TORN LA Gathering 2004 Part II
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For all the hoopla, glitz and glamour of the Return of the One Party, my story is remarkable in the fact that it is completely UN-remarkable in the star department. You will hear some great stories in the coming days about star encounters at the party, but sadly for my part it was not my night to meet anyone famous.

Kathy J and I arrived early before the main gates opened to get our press badges and VIP bracelets (which I am still wearing). We then took one last look around to see if we were needed anywhere. Sarumann didn’t assign us any jobs all night, either by accident or because of my PTB status (mind you I would have had no problem doing anything he assigned us). With time to kill we went to the front gate in time to see the doors open at around 3:30PM. Positioned right at the entrance as I was I assigned myself as official greeter for a while, meeting some really excited fans and seeing all the amazing dresses and costumes. One thing about LOTR fans, they REALLY know how to dress up. We must have the sexiest fan base in the world.

After a while we headed down to the main hall to catch some of the pre-Oscar telecast. The show was about to begin; Billy Bush from Access Hollywood was inside the Kodak Theatre talking with random people. Whenever a LOTR related person was shown on screen the audience screamed with delight, for some reason they did the same thing with Johnny Depp…well deserved mind you…we love Johnny!

As the Oscars started we were spared the horrible Red Carpet montage and were treated to an amazing Billy Crystal number that incorporated LOTR at every turn.

Again whenever a LOTR themed person or joke was broadcast (as well as Depp) the audience went into spastic cheers like fans at a football game. It wasn’t too long before a category was announced the ROTK was nominated in, as soon as we won the audience went nuts! Cheers and hooplas were even louder as the winner accepted their awards. Kathy J commented to me that it was almost like being there in person.

After a long while (the telecast is still long, no matter how good it is) I headed to the bar to get a few drinks. Behind me at one point I saw award-winning singer Fiona Apple, I greeted her and welcomed her to the party.

During each commercial break our emcee for the night Quickbeam graced the stage in different costumes, Elrond, Aragorn and Eowyn. He was great! Ee eventually lost count as to the amount of Oscars won and yet to be announced. We just knew we were winning them all!

When PJ won for best director confetti cannons fired barrage into the crowd and a Mardi Gras/new years type atmosphere filled the room, PJ won! When we won best picture the roof nearly blew off the ceiling as fans cheers, cried, screamed and hugged as the entire cast and crew took the stage. What a night!

After the shows wrapped up Quickbeam called up Tehanu, Calisuri, Corvar and myself on stage. We each said a word of thanks and got the crowd all hyped up for our 11 Oscar wins. Quickbeam called Paul Badali and a few TORN staffers on stage to join us. All four of us were given silver ‘ Founder’ rings from Badali Jewelry and the TORN Staff; we were so shocked and delighted!

After leaving the stage we proceeded to the VIP area to get some more food and to bask in our Oscar win. The inevitable question was of course ‘when is everyone going to arrive?’ we had little control on when and even if any of the stars or talent would be coming so patience was needed. We didn’t have to wait long before John Rhys-Davies arrived. Much like last year he was first and walked easily through the crowd of well wishers and fans with a smile and joke or two.

Next up were Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan, little did we know they’d end up staying at our party all night and completely forgo the Official New Line party. They snuck through the VIP tent to get on the main stage and introduce World Without Sundays’ to the stunned crowd. Dominic even sang and performed with the band!

Meanwhile in the VIP area Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and most of the Oscar winners including Randy Cook, Jim Rygiel, Barrie Osborne, Alan Lee, John Howe and others arrived to many cheers and flashing cameras!

They all proceeded to head directly on the stage and thank the crowd. Peter Jackson acted as emcee for the evening and insisted that everyone on stage say a few words. Fran Walsh was a little reluctant to get on the mic so Elijah Wood encouraged the crowd to chant ‘Fran! Fran! Fran!’ until she had to give in. She thanked everyone and was so completely humble you wanted to give her a big hug.

Ngila Dickson told the crowd that she was very impressed with the costumes she was seeing from her point of view on the stage. Philippa Boyens (nicknamed ‘queen of the geeks’ by Ain’t it cool news and PJ that night) took to the stage and admitted to us that she tried her hardest to get a ‘shirtless Aragorn’ scene in the films somewhere…but PJ kept cutting it! Ngila bounced back to the mic to say she’d seen almost EVERYONE naked, the crowd lost it!

My personal favorite quote from the night had to be from Peter Jackson, he said ‘lets never shut down’, I agree Peter!

More on the party and after-party dinner with the TORN staff, Sauron, Lurtz and Gamling!