Sunday, March 31, 2013

Among The Stars - JENNIFER LOPEZ

It has always been my dream to be in a hit movie, be escorted to the premiere with my manager and walk the red carpet. On April 21, 2010 that dream came true. What was once a fantasy is now a memory. Allow me to share this reality with you. The movie I am talking about is The Back-up Plan starring Jennifer Lopez. I play Tabitha, one of the women in a support group that J-Lo's character joins. Now I don't have a lot of dialogue, but I do get some great screen time. Nonetheless my manager, the amazing Todd Justice, allowed me to enjoy every minute of my 15 minutes of fame. Not only was he the most handsome man at the event, he is so comfortable in his skin and knows this business so well, that there was never an uncomfortable moment the whole night. When we arrived we were immediately greeted by Maggie Schmidt, Senior VP of Publicity, for CBS Films who immediately made sure that I was escorted down the red carpet. "Carlease, Carlease, turn to the left, over here, put your hands down...." shouts and camera flashes all over the place. Wow, all I could think about was my face hurting from holding that smile for so long. Step and repeat, step and repeat. (As you can see, I didn't quite know how to pose for the camera yet!)

I actually did a couple of interviews as well. I learned to look on the floor in front of the press people to know who you're talking to (or who you don't want to talk to). All of a sudden one of the press people asks me to stand in one spot..."This one is for Shelley" she says. What? My publicist friend Shelley Ginsburg gives me a shout out from the red carpet and she wasn't even there! We took a picture on an iphone and sent it to her immediately. It took a few minutes, but with the red carpet behind us, Todd and I went inside grabbed some popcorn and sat down in the lobby to watch the "other" stars arrive. All of a sudden the lobby was packed and we were asked to take our seats. More mingling with the casting directors David Rubin & Richard Hicks and with Cesar Millan, "The Dog Whisperer" who sat behind us. He is so funny, he shouts out his own name when he appears on screen.
I loved hanging out with Todd on our "first date", getting a new perspective on the business from his point of view. I am so blessed to have him on my team. We hardly ever get a chance to be in each other’s presence for any length of time.

We went to the after party at the W and made our rounds congratulating director, Alan Poul, the producers, fellow cast members, writer Kate Angelo, etc. At one point I saw this beautiful woman waving at me and realized it was J-Lo! I went over to say hi....she looked stunning. Of course she was holding court, but I got a chance to congratulate her and tell her how I enjoyed working with her. She told me that she actually fought to keep some more of our scenes in. Wow. I think Todd got a kick out of me introducing him to her as if he didn't know who she was!
It was a night I will never forget and I'm still dreaming of more red carpet moments to come. Someone asked me in an interview recently to give them one word to describe Jennifer Lopez. I'll give you two and let you pick. Focused. Flawless.


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