Monday, June 1, 2015

Diane J. Reed Goes To Hollywood!

As many of you know, I've conducted over a dozen interviews with the cast & creators of television's hit fantasy drama Once Upon a Time (to read my interviews, click here). Never in my wildest dreams, however, did I imagine that I would be asked to walk the red carpet! Enter the Etheria Film Night at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood on June 13th, which honors innovative women in film & television. I was recently invited to attend this event with a special VIP pass.

The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, California

Detail of a fresco on the Egyptian Theater

Fortunately, I will get the chance to help interview Etheria Film Night's main honoree, Jane Espenson.  Jane Espenson will be receiving an award for her writing contributions to many of the most popular television shows ever to hit the screen, such as Once Upon a Time, Buffy the Vampire SlayerFirefly, Game of Thrones & Torchwood.

Jane Espenson, Writer & 
Consulting Producer of Once Upon a Time

There's only one problem. As a writer, I spend most of my time in my darkened writing cave (a small office where I draw all the blinds), rarely surfacing except to take an afternoon jog, after which I sit down at the computer & pound on the keyboard for hours until my day is done. Since I live in the mountains of Colorado, more than likely I'm wearing hiking boots, an old pair of jeans & a faded cotton sweatshirt.

Hardly the life of a glamorous starlet...

Although at first I was quite flattered to be asked to attend the Etheria Film Night (& my husband insisted that I go, since walking the red carpet is a "bucket list" opportunity for many people), within a few days reality began to set in. 

And I became petrified.

Oh god, I thought, Hollywood is famous for being the land of size 0 women! This is not a town that is kind to middle-aged chicks with children who spend most of their time at a desk (not in the gym or with personal trainers) like me. On top of that, I refuse to try botox! All at once, those high school prom jitters that I thought I'd outgrown came rushing back with a vengeance. What if I look like a troll compared to the movie industry people? Will anyone be nice to me? And good god, how on earth do I find the right outfit?

Something tells me I won't exactly  pull off the same kind of entrance as Charlize Theron at Cannes, complete with flash-bulb popping paparazzi & an Oscar-winning boyfriend at her side in the form of Sean Penn.

And I'll admit, I'm as guilty as sin. Yes I'm one of those obnoxious women who's glued to the television screen during award shows, drooling over the gorgeous gowns & comparing notes with girlfriends about who we think deserves the title of "Best Dressed."

Like this charming & ethereal number worn by Lily Collins, star of the fairy tale film remake of Snow White titled Mirror, Mirror. Wouldn't this outfit be perfection for the Etheria Film Night? Of course it would! Except that I don't look like Lily Collins, and I'm probably old enough to be her mother. 

Yikes! All my life, I've been drawn to (okay, maybe obsessed with) the old glamour of Hollywood, but not for the reasons that you might think. Whenever I gazed at pictures of Vivian Leigh, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, or Catherine Denueve, what I saw in their faces was something beyond the glossiness as dictated by studio heads & a score of lighting & makeup professionals. Particularly as a young woman about to make her way in the world, every time I looked into their eyes I perceived a raw kind of female power. Each woman stared straight into the camera lens as a force to be reckoned with. Never mind their perfect features, lithe figures, and acting talents. They looked like the kind of women who would never take no for an answer, and if we were lucky, they just might rule the world.

Vivian Leigh. I mean seriously, 
could you say no to her?

Grace Kelly, The ultimate Ice Queen.

Elizabeth Taylor, wearing makeup from
 the film Cleopatra that entirely suits her.

Sophia Loren, the eternal goddess

Catherine Denueve, a free yet 
forceful spiritI even own her hat.

These women were my paper dolls as I was growing up, and they helped me to imagine the kind of woman I might become. One who lived life on her own terms & who never apologized for her talents or her power. Nevertheless, the idea of walking the red carpet myself was entirely nerve wracking for at least a month, until I leafed through an old book I have of my favorite women in film. After gazing into their frank expressions, the idea suddenly hit me: just be yourself. That's what these women excelled at best! Okay, so I'm not a size 0 (& I refuse to apologize for taking up space). I'm not twenty years old, and I certainly don't have a stylist or a publicist. Since I'm closer to Julia Roberts' age, with twin children like her, I looked to her for a more contemporary role model of sophistication & glamour. 

Would that I had that smile & those legs! But what I love about the above photo is that Julia Roberts appears elegant yet comfortable, as at ease with the photographers as she is with her own soul. No matter what happens on that red carpet, she looks like she will have a great time, because she long ago learned the secret of life, which is internal value over outward validation. Now that I had acquired an image in my mind of glamour without being fussy, I set out to find an appropriate dress within my price range.

Hello, Ebay! No, I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on an up-to-the-minute couture wardrobe, nor do I have the personal phone number of Karl Lagerfeld, the designer for Chanel. So to my mind, the next best thing is a secondhand dress by a known designer, acquired through the internet magic of Ebay. What I found was a lovely silk Ralph Lauren gown in my size that is in a flattering black hue, a lot like Julia Roberts' outfit.

Naturally, I had to find shoes to match, so I searched Ebay for something glitzy & fun, and I came up with these glittering, black high heels.

I'd like to add that these are the HIGHEST heels I've ever tried on in my life, and I'm not altogether convinced I won't fall. So I added skid resistant pads to the bottom soles of the shoes to hopefully not take a nose dive while in Hollywood. 

Luckily, I will be attending the event with some friends who I'm counting on to (1) catch me if I trip on the red carpet, and (2) help me make this event as fun as possible, regardless of how clumsy I might turn out to be. After all, I'm a gal who normally wears hiking boots. 

What do you think? Do I have the right stuff to take on Hollywood? Give me sparkly shoes and a dapper hat, and I'll give it a try : ) 


The interview with Jane Espenson was lovely! Her creative spirit brims with light & she simply could not have been a nicer person. I felt truly honored (& in awe) to be in the presence of her monumental talent. Below is a photo taken on June 13th in Hollywood 
(and yes, she really did share poplcorn! ; )

Jane Espenson (left), Diane J. Reed (right)

Photo credit note: All images on my blog are either my own or were gleaned from pictures in the public domains of popular social networks like tumblr, facebook or pinterest. If you own the copyright to any of these images & do NOT want them used publicly, please contact me & I will take them down immediately! : )


  1. Loved reading this! What a great honor. Hope you have a night of a lifetime to remember. Look them in the eye and give them that beautiful smile!

  2. Thank you so much, Patricia! Yes, I expect to wear a pound of makeup and some serious glitter--maybe that will help me defeat my nerves! Hope you have a wonderful day with that bright smile of your own <3

  3. Wear the hat.

    No, seriously. WEAR THE DAMN HAT.

    1. Lol! And the corset, and the spanx, and....But I have to say, I do love the hat. I got it on Ebay for 8 bucks :D

  4. Congrats, Diane! I hope you have a BLAST! I was living just three blocks from the Egyptian before I moved up here to Portland - would have met you there! How long do you get to stay in LA? What part of town are you staying in? Visit Venice Beach!!! :) <3

    1. Oh, that is so cool, Mara! I will only stay the weekend, and yes, it would be great to see Venice Beach. But what I REALLY want to see is your new Love Potion Magickal Perfumerie Gift Shoppe in Vancouver, Washington! Congratulations--it looks gorgeous!