Back in my college days circa 2003-ish, I managed to get an all-access press pass to the Savannah Film Festival.
By bald-faced, straight-up lying. My mother would be ashamed…and at the time, my conscious was knotted up in my stomach.
Well. Until I realized how freaking awesome my life was going to be for the following week.
Because so much awesomeness happened in the span of 7 days, I can only start at the beginning, really. So here is how it all began. The Hunt for Alec Baldwin.
As many of you (none of you) know, Jordi and I had our own radio show in college called The Lauren & Jordi Show. We played lots of different music, a lot of whatever the college told us to play, and some metal and random pop sprinkled in. It was a mishmash. It was hilarious. It was our first year doing the show when the Savannah Film Festival rolled into town. We had heard that Alec was going to be there promoting a new film that was in the fest, and in our infinite wisdom we decided to try to find him and express our undying love.
Thus began The Hunt for Alec Baldwin.
We had 2 shows a week, and at each show leading up to the festival we asked listeners to give us tips on Baldwin sightings, and when that failed, we decided to just go to his hotel and straight up stalk his ass. Obviously.
After a few drinks, Jordi and I walked to the front desk of the Marshall House at around 10:30pm and declared we were there to meet Alec for an interview for our very well known, critically acclaimed radio show. Totally legit, we insisted. Instead of just throwing our drunk asses out of the lobby, we were told that Alec hadn’t arrived yet and he was ever so sorry about the confusion!
Well. I suppose that is ok. We did have a meeting but we were willing to reschedule if he could tell us when, exactly, the man himself would be in-house.
In some cosmic aligning of planets, the front desk man didn’t just tell us when he would be in, he told us to come back the next morning to meet with Ms. X who was running the festival and make sure she knew of the confusion. She would ensure us getting us straightened out.
So then we shit ourselves and left the hotel trying not to freak out. The next morning we put on our ‘professional’ clothes – non-ripped jeans and a cardigan, essentially – and walked up to Ms. X in the lobby at the ass crack of dawn. Before I could even finish explaining that we were there on legitimate SCAD Radio business, Ms. X took my name, gave me 2 all-access passes and set me up with multiple press junkets…
Including a private interview with Thora Birch who was accepting an award at the fest.
But that’s a story for another day.
So! Now that Jordi and I have our passes, we leave the hotel and grab some coffee. Trying to figure out exactly what just happened. And it hit us: we are one step closer to Alec Baldwin. This was really going to happen. We would meet him and he would love us and we would live in the Baldwin mansion forever and get fed grapes while watching Beetlejuice on permanent cycle. It will be the most glorious!
In between cutting everyone we knew in line to get special seats at screenings, waving at classmates through the windows at fancy schmancy cocktail parties, dillydallying with celebs and writers and directors and the like, we were searching. Desperately. For Alec.
And he was nowhere to be found. For a goddamned week.
After the screening of his film, where he took the stage briefly and spoke, we really expected that to be the first and last time we saw him, and sulked. He was like the wind. Seemingly everywhere and nowhere. “Oh, we saw him here!”, “oh, we saw him there!”. Seemed like everyone had spotted him in his natural habitat except us. We needed drinks. That would help us sort out our emotions. We headed out to the after party where he was also missing, and then got to the ever illusive after after party. We grabbed our drinks and chatted to some people. Jordi went outside for a smoke and I struck up conversations with everyone I could.
Nightcrawler was there.
He’s lithe. And adorable. And this is how our conversation went:
Nightcrawler: Hi there.
Me: Hey! You’re [Nightcrawler!].
Nightcrawler: I am! Where are you from?
Nightcrawler: I had a friend in Boston!
Me: Neat! Whereabouts?
Nightcrawler: Oh. He died of AIDS so he’s not there anymore.
Me: Well it was nice meeting you….>shuffles away<
As I’m walking away, not really believing I just had possibly the worst and shortest conversation with someone ever, Jordi comes up the stairs and has a curious look on her face. What is it? What happened?!
The man. The mystery. Alec Baldwin was outside with his (at the time) ladyfriend. Just chillin’ like a villain. She was too nervous to say anything so she just stood there trying to keep her pants on, I’m sure. Her will is like a rock, that one.
And I missed it because I was talking AIDS and not smoking. Which I think is an important lesson. When I figure out what it is, I’ll be sure to pass it on.
On the next edition of Adventures in Art, I regale you with the time a certain someone tried to lock, stock his smoking barrel into my pants. Film Festivals are awesome.