed off, though of course my inner demon wanted to lean over the fucking cattle wall and hiss back in her ear that her mom sure had some real fucking talent last night. anyway. 

here i was, belly and all:

and as promised on the blog, neil took this picture of me pulling a dead amanda palmer on the carpet.
some tabloid picked this up and it would up getting over 75,000 hits on twitpic. i was proud.

while wandering around, i saw this chick with a Rock Love tattoo on her back.
the “Rock Love” tattoo was designed by someone on the dresden dolls’ forum (theshadowbox.net) ages ago, and a bunch of dolls fans got it tattooed on different parts of their bodies in fandom solidarity. 
so i asked her what her name was and what the story behind her tattoo was. she said her name was jenna and she found the picture “randomly on the internet”.
it turns out she’s from a television show called “glee”. crazy.
so many fucking famous people in one place.
there was a huge black dude at a table next to us and he had an awesome facial tattoo and i almost went up to compliment him.
he looked really familiar. 

i found out a few days later it was fucking mike tyson.

this was the joint. on stage, presenting an award for something or other, is paul mccartney, who was supposedly in some huge band in the 60s:

(p.s. just kidding, i know who paul fuckin’ mccartney is, at least)

i had never seen an awards show like this, even on TV. i think maybe when i was little i’d caught glimpses of the grammys and the oscars and i had a vague idea of the deal.
but mostly i was just enthralled by the strangeness of it all. it’s live TV, so the room was SUPER BRIGHT and lit for the cameras, and there were obvious political wars going on to our left and right as the tables were filled with industry brass and agents who were all pulling for their shows to win. it was like a giant, well-organized junior high school cafeteria, with the super-popular kids sitting in the tables closest to the stage. 

obviously, since it’s filmed live, there were commercial breaks. during the breaks, an announcer tells everyone that they’ve got about 4 minutes to mill around before getting back in their fucking seats.
during these 4-minutes, there is EXXXTREME POWER NETWORKING. all the agents and stars mill around, pollenating and trying to find people they know, doing the business of Hollywood.

i’d had no idea his show was nominated, and it was nice surprise to run into the only person i actually knew, adrian grenier from “entourage”…he’s also in a band called the honey brothers that i’ve played with a few times; the whole thing is a story for another day. adrian is one of a long list of people i have to indirectly thank for my engagement to neil, in a weird roundabout way. my great-grandmother’s ring (also a whole nother story) wound up symbolically blazing in this photo, which made me smile:

the bathroom was a SCENE and a half.

have you ever been to a bathroom in a nightclub when a bunch of chicks are cluttered around the mirror, frantically applying make-up with a fervor so intense you’re convinced that they’re about to walk out the door and be caught by the hollywood paparazzi on fucking national TV? well, there you go, these chicks actually were, and they were OUT FOR BLOOD.

there was a team of make-up artists (hired by the event, i assume) in a section of the bathroom who were there to fix broken nails, curl limp lashes, kill that frizz, and get rid of that damn shine.
i snapped this picture and posted it to twitpic, it was a hit. one of these women was famous, but i forget which one….lemme go check.

(the twitpic comments claim that one of these ladies is jenna fischer, one is julie benz from “dexter”, both from TV, i assume.)

note my stealthy cameo in the mirror:

please, please, you must read the telepromter for this photograph to make sense in it’s full irony:
(i almost got thrown out of the event for taking this one. apparently they’re very protective of the illusion.)

after about 12 awards had been announced, we got really bored.

i mean, it actually is boring, especially if you don’t know who most of the people are.

mo’nique, who’d i’d never heard of but immediately loved, gave the best acceptance speech, totally from the heart.
meryl streep also gave a really good speech, about being a vessel as an actress.

most of the speeches were really stock and predictable.                                   

“i would like to thank God, my crew and wonderful team, and my sweetie, without whom I’d be nothing.”

neil gave me a great parody acceptance speech later that night when i was in the bath. i wouldn’t be nothing without him. but my life would not be half as wonderful. 

after a while, neil started crossing off categories to see how long we had left to go:

(i decided to ebay this baby and it just closed at $515. neil & i signed it and we gave the money to doctors without borders, who are representing in haiti. there’s another charity auction with a few days left going on right now on the AFP account, as well: handwritten lyrics to “gaga, palmer, madonna”…oh, and my old iphone…shit, now i’m realizing i’ve never formally promoted that ‘lil eBay of ours, either……..again, another day)

then we hit the parties.

standard bragging rights dept: 
i met robert downey jr, (childhood crush fulfilled), quentin tarantino (loud-mouthed weirdo in person, but i think that’s his schtick), t-bone burnett (awesome, awesome), neil patrick harris (doogie!, and his hot boyfriend), a bunch of the cast of high school musical (none of whom i knew, but one was named zach), and a bunch of other movie stars about whom i was clueless. 
i also ran into steven merchant who i knew from BBC6, and who is really tall and really awesome and who i really need to remember to mail a copy of the Evelyn Evelyn record.

i wore wicked high heels and my toe next to my big toe on my left foot still has a pinched nerve. 
bucking the beauty standard amanda?? eh?? eh?!? next time: sneakers. 

this is the other hot dress, the one that got very little spotlight due to its lack of tits…designed and loaned to me by the ever-wonderful kambriel, she calls it the “silk midnight bustle”.


(photo by heather selick, the kick-ass wife of henry selick, who made “coraline”). 

and here’s the one that got me D-LISTED (as “hot slut of the day”, rad: http://www.dlisted.com/node/35697#comments):

when we left the NBC party, we got yelled at by some photographers who wanted to get shots of me in the naked dress.
which was of course, stuffed into my uke case where the kambriel dress had been all night. 

“amanda palmer and neil gaiman!” they yelled.

“hi” we said.

“naked dress!” they yelled.

“it’s in my ukulele case. i could change back”, i said.

“change back!”, they yelled.

“ok”, and change back i did.

the shots of me changing wound up on the net, hooray for changing in public:
http://gofugyourself.celebuzz.com/go_fug_yourself/2010/01/golden_globes_amandapalmer.html


and this shot wound up winning me BEST and WORST dressed at the golden globes on the same site:

here’s where things start to heat up.

reading the comments over there (http://gofugyourself.celebuzz.com/go_fug_yourself/2010/01/globes_bestworst_012210.html, if you’re interested) is like a study in 3 different subjects:
online celebrity gawking, feminism, anti-feminism, and the power of twitter to derail a internet poll.

first off, what was i thinking wearing a dress like that??
i was thinking: “this looks hot. i’m not afraid to rock this. the photographers will think it’s scandalous, and people will hopefully think i’m ballsy. i may never go to a red carpet thing again, so i should WORK it.”
plain and simple.

why did i not shave?
because i rarely shave, and i thought this was a lovely time to do some feminine culture-jamming. 
god knows we need it.

although, in turns out MO’NIQUE showed up with unshaven gams! check it out. she’s a fucking sister and between that and her speech, i’m SOLD:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1244457/Precious-actress-MoNique-shows-hairy-legs-Golden-Globe-awards.html

(check out the text at the bottom? coincidence? I THINK NOT!!!)

what was interesting to me were some of the comments that went like this one:
“i can understand and respect somebody’s decision not to shave, but really, for the golden globes??? get your shit together and shave.”
this is like a man saying “i understand this whole equality of the sexes thing, unless it means i’m not going to have dinner on the table, made by fucking YOU, when i get home from work.”

double standard. 

one thing i noticed about this event and the parties was how RAGINGLY SEXIST it was. 
i don’t do too much political/feminist railing in my blogs. i usually leave that to other people.
but seriously, these parties could have been straight out of 1956.

everybody loves to dress up. but it’s so interesting that “dressing up” – in this context – means getting very, very narrow. 

so it is in hollywood, land of dress-up, and so it is that you don’t see a ton of movement there on the feminist front.

it makes matters worse that when you do pull a move that is slightly out of the box. then you’re really under the gun.
(julia roberts famously flashed some hairy pits at a paparazzi camera at a red carpet event a few years back and got a titanic load of grief for it, doubled by the fact that her dress was “old” – she’d already worn it to a premiere 7 years before – HORRORS….and my etiquette lesson continues….)

you can go in any direction to be “shocking” to this crowd. hell, they’re “shocked” by lady gaga smearing blood on herself at the MTV awards.
have they never heard of g.g. allin? annie sprinkle? throbbing gristle? (google it, kids. those are people worth knowing about).

once you step outside the mainstream, whether you’re doing something deliberately saucy (like wearing a naked-dress) or something “normal” – but outside the beauty standard (like not shaving) – you’re going to be accused by the peanut gallery of the same thing: FAME WHORING.

once again, it’s A LOT like high school. there was such a strict code of sticking to the party line, and one step outside said line could cost you your social life.
most important: if you stepped outside the party line, you would be accused not only of being a weirdo, but far worse: of being weirdo DELIBERATELY to get attention.

and to a certain extent, its true. you KNOW that by dressing expressively, you’re asking for grief. 
when you choose to do it all the same, you’re asking for a life of paradox, grey area and misunderstanding. 

so many of my fans know and understand this.

just like any kid who decides to fuck what his friends are doing and swim against the stream is signing himself up for a school career of getting shit in the hallways, any celebrity who decides to present themselves outside the standard box will be confronted for “acting out” to serve their own, greedy personal needs. 

a lot of celebrities go through phases where they duck under cover for a while, pop out and declare their independence and then duck again so they don’t drown in a cesspool of negative comments from the peanut gallery. 

most celebrities don’t dare cross the line.
why bother and possibly fuck up your career?

luckily for me, i CAN’T fuck up my career….not this way, not really. 
i don’t need hollywood to love or accept me in order to get work. my work is elsewhere.  
i’m in another world and i can risk it.

so if i can explain this (please lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood) in a nutshell:

i do this sort of shit BECAUSE I CAN.

want some irony?
i DID shave for the boston pops show a couple of years ago. 
why?

because of MY MOTHER. the pops was a huge deal to her, a giant deal locally, and i sort of wanted to make her happy, in my own, strange, non-sequitur way.
why did i think that this was any different? i dunno. i change my mind, i create my own weird standard as i go along and i make random decision every day. then i stick by them. 

i also pointed out recently in an interview that i NEVER would have had the balls to do this 10 years ago.
but here’s why: the public didn’t know me. i didn’t have ten years worth of cred under my belt.

now, when i pull shit like this, i have a legion of fans and friends who know who i actually am, what i actually stand for, and where i’m really coming from.

i’ve made a career’s worth of decisions to steer away from certain kinds of mainstream success. 
now i’m IN CONTEXT. 

i could talk for a lifetime about the laws of fame and celebrity, but this blog is getting long. 
you ain’t heard the last from me on this topic.
stay tuned for life.

in a nutshell, if you’re headed out:

CHANGE IT UP, FEAR NOTHING, RESPECT THE UNEXPECTED, HARM NOBODY.

love,
AFP.

p.s. in international news, i wound up, TOTALLY ACCIDENTALLY, at a french music awards show (featuring fucking jay-z, rihanna, beyoncé, mika – who ROCKED – and a bunch of other crazy famous people) about a week later. my friend hal ritson from the young punx managed to get this before french security came after us with their oozie-baguettes:

BELLY!!!

p.s.s. SEE ME LIVE BEFORE YOU DIE: mont-de-marsan, vienna, melbourne, adelaide, sydney, bangalow bay, brisbane, wellington, christchurch, auckland, london, edinburgh, glasgow, dublin, paris, amsterdam, hamburg, berlin, köln, antwerp, and SO many more to be announced soon (SO STAY TUNED)! tickets and more info at http://www.amandapalmer.net/afp/upcoming-shows

Cross-posted at MySpace

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