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THE RULES OF HOLLYWOOD

If You Want to Fly With Moths, Don't Touch

September 17, 2006|Anna T. Hirsh | Anna T. Hirsh has held various entertainment industry jobs, including serving as an intern for Sofia Coppola.

I am a VIP server at a ridiculous Hollywood nightclub. Friday and Saturday nights we serve rich brats who want a great view and a night of puking. For extra cash, I also work the special events that take place at the club: premieres, awards shows and celebrity birthday parties. My brood is the famous, the wealthy and the entitled.

I have discovered that celebrities are a lot like moths--fragile, mostly nocturnal and attracted to the limelight. I know, because I am a fly in the room, a witness to their strange behavior and their bizarrely large heads (figuratively and literally). If I have learned anything in four years of interaction and observation, it's that most celebrities have a maniacal need to feel special-er than all the rest, which generally involves me doing two things: making sure that weight-obsessed VIPs have all the food/alcohol they could never want, and ensuring that no one, including me, comes near them who shouldn't (touch their wings and they die).

It's very important work.

For example, Male Diva Singer had an army of makeup artists, a request list the length of the Constitution and seemed very touchy about anyone coming within 10 feet of him. In order to hand off the imported French honey he requested, I was told to go through his agent. At least he ate the honey.

Folk Rock Lady made us put out a spread of healthy, organic, hormone-free food--which she didn't touch. Instead we had to send someone to Burger King for fries. But she was a doll compared with the Aging Badly Rocker who needed his personal security guard to stay with him in the bathroom (the same guard accused me of stalking when I brought the cocktails they had ordered). You begin to wonder if these people were ever capable of eating, walking or making potty on their own. It's as if stardom has rendered them into helpless baby birds. Or larvae.

Or reptiles. Consider the Celebrity Judge who forbade her chubby assistant to touch a single hors d'oeuvre at the show's wrap party. Or the '70s Kung Fu Star who berated a party planner on-camera just to get a laugh out of his celebrity friends. And then there was the One-Hit Wonder who, when I asked if she wanted more tea, hissed, "Not from you!" Funny, I can't even remember what she sang.

Don't get me wrong; not all VIPs are egosauruses. Sometimes I am even their best friend--for a minute. Major Hunk provided cover while I did a shot of tequila at his premiere. Scary Music Producer engaged me in a discussion about the dispersion of wealth in society. And Comeback Queen told me, "If you want to quit smoking, give me your cell number and I'll get you into a great program," as if we were going to start doing each other's hair and trading cookie recipes. I doubt that she remembered my name two minutes after leaving the club.

I may have good stories to tell my friends, but even the titillation in knowing which celebrity chain-smoked and guzzled champagne while seven months' pregnant is beginning to lose its magic. Yes, I know that Shy Young Actress snorted the entire GNP of Colombia in the bathroom that I change in, but do I care?

Maybe a little. We all have a bit of Us Weekly in us, that desire to see celebrities and figure out if they are as perfect as they seem. Do they really look like their cinematic selves, or is Hollywood actually made up of hundreds of gorgeous cardboard cutouts shuffling in and out of limousines as they pass each other on the way to overpriced restaurants, exclusive clubs and their own oppressively huge homes? We worship them because we want to believe that we too could have tranquilized panthers in cages as decoration for our party, just like Sexy Hip-Hop God.

In my own way, I feed and protect that Dream Machine. In a broader sense, my job is to make sure the fussy moths are happy so that the world sees butterflies.

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