Josh handed us the tickets, walked us past security and pushed us into the theatre. He handed me a piece of paper right before he left us to our movie and said, "Directions to the VIP afterparty at RED. Call me when you get there." I wasn't about to ask questions. Josh knew exactly what he was doing.
The film was incredible. It was a small little japanese film about a sex doll that develops a heart and starts evolving into a human being. The ideas presented in this film were staggering. Feminism, sex trafficking, what it means to be alone, love, what is the soul, it was heavy. It was shocking. It was adult. It was fantastic.
After the film I called Josh. No answer. We debated and decided to just head over to RED and see what was going on. None of us knew what we were doing, and we had no idea what we were in for.
Driving up to RED in my Champagne-colored 1994 Mercury Topaz felt like the setup to a bad SNL sketch. When I realized I was driving up to the valet, I quickly turned the car around and parked in an adjacent parking lot. There was no way I was going to embarrass my quaint little sedan by letting a guy in a suit park it next to the twenty Lexus and Mercedes sports cars out front. I didn't think my car or I could handle that.
Walking up to RED was our first introduction to the "what the hell are we doing here" mentality. Josh walked up, gave us VIP wristbands, walked us by the bouncers, and into the club.
To describe it would be futile, except to say it was the ritziest place I had ever been allowed into. As we made our way through the haze of dry ice smoke, the pounding of the house music shook my chest. I was ready for a drink, in fact, we all were.
"Drink 'em fast and make each of those fuckers a double." Those were Josh's words of wisdom. He told us they were going to run out of Absolut and Stella since they were free, so we needed to get as many as possible early on in the night. Free Absolut and Stella? That was that.
After our third or fourth drink, we were all feeling pretty loose and we were ready to take on the VIP world we had been inducted into. Sitting in the RED Room, you could smoke as you please, and that's where we set up shop. We watched Josh shmooze with fellow co-workers, directors, producers, and studio representatives. He was on his game. Us, we just smoked cigarettes and enjoyed the high life of the film festival circuit. At one point, some classy individual left their bottle of Grey Goose out in the open. We said why not, and Shawn grabbed the bottle and we went back to the dance floor, just because we could.
Josh danced with a midget, Jamie was hit on by sleezy OC gentlemen, Myles danced, and I, well I just soaked it all in. Never in my life had I been so proud of Josh, and we let him know it. He was doing something he absolutely loved, and it just happened to come with some fantastic bonuses.
We left when the free alcohol ran out, and gave Josh big, joyful hugs. For a night, we were VIPs. For a night, we were ritzed out.