Recently met: Sofia Coppola, Halle Berry, Helen Mirren
Now that’s a braggy title if ever I’ve seen one!
But it’s true! The holiday season in Los Angeles is alive with parties and events where mere mortals (such as me) can rub elbows with the goddesses of cinema. Especially now that Write a Novel in a Month is over and I once again have a life.
The only problem is I seem to have developed something I’ve coined “Reno Tourettes.” This happens when I’m in a particularly swanky situation and I feel out of place. Even though one of my personal mottos is “Fake it til you make it,” sometimes my country roots get the best of me and I can’t help but point out how new I am to all of this Hollywood stuff.
I do this in the form of spouting nonsensical facts about Reno. I suppose I’m trying to be funny, but I kinda just sound lame.
Like the time Beth and I ran into Shannyn Sossamon at a coffee shop in Silverlake. This was exciting because 1) Shannyn Sossamon is super hot, and 2) She grew up in Reno, so she’s proof it’s possible. Beth and her have a mutual friend, so Beth struck up a natural, nice conversation with her. I stood there with a frozen smile, arms stiff at my side, trying to think of something clever to say. They wrapped up their little chat, then I blurted out: “Do you miss Reno?” She looked at me like I was Beth’s mentally challenged friend out of the institution for an afternoon visit, then said in a flat tone: “Uh, no.”
Reno Tourettes struck again a few weeks ago, during my first visit to the illustrious Chateau Marmont. I was having a late dinner with Jen Birn, my new friend from NaNo class who’s one of the coolest chicks I’ve met out here. She used to be the editor of OK! Magazine, and she’s really awesome, so in turn her friends have cool jobs and are awesome too. And there I was, unable to stop pointing out how Reno I am. “Where I’m from, the drinks are way cheaper.” “Where I’m from, the only people who live in hotels are prostitutes and crack heads.” Etc., etc. I was really broke that night (Erin, be honest, you’re always broke), so to finish my Reno Tourettes with a bang, when one of Jen’s friend left behind a half-eaten plate of paella, I made sure no one was looking, then I dug right in. And then I drank the remnants of his martini. Classy.
I know why I do this. It’s the zit effect. I feel like it must be so obvious I’m new to this whole kit and caboodle that I should point it out first, like when you point out a pimple on your chin even though nobody probably noticed it in the first place. But I’m getting better! I force myself to think about what I’m about to say, and I’ve made a 70/30 rule. I permit 70% of what occurs to me to say to come out of my mouth, and a general 30% is not allowed.
I put this into practice last week when Beth and I went to a screening of “Somewhere,” the new Sofia Coppola film, which happens to be about an actor who lives at the Chateau Marmont. So you’d think I’d have something relevant to say! After the screening, Beth marched right up to Sofia Coppola (she’s so good about introducing herself!) to tell her how much she enjoyed the film.
I stood there, making an effort not to be slack-jawed. Trying to burst out of my mouth was something along the lines of “I liked when Stephen Dorff had the strippers in his room…because I’m from Reno…where we have strip clubs.” But I applied the 70/30 rule and it was Reno Tourettes be gone! Instead I shook her hand and said simply, “Great movie.”
As of this morning, I think I might have banished Reno Tourettes for good. Jen Birn asked me to be her guest at the annual Top 100 Women in Entertainment gala, where Halle Berry was presenting Helen Mirren with an award, Katie Couric to speak as well. Um, yes! I sat through the whole glorious morning without so much as an overly self-deprecating peep. Halle Berry was exceedingly charming, and Helen Mirren brought down the house when she said “Hollywood still worships at the altar of the 18-25 year old male penis. I’ve seen it. And it’s small.” Amazing!
I suppose if one had to have tourettes, Reno Tourettes aren’t all that bad. In a way, I like my little disorder. It’s like my subconscious is reminding me where I come from, so I don’t let all this go to my head. Heading to an industry thing at Voyeur tonight, we’ll see if I can keep my R.T. under control.