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PALM LATITUDES

In Excess

August 30, 1992|Bill Manson

"I have danced next to Princess Grace at the Waldorf," says Richard Osterweil, "had Imelda Marcos admire my running shoes and listened to Yoko Ono give a eulogy at Andy Warhol's funeral." International playboy? No, professional party crasher. After 16 years of sneaking into balls, openings and weddings, the 40-year-old New York cabbie/artist is about to become a star himself with the September release of, "Painting the Town," a film documentary of his exploits. A few tips for L.A. future moochers:

--Dress as if you belong. Look rich. Nobody likes to refuse a rich person.

--To get past the gate, "don't be aggressive. Be polite and confused." Or join a celebrity's entourage. "There's so much attention focused on them, there'll be less on you."

--To get a table, find the maitre d' and say convincingly: "The people at our table are drunk and abusive. Can you find us another seat?"

--If you can see people are going to be difficult, "Speak very loudly. They hate that. That usually ends the conversation."

This is no game for the fainthearted, he warns. "You need a lot of nerve. At Martha Graham's funeral, I was talking with Jackie Onassis--in a faint Russian accent. I think Jackie thought I was a dancer. Then Mikhail Baryshnikov suddenly joined the conversation. I almost threw up."

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