"Results are often obtained by impetuosity and daring which could never have been obtained by ordinary methods." ~ Niccolo Machiavelli
[May 3, 1469 ~ June 21, 1527]
Dateline: Saturday January 26, 2008,Merino 200 Jacob's Creek Australia Day Black Tie Gala presented by Westfield Held at New York City's landmark Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in celebration of Australia Day
Australia's Royal Flying Doctors Service G'Day USA honors Australia's favorite daughters and sons.
Back on December 10, 2007, myspace blogger Sweet Melissa posted an item about the Australia Day charity event. Celebrities scheduled to attend were, Australian Sheep & Shearers, Christine Anu, Ben Graham, Julian McMahon, Rachael Taylor,----wait a sec, back up, Julian McMahon you say.
Sweet Melissa, you now have my undivided attention. i'm taking a bit of license here with Sweet M, because actually she led with the info about Mr McMahon. My wheels immediately began to turn. How to get access to the event, as (A) the gala's ticket prices were $300.00. Platinum table tickets were going for $20,000.00 [Too spendy for me.] $300.00, not an exorbitant fee, but fiscally speaking, i'm a guns or butter kind of gal, and hubby and i had earmarked those kind of funds for things like rent and groceries. (B) i was uncertain as to whether or not i would be in town on January 26th as i had to tie up some matters concerning my recently deceased dad [rip pop, i will love you always].
Then it occurred to me, i could wrap up my family business and return to nyc in time for the gala. It would be a bit of a crunch time-wise, but not impossible. Still there was the matter of $300.00. But hey, wait a minute, the smart cookie part of my brain nudged me to remind me that i might not be able to attend the event, but i could and should cover it for In A Lather. Do what you love, love what you do.
To facilitate my covering the event i contacted the person on the list of whom to contact if one wished to cover said event. You think that last sentence ran you in circles...my friends you have no idea of what being run around in circles is until you attempt to contact the powers that be that not only involve celebrity appearances, but also the governments of two countries, i.e. Australia and the USA. My e-mail correspondence began on December 17, 2007---as coincidence would have it, that would have been my pop's 85th birthday. i took that as a possibly good omen.
Well eventually everything did work out, but only because i was extremely persistent. It wasn't until literally 24 hrs before the event was to be held that i was given the green light to cover the event. i don't know why some people will say they are going to reply to your e-mail, or return your call, and know full well they don't intend to do either. It's not the being blown off that frustrates me, i just abhor having my time wasted. If you can't or won't help me, tell me from the git-go, and i'll move on to someone who can and will. Or what it is about some people when you tell them you are covering something as a new media [read internet] reporter, but their hearing suddenly gets out of whack, and their language skills suffer. You find you have to repeat yourself several times, each succeeding time more slowly than the preceding. in ter net. b l o g. n e w m e d i a. c o m p u t e r. r s s f e e d.
When i got to the media [read all media] check-in, my name was mysteriously not on the list. Anticipating this i had copies of anything i might need to reconcile any discrepancies. Oddly enough, i wasn't requested to produce any i.d. or any of the 'no this is really me, and these are my credential documents' i had in hand. i guess the look, coupled with the 'you have got to be kidding me' tone i gave the little miss priss at check-in was enough to let her know i was not in the mood to be trifled with. i get that fierceness from my mom :-) Aside from which once we started speaking, i recognized this person as someone who'd given me the run-around on the phone. Not so dismissive of me face to face i thought, though she was still giving me a look down her nose stare when i told her i was there under the new media category. Not for nothing but this site [only one of which hubby and i churn out] gets 100,000 [sometimes more] hits a month. Thank you loyal readers XXXOOO. miss priss can you or any of your favored traditional journalists make that claim? No? i thought not! Also i wisely arrived at the event 90 minutes earlier than the instructed check-in time, because i otherwise would have likely not been allowed entry. The time i was instructed to arrive was actually when the red carpet walk began.
If i'd followed instructions i would have arrived too late [eyeroll]! Oh yes i almost forgot to mention, when i was trying to hail a cab the first cab heading my way that was on duty, with no passenger passed me and picked up another fare about 20 feet behind me. Sad to say, but yes in the 21st century, 2 weeks after we have celebrated Dr.King's birth, there are still some drivers who pass up a black [or as my faithful readers know i refer to myself 'colored'] person, only to pick up a fare of someone who is not. i was incredulous, then boiling. But after taking 2 steps to approach the cabbie and give him a piece of my mind, i thought no. i'm not going to get myself in a frazzle prior to my appointment. The pen is mightier than the sword. i didn't get his name, but here is the license # of the cab this miscreant was driving: AH36a the time was 5:00pm 1~26~08 heading south at broadway and 77th uws nyc. TLC if you're reading this you can take it from there.
My instincts have always served me well. In this case, firstly arriving early. Next was to stand opposite of where i had been instructed for the celeb red carpet arrivals. Had i followed instructions i would have gotten more and possibly better shots
[hubby has steadfastly told me he thinks i should have no regrets about the shots i got XXXOOO], but i would not have gotten the opportunity to interview Julian McMahon. Later at the banquet, Jessica Alba, Mr.McMahon's Fantastic 4 co-star, would be presenting him with an excellence in entertainment award. This man positively commands the room with his presence. My back was to him when he entered the room, approximately 20 yards away [sorry i can't help but measure in terms of yardage what with SuperBowlXLII approaching---GO GINTS!]. When he arrived, there was a palpable energy, everyone in the room, male and female turned toward him. Gasps and shouts of "it's him, Julian's here" etc. This is the second time i have had the pleasure to speak [however briefly] with Mr.McMahon. He was polite but a bit more emotionally distant than the first time we spoke. But that's understandable. The first time he was experiencing our exchange as fan to star, signed for me, flashed that incomparable smile, etc. But this time i was one of them---the press. i don't think he remembered me from before---there's no reason he should. i couldn't believe that some idiot asked, regarding the strike, "so, do you think the writers are an important factor in your work?" Julian just laughed at the ridiculousness of the question, but i couldn't get a shot of that smile [someone blocking me AGAIN!]. Then some idiot a few feet away from me asked a completely ill-timed, and rude question about the late Heath Ledger. Julian fixed him with an icy stare and waved him off.
i thought, 'good going idiot, now he probably won't want to be interviewed by the rest of us'. Mr.McMahon, the consummate professional did agree to continue with interviews with those of us further down the line. i got to ask 2 questions. me:"do you think gina will haunt christian?" Julian:"Absolutely!" me:"i know you are a gardener, you like to garden, what's your favorite thing in your garden?" Julian:"Oh, well, it's, I can't really say I have a favorite thing, I like variety, you know." Oofah! would i have loved to pursue the double entendre possibilities of that response, but i was forced to relinquish Julian to another scribe from In Style magazine---he got as much time as he wanted with him. Before i was forced to abandon him, i was able to give him a gift i'd brought. i know it crosses the boundry of interviewer and interviewee, but we internet kidz gotta do what we gotta do to be remembered ;-) i hope he does get the chance to see the gift, because immediately as i handed it to him, security intervened and took it before he could open it. No worries mate, a necessary evil in a post-911 world. i was grateful i was not strong-armed and/or wrestled to the ground as had happened to some others during the event---but then all i did was hand over an envelope---not try to re-enter a restricted area without my press pass, or cause Jessica Alba to cut short her red carpet appearance because of a stampede caused by traditional reporters behaving badly. You people are aware that you could have harmed the baby? Or don't you care. Such was the pandemonium at her arrival i didn't have the chance to see her. Julian gallantly strode to escort her to safety. Chivalry personified.
Celebrity Attendees: Julian McMahon (Nip|Tuck), Jessica Alba (The Eye), Rachael Taylor (Transformers), Shannon Noll 2007 MTV Australia VMA Winner Best Male Artist ,Diane Neal (Law & Order SVU), Jack Thompson (Australian actor, The Good German), Miranda Kerr (Victoria's Secret model), Christine Anu (Award winning singer, songwriter and actress), Qantas Choir, Australian Sheep & Shearers
PS: i would not like to leave you with the impression that i met with road blocks at each turn in my efforts to report the Australia Day event. A special shout-out of thanks to the most helpful Lauren Thayer of Lisa Lori Communications
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