How can I attend the Oscars?
March 4, 2014 11:01 AM   Subscribe

So after watching the Academy Awards last weekend, I'm wondering - how can I go? It's in a huge theater, surely they have some general admission options? Even better, could I be one of those seat filler people that fills the chair when a celeb goes to the bathroom? I'd prefer the Oscars, but I'm open to the Emmy or Golden Globe awards, or possibly even the Grammy awards.

The biggest obstacle is that I don't live in California (or New York, for other award shows), but obviously I'm willing to travel.

A possible advantage is that I do work for one of the major film studios that is well represented at the Oscars every year, although I work in the theme park division.
posted by I am the Walrus to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
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posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:09 AM on March 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Marry an executive, probably?

Being less facetious, there actually aren't that many people who get to attend the Oscars. It's not an event you can just buy a ticket to.

Usually you have to have a specific purpose for going. For instance I know someone who has been quite a few times as the plus one to her husband, who is directly involved with the production of the ceremony.

A friend of mine from high school was a seat filler once. She went to USC film school, though.

Apparently you can apply to be a seat filler. I found this site, though it hasn't been updated since 2004.

There's also Audiences Unlimited, which fills seats at all kinds of different "live studio audience" type events. I don't see anything about award shows on the site, though -- you may have to religiously check for updates to their monthly schedule. (Though I also notice it's only the fourth of the month and pretty much anything you'd want tickets to is already sold out. Oscar seat filler opportunities are a much hotter commodity than tickets to a Big Bang Theory taping, too.)
posted by Sara C. at 11:12 AM on March 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

There are no general admission options outside of applying to be a seat filler (more here on the process). The Dolby Theater seats about 3,400, and there's no shortage of people in the film industry to fill out those invitations -- the Academy alone has 6,000 members, so most of the people who vote on the awards can't even attend.
posted by scody at 11:27 AM on March 4, 2014 [6 favorites]

You're not going to get a ticket to the Oscars, and the seat filler jobs are extremely hard to come by. Almost all of the seat fillers are repeats, year to year, and even when there are slots open participants are drawn from a pool of known candidates. Cross this one off your list, partner.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:12 PM on March 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I've got a number of friends who've been in the industry for years. Several of whom have gotten the Academy Awards that aren't Oscars (or been mentioned in Oscars acceptance speeches). This is the first year where I've seen photos on the social medias from a friend who actually went to Oscars night. It's a big hairy deal, with no shortage of people pushing contacts for invites.
posted by straw at 12:22 PM on March 4, 2014

Somebody I'm facebook friends with went to some lower rent awards show (I don't remember which one) this year by accident. He said he was staying in a fancy hotel for business and noticed lots of celebs in the lobby. He asked the concierge what was going on and they said "it's an awards show would you like a ticket?" and just gave him a free ticket.

So you could probably get in a low end awards show.
posted by interplanetjanet at 1:05 PM on March 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

they do sell tickets to the Canadian Screen Awards, the main gala of which is happening this Sunday. I have no idea if any tickets would still be available at this late date, however. (one of my best friends is nominated, so I'll be going to the gala - I'll let you know how it goes if you're interested)
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:30 PM on March 4, 2014

Would the Razzies count as a "low end awards show"?
posted by iviken at 1:31 PM on March 4, 2014

Vanity Fair just did a piece on this. You need a connection to someone who's either a member or employee of the Academy (or maybe an ABC employee.) Seatfillers is another way.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:36 PM on March 4, 2014

It was one that involved a lot of screaming teenagers because he complained about the noise.
posted by interplanetjanet at 2:06 PM on March 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Becoming a seatfiller is one route, but the company that handles this won't use a first time seatfiller for these premiere gigs. They will require a seatfiller for a high profile, high security event to have been cooperative on a number of other, lesser award shows. They want to know you're patient, with a good chance of standing in a hallway throughout the entire show, and if you are used, that you can take direction quickly (you'll be on standby), that if seated next to a celebrity you won't engage them in conversation, and will have the common sense to leave your seat when required, and, of course, that you aren't a threat in any other way.

One backup option is to keep an eye on the Oscar's website for when bleacher seats become available for the red carpet -- these are hard to come by, are provided via lottery and/or first come, first serve, but are open to the public. They tend to announce these months in advance.
posted by Unsomnambulist at 4:49 PM on March 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

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