Lobster helps party-crash the Oscars?
By Mark EganUpdated: Mar 04, 2006 22:34 IST
If you want to crash the glitziest party of all, the Oscars, here's a tip from a professional: Show up at the theater, dressed as a chef carrying a live lobster, looking really concerned.
So says Alex Mamlet, one of America's self-professed top party crashers, who turned his exploits into an award-winning short film Kid Protocol.
"A never-failing technique is showing up in a chef-outfit with a food item, looking really concerned. Security will always let you in," Mamlet said in an interview. "The more outrageous the food item, the more likely they are to let you in."
Mamlet, who has hobnobbed with everyone from director Stephen Spielberg to actor Tom Cruise, says he has used the chef routine with plates of bananas and exotic fruits and, on more than one occasion, a live lobster.
Last year, Mamlet wore a tuxedo and said he got onto the Academy Awards red carpet and then into the theater, but was thrown out and "narrowly avoided being arrested for trespassing."
"They take their security pretty seriously at the Oscars," he said, adding that this year he is staying home in New York.
Security is tight on Hollywood Boulevard before Sunday's ceremony. And while police are treating the event as a potential terrorism target, they say the crime they expect to see most often is trespassing.
"I have no doubt that there will be party crashers attempting to enter the location. Some people do it almost as a challenge," said Sgt Mike Arminio, the Los Angeles Police Department's emergency planning coordinator for Hollywood.
"There are various people with various motives trying to get in," Arminio said, noting that most crashers were simply trying to rub shoulders with the stars.
Each year, he said, about half a dozen crashers are arrested for trespassing at the Oscars.
Anyone trying to get inside Kodak Theatre faces a heavy challenge. Hundreds of security guards are on hand and the areas is cordoned off from pedestrian traffic.
Arminio said such security was to be expected after September 11.
"This is a very high-profile event and we need to be aware that a lot of people in the world don't like the United States and this might be a symbol of what they don't like," he said.
Organisers declined to talk about security, saying they do not want to risk compromising the event.
Repeat party-crashers face an extra hurdle: Security workers have been given pictures of known suspects to watch for, some labeled "serial stalker, repeat offender," others "trespasser, party crasher."
Still, Mamlet urged potential crashers not to be put off.
"The most important technique is confidence," he said. "Part of it is being dressed the part, looking the part and acting the part and then lying to get in the door."
The biggest hole in the elaborate Oscars security plan, Mamlet said, is that while everyone from stagehands to reporters have to wear official credentials, the celebrities and movie executives attending the event do not.
"If you really act like a celebrity, the security guards will worry that they will get into trouble for not recognizing you," Mamlet said.
And if all that fails, he said, bring a lobster.
First Published: Mar 05, 2006 21:00 IST