What it's really like to go to The Emmys

Sinead Corcoran channels her inner Hollywood starlet for The Emmys. Dress: Ruby, Bag: Trelise...
Sinead Corcoran channels her inner Hollywood starlet for The Emmys. Dress: Ruby, Bag: Trelise Cooper from Designer Wardrobe. Photo: Supplied via NZH
We've all wondered what it would be like to go to a glam Hollywood event like the Emmys. The Herald's entertainment editor Sinead Corcoran got the chance.

Heading to the Emmy Awards last year, I had naively thought I'd be rubbing shoulders with Hollywood's elite, but here's the thing: I hadn't realised that going to the Emmys as a normal person is not the same as going as an A-lister.

It's more like having concert tickets you bought at the last minute.

You know what I mean? The ones where you're right up the back in the nosebleeds and Taylor Swift is a teeny-tiny flea so you spend the entire show watching the giant TV screens just like you would at home.

"Oh my God, don't be so ungrateful!" I hear you shriek. "You got to go to THE EMMYS!"

Don't get me wrong, it was incredible — especially because the teeny-tiny flea of the night was Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, if you will) and as a huge Fleabag fan, watching her clean up in real life was spectacular.

But aside from knowing you're in the same room, sharing the same oxygen as some of the most famous people in the world, it's really no different to being at any old show at Spark Arena.

If you pull out your binoculars, you can see Phoebe Waller-Bridge's face. Kinda. Photo: Supplied...
If you pull out your binoculars, you can see Phoebe Waller-Bridge's face. Kinda. Photo: Supplied via NZH
Your night begins by being shepherded through an underground carpark, which looks like the kind of place a night noodle market might be held. Then you file down a purple (not red) carpet, which runs parallel to the proper red carpet for the stars.

There's a wall between the carpets, but it has little gaps in it so, if you're lucky, you can crane your neck and try to spy some celebs — kind of like how the handmaids have those secret meetings through the supermarket shelves in The Handmaid's Tale.

The best part about the pleb carpet, though, is that if you're none the wiser, in photos it looks exactly the same as the red one.

It's got the big sparkly Emmys statues, the big sparkly Emmys logos and the big sparkly photo opps, so to your Instagram followers back home you look like you were next to the stars the whole time.

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At the end of the carpet, you're shepherded into the arena and seated in the bleachers with the other normals, about a million miles from the celebrities in the front half of the room.

Just like Spark Arena, there's a bar right outside, where you can buy giant tubs of popcorn or, in my case, supersized cans of Corona (I am trash). And in case you're wondering what the other plebs were like, they were exactly what you'd imagine; a heaving, frenetic throng of Real Housewives of LA types Botoxed within an inch of their lives.

From Marge Simpson-esque bouffants to pageant queen sequinned gowns and Kylie Jenner lips, rich American women look just how they do on TV — but in person, it's much more jarring.

The ceremony definitely doesn't seem as razzly dazzly as it does on screen — the auditorium is much more brightly lit from the inside, almost like a school production.

See what I mean about the squint-vision? Photo: Supplied
See what I mean about the squint-vision? Photo: Supplied
Plus, the celebrities are on the other side of the room, so you can't make anyone out even if you have supersonic squint vision.

After the show, everyone files out in a sweaty, boozy pack into the carpark where winners take their awards to a special, roped-off area to have pre-prepared plaques added on.

Then the celebs are shipped to a soiree called the Governors Ball, and all the B through Z-listers trickle off to after-parties.

You probably won't be surprised that I didn't manage to sneak into an A-lister after-party.

I went for dinner at a Japanese restaurant, sloshed back to the Hollywood Roosevelt and commiserated with myself about the time I very nearly almost met Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

I'd love to tell you I bumped into Meryl Streep in the bathroom or slipped Hugh Grant my phone number in the carpark, but I genuinely didn't see a single celebrity.

I think I know where I went wrong though, and if I could go back and do it over I know exactly what I'd do differently: Turn my Tinder on, set my radius to the diameter of the venue, cast that long line out and reel 'em in that way.








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