MIPCOM Part 2: The Red Carpet

Okay, here we go. Round 2: The Red Carpet.

Disclaimers: there may or may not be similar mini catastrophes to Round 1: The Telefilm photocall post; it is a lot of ‘me’ stories, we will get back to overall ‘actor’ content soon!

With that said, I give you a red-carpet-virgin experience at MIPCOM 2014:

Getting ready:

Okay, first world disaster coming your way… There I was make up ready, hair ‘did’ (what little I have of it), and sparkly shoes ready to go, all I had left to do, with 15 minutes to spare, was slip on my picture-worthy dress from an awesome Toronto stylist and then sashay my way out the door.

So I slipped on the dress, zipped it up and… *wait wtf?! zipped it up and… *what the hell is up with this zipper?! *ahem, zipped it up and… oh sweet jesus.

Zipper. Broken.

I was officially trapped half way into and therefore halfway out of, my dress. No way to zip it up or zip it down. So I have the only response to this kind of situation…

Total, unreasonable panic.

I started yanking at the zipper, running around my apartment (cause that helps), trying to call my producer for god knows what kind of advice or help, and yes, you guessed it: sweating profusely.

Cut to 10 minutes later: I am a sweaty, panicky mess and with a single, desperate, guttural yell from my belly -literally ripped myself out of the dress Incredible Hulk styles.

BUT don’t worry everyone – insert Too Many Cooks-esque music here -I had my trusty back up dress!

Yah, I know, weird right?! But it’s a thing. People have back-up dresses for just this sort of thing happening (oh those celebrities, they think of everything).

So one back up dress later and a lot of tissues to deal with the sweat (apologies for the image), and I’m good to go!

Getting there:

So now I’m late (sound like a theme in my MIPCOM tales?) and am facing the added challenge of my ‘pick up location’ that was actually further away than the red carpet (essentially the pick up location is a specific local about a block from the red carpet, where they put you in a black sedan and pretend like they woke you from the depths of the earth, a born celebrity, with no other purpose than to swagger your celebrityness all over the red carpet). Point being: I had to actually maneuver my way past the crowd/reporters/red carpet insanity to get to my pick up location.

SO pressure on I slid down the banister, whistled for a cab, told the cab driver my hilarious yet tragic dress story in perfect French, and after a hearty laugh all around was whisked to the pick-up location just in time.

No. Not at all.

Here’s what actually happened: I ran out of my 4th floor apartment, heels, umbrella and purse in hand, forgot to turn on the hall light in my hurry, slipped on the marble stairs and fell down the entire first flight (yes, I also dropped my dignity along with my umbrella).

Then, limping to the door, found absolutely no cabs in sight, and actually started running toward the pick up location. In the rain. Serious rain, like we’re experiencing global warming or something…

I was doing pretty damn well until I came upon the red carpet. There were paparazzi, security and fans everywhere! I thought I could delicately slink by. Not so much, blockades everywhere….I had to cut down to the beach!! and run my way along the boardwalk (or by now, more like limp-run, lim-un?)

It was a sad sight y’all, that is until I could see the pick up location. I was sensible enough to stop, sit down on the boardwalk (ostrich feather dress et all) to put on my heels, and powder my face. Let me tell you, it is neither glamorous or comfortable to get ready for a fancy event with your butt in sand and multiple joggers and dog walkers looking at you like you’re an over dressed homeless person, but ya gotta do whatcha gotta do…

From there I sauntered up to the waiting black sedan like getting there was NBD and I was definitely NOT sweating profusely with anxiety and/or excitement. Steve, the producer of Darknet, Clark another awesome producer who was coming with us and I piled into the car and we were on our way!

We were about to pull up and have the door opened for us and achieve eternal fame and fortune when Clark said, ‘What do you plan to do with all of that exactly?’

I was about to say ‘What do you mean?’ when I stopped myself mid-sentence and noticed I had a large day-bag (like legit luggage), my umbrella, a pair of flats and a clutch purse (because, you know, the day-bag was not enough). Which means, you guessed it:

More panic.

Clark, being the most amazing person ever, said something to the effect of, ‘I’ve got this, give it all to me, I’m going to act as your ‘publicist’ it will be great.’

He grabbed all my things, jumped out of the car and it was red carpet time!

*Let’s take a quick moment to recognize this is a LONG post, and if you’re still with me, tiny applause and thanks from me.


Red Carpet:

It all happens in what feels like 10 seconds. Someone explains what is about to happen (which you retain none of), then you ‘step up to the plate’ and a bunch of people take your photo (which meant a lot of ‘gaffaw’ face from me, and all my knowledge of what looks attractive in a photo going out the window), then you are ushered/pulled along to the next place to get your photo taken, and the next… and THEN you think you did it! You survived, possibly with a stack of horrific photos on google tomorrow, BUT survived none the less…

That’s what you think, but then come the interviews!

People from all different countries (okay, in our case, two) wanting to ask you questions about the show and your career and your dress…

*To those two interviewers, if they ever read this: despite my insane amount of giggling and large pauses before questions, I am intelligent and DO have great things to say about Darknet and myself as an actor. You just really, REALLY caught me off guard there!

After the interviews we were ushered by about 6 people into the VIP party and thus ends my first red carpet experience. PHEW!


  1. ‘Celebrity’ and all of the photos and parties and what not that go along with it, is weird. It is not acting, it is not a reflection of your talent or potential but it is how people get to see you, hear you, get a sense of your style and personality. It can have an impact.
  2. Best piece of advice, from the amazing Clark: when you’re in front of those 20+ photographers all screaming your name, MOVE! (They want different shots of your clothes, face, shoes, and can help you get your personality across to the media. As much as it feels like you’re in front of a firing squad try, try, try to have fun with it)
  3. Don’t take any of it too seriously. It’s all a little silly so enjoy it. If you trip laugh it off, if you have food in your teeth in a photo, brush next time! Its not going to end your world or your career.

*Coming up in my final MIPCOM post, lessons learned (I promise it will be ½ the size of this post. I’ll restrain myself).

Michelle Alexander