Wednesday, July 27, 2011

3 Tips For Producing a Red Carpet Event

I have been on the red carpet quite a bit this year and I've seen it all from the grandest red carpet to one of the most laid back red carpets.  Even if you are having a small press event, it is important to have a well run red carpet that not only pleases the talent, but also pleases the media. I've given my helpful hints on how talent can shine on the red carpet here and here, but I haven't offered up a few suggestions for producers of red carpet events. Here are my Top 3 tips for running a top notch red carpet.

Press Release:  Ringling Bros PR was great at updating their press release several times before the event.

1.  Press Releases:  This is one of the most important aspects of your event, so make sure to write a compelling press release that will get the media excited about coverage.  It should include the pertinent information about when the event is, expected celebrities, and types of media opportunities. (red carpet, VIP party, Meet and Greet, awards show press room access, interviews with producers, etc.)  Get your press release out about 2-3 weeks in advance.  This gives media outlets time to plan their coverage and line up reporters for the event.  If you put the press release out 3 days before the red carpet happens, you run the risk of having a low media turnout.  This is especially important if your red carpet is happening during summer movie premiere season or during Oscar season, it's hectic...plan accordingly.  Check the Hollywood Calendar or the trades for important awards show and movie premiere dates, you don't want to schedule your big night the same night that the Academy Awards occur.  Finally, if you are announcing nominees for an awards show, have the press release ready to go BEFORE the announcement. (Honestly, this is PR 101.)  Once the announcement is completed, email it out to your media contacts,  place the nominees list on your website, and tweet it out.  If you want the media to cover your event, be prepared, otherwise we grumble (Trust me, we are good at grumbling.) about the lack of preparation and it is noted for next year.

2.  Tip Sheets:  These are imperative to any photographer or reporter's job on the red carpet.  They include a picture of the confirmed celebrity and their latest/most notable credit.  For me, I see so many faces and talk to so many people in any given month.  I may recognize a face, but I forget what show I've watched them on.  Having that tip sheet in hand lets me do quick research on my iPhone as I see them walk down the red carpet.  For up and coming talent, it is great if a publicist is escorting the actor down the carpet with a sheet of paper that includes the correct spelling of the actor's name and their upcoming movie or TV show.  If they are making their debut in the Twilight series or in a new Disney Channel show, chances are I will jump at the chance to interview them.  It's fun to break a new actor to the public before they are wildly famous.

3.  Placement:  A typical red carpet places photographers first, then video crews, and then writers/bloggers at the tail end of the line This is done for a reason.  The photographers grab their shots and then send the talent down the line to be interviewed.  After the video crews grab the interview, the writers will ask more in depth and longer questions so it is okay if the back end of the red carpet crowds up a bit.  Each media outlet is assigned a spot where the bigger the outlet, the better the placement.  You can expect to see E! News, ET, and Access Hollywood up front and the online media outlets closer to the back.  Honestly, it's a fair way to do it and I never hear anyone complaining about this system.  What can be a problem is the amount of space given to each outlet.  A piece of 8x10 paper is placed at your feet to indicate your spot.  The problem is that the next piece of paper is laid down side by side for other media outlets.  Uh....I don't know about you, but my body is not built in 8x10 dimensions.  It can be so frustrating for all of us to jostle for space, keep out of other network's shots, and interview at the same time.  Now, I don't expect a plot of land, but placing each piece of paper even three inches apart would make a huge difference.

I hope these tips help if you are producing your next red carpet event.  Feel free to leave me comments or questions on an area I might have missed.  I am always happy to do a follow-up to this article.

Don't forget to enter to win my Red Carpet Gift Bag.  Enter before July 31st for a chance to win!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's Giveaway Time!

It's been awhile since I have done a giveaway here at Red Carpet Closet. I think we should liven up the dog days of summer and do a gift bag giveaway.  It's no secret that I attend a lot of red carpets and gifting suites.  I receive a lot of incredible items, but I cannot use them all.  So, I gathered some great items and put them in a gift bag just for you.  Here is what I am giving away:

1 Fresh & Easy Canvas Bottle Bag
1 NWPP Reusable Shopping Bag
1 Glimmer Body Art Glitter Tattoo Kit
1 Bottle of One A Day Multivitamin with Healthy Skin Support (80 Tablets)
2 Fitness Headbands
1 DVD of Fitness Personality Jennifer Galardi's Sweating Sexy
1 Sampler CD from the Broadway show, Million Dollar Quartet
1 Sampler CD from musician Mike Burke
1 Sampler CD from rapper Z.A.N.E
1 Set of Silly Bandz from the Broadway show, The Addams Family
1 Button from the Broadway show, The Scottsboro Boys
1 Button from the Broadway show, The Book of Mormon
1 Carmex Sheer Pink Tint Lip Balm
2 Lip Balms from Waialua and
1 Guitar Keychain/Bottle Opener from 100.3FM
1 10% off coupon from Lyn Lux Jewelry

Enter your information in the form below. Enter by Sunday, July 31st 11:59PM PT.  18 or over to enter. US residents only.  Good luck!
Check out more fun blog giveaways at Blog Giveaway Directory. Disclosure: All items were given to me complimentary at various gifting suites and red carpet events in 2011. No one asked for promotional consideration. This giveaway is done on my own accord. Thanks!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Tale of the iPhone Case

This weekend, a few of you may be stopping by Red Carpet Closet because of this post by my friend, Ken Davenport.  Yep, I love my iPhone and I thought it was wasted advertising space lately.  I am currently using my own case, but in the past I have utilized cases given to my by PR agencies to advertise certain products.  I thought, why don't I advertise for Godspell?  (By the way, it's no secret that I am an investor in the show.)

Photo Courtesy of Ken Davenport.

Just to prove that my iPhone is with me at all times, here are a few photos from the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in February. I will be sure to take a picture on the red carpet with my new Godspell iPhone case once it reaches the Left Coast. Be sure to leave a comment below, so I can learn more about you.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Get your Godspell iPhone case here.

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Taking video with my iPhone of the cute kids from PS 22 walking the red carpet.

 Showing Mr. Brainwash the photo I took alongside his artwork.  

I Ran Off And Joined The Circus

Last night was the premiere of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus' Fully Charged at the Staples Center.  The evening was also a benefit for the Starlight Foundation which "provides entertainment, education, and family activities for seriously ill children in the United States and their families."  It was an interesting mix of celebrities from the Disney Channel to Dancing With the Stars to The Office to the Real Housewives series.  The big question of the night was "If you joined the circus, what would your act be?"  We received some great answers, but no one topped Leah Remini who took three takes to get the answer done.  We included that whole hilarious sequences in our highlight video, so check it out and let me know what your circus act would be.  (By the way, no one ever mentioned being the ringmaster in the top hat!)

 Corbin Bleu of High School Musical was so much fun to interview. I'm seeing him in Hairspray at the Hollywood Bowl on August 7th.  

 Anything for a gag:  donning the clown nose.

 Kyle Richards of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Her husband is pretty hot, they make a striking couple.

 Leah Remini of The Talk.  She's just badass fun.  

 This is the second or third time I've interviewed Melora Hardin of The Office.  She is always kind, sweet, and wearing cute hats.

Olivia Holt of Kickin' It on Disney XD.  Yep, you probably need to be 12 years old to know who she is, but I really like the current crop of Disney kids.  

My circus act:  tight rope walker in 5" Jessica Simpson shoes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

'A Little Help' Press Junket

You might have seen the snapshot of me and Daniel Yelsky from the A Little Help press junket last week. Well, the videos and my article are up and running over at Starpulse.  It is a quirky indie movie, particularly if you are already tired of movies with explosions, superheroes, wizards, and robots.  The film stars Jenna Fischer, Chris O'Donnell, and the delicious Rob Benedict whom I shamelessly flirted with because it was fun.  So, head on over to Starpulse and check out the short interviews and my insider look on what really goes on at a press junket.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Carmageddon 2011

Awkward camera work while posing with the 405.  

No matter where you live in the U.S., the news covered Carmageddon 2011.  The idea of Los Angeles having its major freeway shut down for 53 hours was a horrifying thought to all of the residents who live in their vehicles, who hate to walk, and who hate to carpool.  How would the city function?  Well, it functions much better when the Mayor tells us to stay home or get out of town.  Carmageddon turned into CarmaHEAVEN.  I ran all over the city getting everywhere in less than 20 minutes and it was such a lovely weekend.  I decided to take a quick hike up into the Santa Monica Mountains to get a closer look at all of the construction.  Enjoy my one minute tale of Carmageddon 2011.  P.S. Next year, I'm going out of town.  There's no way Los Angelenos will behave two years in a row!

If you were in town, what did you during Carmageddon 2011?

A far away view of the bridge construction. 

NO ONE is on the 405.  Awesome!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Are You Game, Chicago?

Hosting last year's fashion show or am I showing a little leg?

It's that time of year again when I head to Chicago to emcee Women's Health Magazine's annual event, Are You Game?  It is one of my favorite jobs all year because I get to hit the beach on Lake Michigan and enjoy a day designed specifically for women.  It's a fun day filled with fitness, fashion, food, and freebies!  The sponsors that come out to participate bring their latest fitness products to check out, so look for Athleta, Oakley, PUMA, Crunch, and more.  As in previous years, you won't want to miss the fitness classes and the opportunity to do yoga, dance, and my favorite, Masala Bhangra outside on a beautiful day. (Fitness schedule is here.) This year's Beneficiary is DetermiNation, a program created by the American Cancer Society.  It is a series of endurance events and training programs featuring marathons and triathlons to help fight cancer.   So, I hope to see you out there sweating with me, burning a few calories, and meeting a few new friends.  Hey, Chicago, Are You Game?

When:  Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Where:  North Avenue Beach, Chicago

Pre-Registration is now closed.  You can register on-site.  For more information, click here.


Shake & Sculpt Workout Center
Ride for Your Life Cycling Center
Total Body Boot Camp
Rock Climbing


Beauty Lab
Services provided by Aniko Salon & Spa 
Manicures, brow sculpting, hairstyling and makeup application.
Style Lab
Services provided by Style for Hire
One-on-one "shop your shape" stylist consultations
Picture Perfect photo booth
Enter-to-win sweepstakes
Enter-to-win sweepstakes
Find your perfect pair


Love Well, Live Well
Relationship advice and tarot card readings

Great Minds: Ask the Experts
Nutrition counseling, fitness assessments and dental hygiene consultations with Crest Pro-Health™
Crest Pro-Health™
Invigorate your way to a better dental checkup

American Cancer Society
"Run the Blue Carpet" gait analysis
DetermiNation sign-up


Chair Massages
Crystal Light Hydration Station
Cooking Demos & Book Signing
Featuring MasterChef winner Whitney Miller
MGD64 Happy Hour
2:00PM – 4:00 PM

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Great Day in Hollywood

 With Daniel Yelsky during the press junket of A Little Help.  The movie opens July 22.  Go support this film, my incredible host reel editor, Joe Gressis, produced and edited the film. 

I feel like I am having one of those weeks in Hollywood that reminds you why you moved to LA in the first place.  Outside of the perennial sunshine, it's about the work.  The passion that drives you, the jumping out of bed in the morning because you know your job brings you happiness, and most importantly, it's so much fun that you forget it is actually work.  I've had one of those weeks.  My job this week "requires" me to watch 4 films, interview 5 actors, 2 writer/directors, and attend one callback.  It's exactly the week I dreamed of when I moved to LA back in 2000.  Life is pretty good.

 On the Disney lot after a press screening of Winnie the Pooh.  I'm a complete Disney dork, so any opportunity to be photographed with Walt and Mickey is okay by me.

 It's hard to see in this photo, but Walt is holding hands with Minnie.  I decided Minnie wanted to hold hands with me too.  

Holding up the place with the Seven Dwarfs.  If you are wondering whether to catch Winnie the Pooh this weekend, I'd say it's a good alternative if you are not a Harry Potter fan. Who doesn't love Pooh?  There are also incredible original songs by Bobby Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez.  That couple's talent is limitless.  If you are trying to remember who Bobby is, think back to my Tonys red carpet interviews. Yep, that's him.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Conan O'Brien and Some News!

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to catch Conan O'Brien's new documentary, Can't Stop.  In 2010, I was riveted to The Tonight Show drama started by NBC by originally pushing Jay out, putting Conan in, only to turn around and push Conan out to put Jay in.  Did you follow all of that?  If you missed one of the greatest nighttime soap operas of our time, be sure to catch up with an excerpt from Bill Carter's book, The War for Late Night.  After Conan was publicly kicked in the teeth, he went out on tour.  The documentary became a cathartic, sad, angry, and funny journey for the comedian on how to rebound when life sends you down a path you never intended to take.  How do you pick yourself up?  Well, Can't Stop will show you how.  It's in very limited release throughout the US. In fact, it's playing in one theatre in LA only one time per day:  9:20 PM.  I guess they figure his fans are a late night type of crowd.  Don't miss it and add this documentary to your 2012 Academy Awards nomination watch list.

So, Conan's documentary was a great reminder to persevere even when the deck is stacked against you.  A few months ago, I entered a search for new faces for iVillage's iVoices.  It was a great opportunity video blog or vlog on a terrific site owned by NBC/Universal.  After doing my initial essay, I was asked to submit a video about myself, my interests, and what was happening in my life.  I worked really hard on my submission even though it was a tad long. (Oops!).  I wasn't selected and I was kind of bummed about it.  Fast forward to yesterday:  I received an email from Kelly Wallace, the chief correspondent over at iVillage, asking me to cover one of their press junkets for the upcoming Ryan Reynolds/Jason Bateman film, The Change-Up. Would I like to do it?  Would I?  OF COURSE!  (I snuck my host reel in with my personal video submission.  I was a little worried about doing that, but it was a risk that paid off.)

I am thrilled to be joining the iVillage team as one of their on-air correspondents.  This will be a trial run for me, but I am going to work so hard on this piece because I really want to be here.  I've been a fan of the site for a long time and I am overjoyed at the opportunity.  I will keep you posted on my upcoming coverage.  I couldn't have done it without all of you watching, reading, commenting, and visiting here at Red Carpet Closet all of these months.  Thank you for all of your support!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Godspell: Production Updates

As I've mentioned in this space before, I invested in the upcoming Broadway revival of Godspell.  This is the first time audiences will see a full scale production of Godspell since it made its debut on Broadway in 1976. (For my musical theatre historians, it debuted off-Broadway in 1971.)  It's time for a new generation of theatregoers to enjoy Stephen Schwartz's first blockbuster show.  If you are headed to New York in the fall, be sure to check out the production directed by my Stagedoor pal, Daniel Goldstein, and produced by NYU pal, Ken Davenport.  Tickets go on sale today with previews beginning October 13th and opening is scheduled for November 7th. (I will be there!)  The production will be at the Circle in the Square Theatre cleverly positioned right next to Schwartz's other behemoth production, Wicked which plays at the Gershwin.  The cast has yet to be announced, but a huge open call happened last week with over 1,000 hopefuls attending the casting call.

If you are interested in finding out more about the production, follow Ken's blog:  DAY BY DAY:  The Producer's Perspective.  Ken is documenting the daily activities of mounting the revival from 100 days until the first performance.

To purchase tickets, click here.

"Prepare Ye".

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shake It UP!

Yesterday, I headed out to the Americana to cover the Disney Channel's "Make Your Mark: Ultimate Dance Off-'Shake It UP!' edition.  Now, if you are under the age of 12, you know exactly what Shake It UP! is all about.  It's the hottest new series on the Disney Channel that follows the comedic adventures of CeCe and Rocky who are trying to make their mark in the dance world.  This summer, Disney is hitting 6 cities to find their next dance star from across the US.  The national winner will get to meet the cast and guest star on the hit show.

 I had explicit instructions from my 11-year-old niece to get a shout out for her and her BFF. (Which makes it her 3rd Shake It UP! shout out now. I'm trying to be the cool aunt.)  I made sure the shout out happened and I ran home to share my videos and photos with her.  Now, I get to share them with you. Enjoy my afternoon with the Shake It UP! stars and don't forget to check out the short video at the bottom of this post.  You might catch a dance move or two at the beginning and I totally bust at move at the very end.

Hanging with Zendaya and Bella Thorne.

Showing their moves!

Getting the scoop on Season 2 of Shake It UP!

Interviewing show choreographer, Rosero McCoy. That's quite a chapeau!

Radio Disney DJ, Ernie D.

Showing my moves....maybe I will be on next season?

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I am always a big fan of new apps that are designed to make my life more simple and I think I have found the exact one to manage all my gift and rewards cards in one place.  It's called SWAGG.   SWAGG will "track all of your balances and organize your cards with ease".  I cannot tell you how many times I have added Sharpie marker numbers to my plastic gift cards so I know what my remaining balance is.  With SWAGG, all of my Sharpie pen marks are ancient history.  

An added bonus to this app is that SWAGG offers you access to over 3,500 merchants.  If you don't like that gift certificate you received for the holidays, why not swap it for a gift card to a store you frequent?  Or if you need a last minute birthday gift, you can immediately send a gift certificate.  You can choose the store for the birthday girl or even let them choose all from your Smart Phone.  It's that simple!

The app is free in the iPhone app store or in the Droid Market, but there's even more.  This summer, SWAGG is teaming up with American Eagle to give about $100,000 in gift cards to more than 2,500 winners.  You could win a gift card valued at $25-$1000, but you have to enter to win.   

Here's how to enter:

1.  Download the SWAGG app from the App Store or Android Market for FREE.  Enter the promo code on the "Enter Promotional Card" tab: AEOSS.  

2.  If you don't have a Smart Phone or mobile access you can create a free account at SWAGG and enter the following link:

3.  Don't DELAY!  The sweepstakes began June 23rd and it ends in 3 short days.  Get your entry in by July 10th, 2011. 

To learn more about SWAGG, check out this short YouTube video on how it all works:

Disclosure:  SWAGG kindly offered an American Eagle gift certificate in exchange for this post.  You will see my new American Eagle purchase on the red carpet soon.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July!  I spent my evening at one of my favorite summer activities in LA at the Hollywood Bowl.   Hall & Oates were the headliners for the holiday concert and I was more than thrilled to hear one of my favorite songs, "You Make My Dreams Come True" played live. Here are a few photos of my weekend.  Be sure to let me know what you did this weekend too!

First up, two photos of fireworks from Saturday at the Toyota Speedway of Irwindale.

And then off to the Hollywood Bowl on Monday night for a little Hall & Oates with my pal, Phillyjo.  Super grainy on my iPhone 4!

We are in the bleacher seats, about 493583449459458 rows away from the stage.

If you squint, you can see Daryl Hall on the video screen.

Take two! Peace out!

Look at all of the lights shimmering in the audience.  It's all of the Smart Phones recording the fireworks.  18,000 Smart Phones.  It's good to be Steve Jobs.

Sometimes it looks like the Hollywood Bowl is on fire versus a night of fireworks. 

"You Make My Dreams Come True" Lyrics:

"What I want, you've got
And it might be hard to handle
But like the flame that burns the candle
The candle feeds the flame
What I've got's full stock of thoughts 
and dreams that scatter
You pull them all together
And how, I can't explain
But You make my dreams come true
On a night when bad dreams become a screamer
When they're messin' with the dreamer
I can laugh it in the face
Twist and shout my way out
And wrape yourself around me
'Cause I ain't the way that you found me
I'll never be the same
'Cause You make my dreams come true
I'm down on the daydream
That sleepwalk should be over by now
I know that You make my dreams come true"

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Deets on the Dress

I've received so many kind emails, comments, and questions about the dress I wore to the 2nd Annual Thirst Project Gala.  Thank you!  This look was originally assembled for another event last fall, but I never got a chance to wear it.  The outfit finally made its debut on Tuesday. So, here is everything you need to know:

Stylist:  Roni B.
Makeup:  Carolina Groppa
Dress:  Daisy, $72
Shoes:  Stuart Weitzman (Winter 2007 Collection)
Jewelry:  Roni B and Target

I wanted to give you a close up of the detailing on the Stuart Weitzman shoes.  Roni and I went through every gold shoe in my closet because Purple and Gold has a tendency to make me look like a Lakers Girl.  It had to be just the right shade of gold to enhance the eggplant-colored dress.

One other wonderful detail added by Roni was the brooch in the middle of the vertical bow.  It made a very simple dress look elegant and sophisticated.  A perfect compliment to the rest of the look.

Take a look at a few other outfits Roni has pulled together for me here, here, and here.

Top photo courtesy of Leilani Gushiken.

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