Awards Season in Los Angeles begins with the People’s Choice and ends with the Academy’s choice–the Oscars, that is. Driving for awards ceremonies is a golden opportunity (pun intended) for our chauffeurs to showcase their driving know how and customer service expertise.
For us it starts a week or so prior to each event with an uptick in trips to the airport to pick up–not celebrities–but the master tailors flying in from Paris and Milan to do final fittings and final touches on fete attire. We’re talking tuxes and couture gowns packed in well-guarded, large cardboard wardrobe boxes. Sometimes separate vehicles are hired just for designer duds. Paparazzi go GaGa for the celebrities and we just Cruise right by with their haute couture. Wink. Wink.
The Academy Awards, which is coming up on February 26, 2017, is the ceremony that garners the most curiosity. “Who are you driving?” “What are they wearing?” We never disclose, but we can talk about the what happens on our end on “the day of”.
The Academy Awards is well-choreographed for limousine companies. Chauffeurs need to be credentialed to be able to drop off and pick up at the awards event. A day or two prior, we get route details, special “red carpet” placards and parking passes to distribute to our chauffeurs.
Our chauffeurs pick up celebrities starting at about 3 PM on the day of the Academy Awards. Note to tailors-please consider seat belts when designing gowns with bodice embellishments. (Yep, it has come up). Celebrities, in their pristine tuxedos and couture gowns, are usually accompanied by publicists and their team of assistants who help coordinate their red carpet appearance.
While the red carpet does extend to the actual curb where our chauffeurs drop celebrities off, the official “red carpet” doesn’t start for a while. First there is a gauntlet of spectator bleachers that they need to walk past to get to the official, official red carpet. After chauffeurs drop clients off they get a client number and go to a holding lot at the Hollywood Bowl. Academy Award organizers know how to keep chauffeurs happy. Wide screen TVs, great catering and other amenities are provided to make the wait comfortable.
Near the end of the event a transportation coordinate calls our numbers on a bullhorn. Once a chauffeur’s number is called, her or she goes back to the awards venue and gets in the queue to pick up clients to take them to after parties.
Where do Oscar statuettes go when the stars are attending after parties? Sometimes assistants sequester them, sometimes the stars take them with…and every once in a while they’re left in the back seat. They’re heavy little suckers.