A Chicano at the Emmy's: Part 3 of 3
Al Carlos Hernandez
A Chicano at the Emmy's
Published on LatinoLA: October 10, 2005
Part 1 at http://www.latinola.com/story.php?story=2852
Part 2 at http://www.latinola.com/story.php?story=2867
After the Emmy Award show, the network trucks, searchlights and armies of security laid siege to The Roosevelt Hotel where we were staying. We were ushered around the back to park. We were driving what I considered to be a nice car.
My jaw almost dropped to see the lot: A row of Ferraris, a Phantom Rolls Royce on 22?s, and a few gull-winged Lambos, BMW?s strewn like Pontiacs, and if your Benz wasn?t an AMG drop top, you should have sent for a driver. I consoled myself with, what the Homies used to say in Oakland, ?It?s not what you are driving, it?s what you are keeping that counts.?
Raul, the lot manager told me it was the TV Guide party. Since we were Emmy guests as well as hotel guest, we were invited. I told him about the big line in the front, he told me via Chicano hook-up, don?t worry he would get us in through the back door. Ironically, his offer happened to be the story of my life.
The great thing about LA is that the Latinos do all the real work. They are always there to hook a brother up, just like Ana Chavez and the tickets, cool Raul would make our introduction into the world of MTV Cribs, Extra, Entertainment Tonight society a smooth one, but we had second thoughts.
Old School comic George Goble once said ?Did you ever think that the whole world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of Brown shoes??
Alba and I were getting weary of the secular sitcom idolatry. Each celebrity had a handler, these handlers would herd the Glam squad through mazes. No doubt poised to jump through hoops, do tricks, sit, stand heel, lie down, wait?, I?ve confused this sentence with training our Bichon Frise, Miss Sally, who, by the way is still having issues with the ?Stay? command.
To be network TV famous requires an obsessive ego, to the exclusion of faith, family and fidelity, not to mention a tremendous sense of entitlement. I ain?t mad at them. Everyone wants to be famous, or at least noticed. If you didn?t, you wouldn?t wear designer clothes or drive a tight ride. I certainly do, or at least did until I realized all the groveling and kissing up it entails. The difference between a prime time star, and a hope to be actor or musician working the coffee shop, is that lucky break, or that connected ?Boyfriend.? For most the dream never happens. For those who make it, it is usually a 4-7 year run, then you have to be on VH1 reality shows.
Mi Vida and I, as kindred spirits, decided to go up to the room put on our jeans and go out for a Hamburger. We consider ourselves ?Kitchen table folks.? The prefab pretense, the glitz, the glam, the glitter fades. A Homie in a silk suit is still a Homie, and that?s the way I like it.
The Hollywood and Highland hamburger was typical and overpriced but the view was worth it. We grabbed a cup of coffee and stood across the street from our hotel and the party we were invited to, to watch a parade of famous folk making their way down another red carpet, to get pictures taken and interviewed by TV Guide TV. I spotted Paris, several Jessicas, Christinas, Affleck, Housewives, Lowlifes, No Lifes, and several dozen Quien Sabes.
We stood in the midst of disposable camera wielding tourists, who shouted at the name slingers. It was crystal clear that it was more fun in the audience than to perp walk into the club.
Later up in the room, we watched the tube to see Emmy coverage to see if we got into any shots. We didn?t. To make matters worse, when we got home we were informed by Bill Jones the photographer that our pictures were gone. His daughter transferred his pictures into the computer, and in essence, since we were not famous, our pictures deleted.
The next day, after a scone in front of the Kodak, there was a walk of fame star being placed. I asked a photographer (when I still liked them), who is the star for? He said some big time producer cat. Reading ?Whatever Dude? in my eyes he then said, you don?t get it, Sylvester Stallone, Sean Penn, (who I used to like as Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Kevin Costner, and a few others will be here in 22 minutes.
Sure enough, 22 minutes later Penn walks right past us looking like he had a major crudo, (hangover). The pain of celebrity I saw in his face, the way people shouted at him demanding his glance, the way the private security with ear monitors tailed him like a head of state, said it all to me. Their lives don?t belong to them anymore. The Emmy's showcase the illusion of success, of families and lifestyles that don?t exist, not the real success of quality living.
There is a mass media theory called Para-Social Interaction: Through media, TV in particular, the most remote and illustrious men are met as if they were in the circle of ones peers.
On the real, they don?t know you like that. We hope to be put on the must-invite list for the Emmy?s next year, but after reading this, not likely.
Don?t hate the player, hate the game.
This is in or around Hollywood
Al Carlos Hernandez:
Al Carlos has a tuxedo for rent.