Ladies from “Downton Abbey,” winners of the SAG Awards Best Television Ensemble.

Ladies from “Downton Abbey,” winners of the SAG Awards Best Television Ensemble.

I want to Talk about the 19th Annual SAG Awards and the girlie time I had attending this starry event. You can only imagine how heady it was! What to wear, who will I know, and who will I see? I deeply cared about the event, but I’d be fudging if I didn’t admit, for a judicious time, it was all about me! So, let’s dish.

Pre-Show: I slowly got ready. When my car arrived early I grabbed my earrings and split. I had promised friends that I would do some updates on Facebook, so I’m sharing some with you, starting with “Ok, I’m off. Semi-ready, my jewelry in a dainty sack to put on in the car … seems one earring won’t clasp? I’ll be a one-earring person. And, like a contestant for ‘Mrs. Addled America,’ I went to the mall this morning and had some false eyelashes put on, and now one is hanging partway off. So far so good.”

Before I got there, I had enough material for a stand up act — all things strike me funny. I arrived early and went on the far right Red Carpet. The contemporary stars were on the left side (with their PR people guiding them hither and thither) to be available for the press and photographers. Parted only by a long shrub, I could gawk at the early arrivals. The bleachers were on my right and fans had to scream to get their favorites’ attention. I was pleased to see Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) get around the shrub and sign autographs.

After mooning around I entered the Shrine’s Exposition Hall and found my seat. Since no one was really seated as yet, I could wander. I nearly bumped into Robert Morse with his darling son Charlie, “I’m stargazing,” said Bobby as he trailed away. Standing by her husband was this gorgeous woman I met in the Ladies Room (when I helped her hide a dress tag). Jeepers. Dean Norris, who plays Hank Shrader in Breaking Bad. She kindly introduced us, which gave me the opportunity to sincerely pour it on about how fantastic his work is. Patter patter. Then I saw handsome Steven Michael Quezada (Gomez) talking with Jonathan Banks (who fused the character of Mike Ehmantraut with such casual energy, he created a unique villain that made you cry when he accidentally died). Facebook entry: “Jonathan Banks! He was sooo great as Mike in Breaking Bad … I blubbered admiration when we met and then he said, ‘Jackie, we know each other’ … and I said, ’We do?’” Just to complete the Breaking Bad circle, I was in the Ladies line (again) and so was Betsy Brandt, who plays Hank’s wife Marie. And, I got to tell her what a unique and dumbfounding actress she is. Whee.

Facebook: “I took a self portrait near the L’Oreal giveaway nook. (Freebies!!!) Almost made it this far intact, I dropped a shawl on the Red Carpet, a TV team waved at me and I amazingly thought they wanted an interview … But they were pointing at my dropped shawl.” Ah, well, I still could ogle Julianna Margulies and tell Hal Holbrook when I first saw him in 1959. Chris Messina liked me telling him he’s going to be such a big star. And I beamed at the SAG-AFTRA Co-Presidents; the magnificent Ken Howard (with snazzy wife Linda) and the sparkling Roberta Reardon.

The show started and everyone had a lovely plate to snack on. I was eating slowly and during a break, I went to give Dick Van Dyke a DVD he wanted. When I came back my plate was gone. Karma. The show itself was so entrancing that it was ephemeral, a heightened happening. The reality show was the Ladies Room. Had a quick meet with Michelle Dockery, Lady Mary of Downton Abbey, then found her at the post awards Gala with three of her co-players, Sophie McShera (Daisy), Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes), and Amy Nuttall (Ethel). They were in a quiet nook and we had a chance to really chat and they were so enthralled at the company they were keeping, and very overwhelmed that their show won the Award for Best Television Show Ensemble. I must say that the housekeeper, the kitchen maid, and the ex-prostitute looked totally glamorous.

My hand is still glowing from shaking hands with Mandy Patinkin. And I got a nod from Jon Hamm. Stared at Daniel Day-Lewis. Longed for Hugh Jackman. Stalked Anne Hathaway and asked Victor Garber how to find Alan Arkin. I wanted to grab Jeff Daniels, but thought better of it. It was dear seeing Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, true girlfriends. Bittersweet to get my coach and depart this shindig for actors and by actors. Congratulations to Kathy Connell, Producer of this event and to all the staff and volunteers that made it happen. My first SAG Awards was when I was edging 60, I was on the SAG Board then, and nearly 20 years later, I’m now on the SAG-AFTRA Bd. It was with pride and love that I attended this now traditional happening.

We’ll Talk….

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Talk with Jackie

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