Last night was one of the coolest nights of my life. And that’s saying something because I had a fabulous time despite the fact that I was recovering from a severely painful bought of conjunctivitis (pinkeye, for those who don’t speak doctor). It was the night of the screening party for the final film projects and it was…forgive me for choosing this overused word…legit.
After agonizing over what to wear for the better part of an hour (I had to find SOMETHING that would look good with the sunglasses that I was forced to wear all night to hide my hideous monster eye), Alex and I set off for AFI. We were in awe as we rolled up to a beautiful, white Spanish style building sporting a large staircase leading up to a long front terrace. To take it one step further on the awesome scale, it was set on a hill with a breathtaking view of Los Angeles.
The first hour of the reception…though it was full of two of my favorite things: socializing and good food…seemed to drag on forever. I was so anxious to see how the final projects turned out. I purposely did not see the rough cuts of any of the films so I could be surprised by the finished projects. When the time for everyone to file into the screening room FINALLY arrived, I was filled almost to the point of bursting with excitement, curiosity, and nerves.
Let me just say that I am still getting used to seeing myself on film. Does anyone ever get used to it? How do actors like Meryl Streep feel at their premiers when they are surrounded by hundreds of people all staring at their faces blown up to huge proportions on a big screen? I don’t know. What I do know is that when the opening scenes of a project that I was in came up on the screen, I felt like I do when I step up to the starting line on the track. Horrifically nervous, yet with just enough confidence buried somewhere within myself keeping me from dissolving.
The films surpassed my expectations. Everyone worked feverishly and pulled together to create these concentrated bits of creativity that were playing on the screen. I laughed and gasped and marveled with the rest of the audience as the work of my peers and I created.
The evening was perfect. There were movie posters, press kits, ICE CREAM SANDWICHES WITH EDIBLE “CLIMBING THE LADDER” WRAPPERS, people schmoozing, and pictures being taken all over the place. The best part, however, was being surrounded by the amazing people that I’ve come to know this summer. I still can’t quite put my finger on what it is I came to LA to accomplish. But somehow last night when I felt proud, excited, and remarkably satisfied, I knew that I’d accomplished it. As I said, one of the coolest nights of my life.