Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Just like we practiced in Covert Ops training! Except it was much more annoying in real life. I realize everyone is on edge to hear my side of the story on Stephen's reading, but that's going to have to wait until I get home, which is late tomorrow. So it could be a day or so. I'm sorry. But please bear with me. It's been a weird weekend.

ANYWAY, at said reading, I accidentally overheard a conversation that I wasn't meant to overhear and so I knew where Jake was yesterday (I'm not telling for reasons that will be explained in the poetry post, but it wasn't Texas and it wasn't New York). I had a feeling he might show up to the Awards Gala tonight.

So, like the professional agent that I am, I waited outside, in the freezing cold, for 2 1/2 hours for the Amerians for the Arts Awards ceremony to end so Jake could emerge and congratulate me on being such an awesome fan. I arrived at the scene late due to the fact that I was at a taping of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" (it's been quite the celebrity weekend for PG...in fact, had I not been sitting in the audience at "The Daily Show," I probably would have been able to accost Jake as he went into the building, seeing as how I learned later that other fans had gotten such opportunities when he arrived. Is this how I'm repaid for all my dutiful "Daily Show" watching over the years? Damn you, Stewart. Damn you!) But when I did arrive, there were still several people around to confirm that Jake had indeed entered the building (and taken pictures with fans) shortly before my arrival, and with Lance Armstrong and Robert Downey, Jr., no less. All I had to do was stand outside, in the freezing cold, for 2 1/2 hours and wait for Jake to emerge. Most everyone left after a while. Even the paparazzi.

Sometime after I lost the feeling in my fingers, Jake's award was presented. I couldn't see him personally, but I could see the television screen from the sidewalk where all the action was being broadcast for the people in the back of the theater. It was sort of like watching him on live TV, only without sound and with the annoying sense that I was an outcast and possibly pathetic. One of the guards at the door told me, my traveling companion Kara, and a fellow crazy person whom I didn't know (we were the only three left at that point) that if we went home and got dressed up, he'd sneak us into the building. Except for, oh right, I don't own anything that could get me into that place; and if I did, I wouldn't have thought to bring it with me on vacation just in case I needed to sneak into an awards ceremony that I wasn't invited to. Lesson learned.

My toes had lost feeling by the time the car that Jake had arrived in pulled suddenly from its waiting place in the front of the building and promptly raced down the street, plowing into the back of a police car and blocking traffic for a good half an hour. Robert Downey, Jr.'s body guard came rushing out and spoke instructions into his sleeve until a new car came to wait idly for Jake and traffic was moving again. It was just as exciting and random as it sounds.

My entire face was numb by the time people started filing out of the building. Some of them looked at the three of us standing there with such anticipation on our faces and said things like, "Oh, he's in there!' or "He's on his way!" Apparently it was obvious for whom we were waiting. Most people ignored us. Lance Armstrong was one of them.

I was running on pure adrenaline by the time Jake finally emerged. He stood on the steps and talked to his mom for a few minutes. The aforementioned nice guard had roped off the sidewalk in such a way as to force Jake to walk by the three of us. The guard even went so far as to put his hand on Jake's back and push him in our direction when he wouldn't stop talking to his mother. And then, against all laws of reason and physics, Jake somehow managed to walk down the steps, onto the sidewalk, get swarmed by paparazzi (who had miraculously re-emerged), sign a copy of Donnie Darko for the random girl we were with, and jump into his car while keeping his back to me THE ENTIRE TIME. I'm not even lying. I don't even know how this is possible.

2 1/2 hours, no feeling in any of my extremities, and this is what I got for my efforts:
One spectacularly craptastic picture of the back of his head. I shrieked out his name several times, although I'm guessing my voice was lost in the midst of everyone else calling out his name. That's what I like to think anyway, seeing as I got nothing but a good look at his dandruff-free shoulders as he got into his car. The windows were so tinted that I couldn't tell if he was looking out the window or wisely facing forward and ignoring the hysteria. I say "wisely" because if he had been looking out the window, he would have seen me looking like my cat just died, Autograph Girl making out with her DVD cover, and poor Kara standing back a ways looking like she'd just learned something about me she'd rather not know.

Then, Robert Downey, Jr. came out and the nice guard said to me, "Now's your chance! Go talk to him!" Dude. DUDE. At what point in the evening did Jake Gyllenhaal become confused with Robert Downey, Jr. in this man's head?! I snapped a shot of RDJ as he talked to Jake's parents, but I tried to steer clear because of some extreme awkwardness left over from my last encounter with Jake's parents, 24 hours earlier. I'm pretty sure they would have ignored me even if I wasn't trying to quasi-hide from them.

And then I walked back to the hotel and there may or may not have been tears. Who's to say, really? OK, there were, but only because I couldn't win for losing when it came to Gyllenhaal's these past two nights.