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My First Experience as an Accidental Red Carpet Paparazzi


brooke-burke-fhm-coverNew York – 12-7-02

A million things happened in the past few weeks, most of the time was spent pulling all nighters getting a few huge deadlines met. In between work and Thanksgiving, I did find the time to get a little nightlife in, so I’ll cut to the weird & fun stuff.Is it really considered crashing a party if you were invited? Well, I crashed the red carpet then. Lemme explain:On Tuesday I was e-mailed an invite to a calendar release / FHM magazine party for Covergirl / host of E! Entertainment Television’s Wild On!, Brooke Burke, to be held at Eugene’s the following day. Well, I went to the party, not to network, but mainly for the open bar and the celebrity schmoozing. ( A little back story: FHM is Maxim Magazine’s main competition. I write and draw for Maxim.) With that said, here’s the scoop:

Showing up early (as I usually do for parties) I saw a bunch of people talking to this little British guy at the door who was handing out laminated passes. Thinking this was the guy in charge of V.I.P. I approached him and told him I was on the list, which I already knew I wasn’t. He checked the list and lo and behold, I’m not on it, of course, but I reiterated that I was on this list, and there must be a mistake. He asked “who are you with?” I said “Glo Productions.”

Now I wasn’t lying per say, the invite was from these e-mails I get from Glo Promotions, which for one I have no idea how I got on this list and two I couldn’t remember if It was productions or promotions. The Brit. said “well, your not on the list, but I know you guys from Glo so here.” He wrote down my name and gave me a PRESS PASS!?  (My First!)
So I’m ushered in and put on this receiving line / red carpet of Paparazzi, magazine & newspaper photographers. Someone asks “Are you a photographer?” “Yep” I respond as I pat my DJ bag implying that there is a camera in there.

Which there was, but not a photographer’s camera by any means. It was a dinky $190.00 Pentax auto focus camera. A totally unprofessional camera I carry with me for pictures with friends, my blog, and reference.

So now I’m laying low in the second row of the photographers. I realize that one of the reasons I got in so easily is that I look the part. I’m wearing all black with a black trench coat, red undershirt from Gawsie, black hat and a scarf and my black over the shoulder delivery style bag. Which amazingly is almost the exact same outfit every “other” photographer is wearing.

Looking down the line I see a few television cameras, FOX news, and a few others. The E! cameras are there and they filmed me a lot. If you see some footage of this Brooke Burke calendar release party on E and they show the press shooting her (If anyone from E! reads this and can pull the footage for me, I’d send you a free sketch), I’m the only A-hole with a wuss camera.

Lined down the red carpet are these gargantuan cameras with huge constructs mounted on them. I’m keeping my camera waist-side so the real photographers don’t get suspicious. The photographers are checking their light meters and stuff while I stand back trying to look bored. Trying to make it look like I do this all the time.

It was a great behind the scenes look at the paparazzi profession. They are a rowdy bunch, they all know each other cause they do this every day and night. They all had come from other events, a Paul Newman opening, the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, Elton John at MSG, and most were going to yet another after this. Crazy work, and I heard lots of interesting “shop talk.” I was on the inside of a club that probably takes years to get into, “the paparazzi club.”
I love how they refer to anyone who walks down the red carpet who isn’t a celebrity as “A NOBODY.” For this event, as per usual I assume, they just had to get their shots and leave. They all had a great sense of humor and made jokes constantly. I have a similar sense of humor so I chimed in every once in a while as well. Soon they were introducing themselves to me and had accepted me as their own. The whole night was a bizarre experience. Not to mention freezing.

Then the celebrities started rolling in.Eventually I decided I had had enough, and now since I was with the press,it would be awkward for me to enter the party so I split off into the night. Ethan Zohn, Survivors’ new million dollar winner blew through the doors. I guess you can tell someone’s level of celebrity on how early they arrive to an event. He was first. Other celebs included Seventh Heaven star Adam Lavorgna, and Soprano’s star Robert Iller. Home

(Originally published 12-7-02)


About CojoArtJuggernaut

Founder of and, Cojo "Art Juggernaut" is a NYC Based painter, illustrator, arts blogger and SVA alumni. Freelance art clients include: AT&T, BlackBook, Complex, Espn, Maxim, Mtv, Nike, Pop Sci, Rolling Stone, Time Out NY, Vibe, and The Village Voice. Cojo's fine art work is represented by Castle Fitzjohns Gallery in New York. Contact: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | More Posts

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