The Emmy's and I have a special bond; I have now had the great honor of being involved with them for two years in a row. Last year I was a "seat-filler" aka a glorified cushion and this year I was a server at one of the after-parties where I was asked to "act like the furniture...furniture that smiles." This bodes well for my career. I feel that I have "chair" down and am working on my "table." #lifeisajourney
That being said, my first foray into catering was mainly fun! I had some laughs with my fellow actor/servers, stole some amazing hors d'ouvres and snuck in a kitchen dance (let's hear it for the sexy Lady DJ!). However, I respect that hearing about the happy, smooth moments is boring, so I am gonna give you what you came for...
Here's a List of Awkward Stuff I Did:
Prepping for the event: I started out the night folding napkins into squares. Apparently it was horrendously obvious before I even touched a napkin that I had no clue what I was doing, so a friendly dude named Tim showed me how. Two napkins in, I forgot "Tim's method" but didn't want to be too conspicuous about it. I decided the best way to "be cool, be cool" like real housewife Luann De Lesseps was to sideways glance at Tim while he was folding. Sadly, my peripheral vision failed me...Tim totally noticed. Our dialogue goes as follows:
Tim: ".....you ok?"
Izzy: "Oh! Sorry...I kinda forgot how to fold correctly, so I was trying to remember without being too obvious...haha"
Tim: "And you thought the best way to do that was to stare at me creepily?"
Ouch Tim. "Friendly dude" title revoked.
Employee Paperwork: In order to get paid, you have to fill out paperwork. To fill out paperwork correctly, you have to bring a government issued ID. All was well -- I signed everything and they photocopied my ID. Then, I put my ID in my back pocket...which was partially sewn up, but in classic Izzy thinking I thought "oh never mind that! I'll just shove it half way in there and call it a night!" ...I instantly regretted this statement when I LOST MY ID. Shockingly, when you're running around carrying heavy dishes, your butt cheeks move up and down (thanks cardio barre!) and my ID was launched from my pocket into a pile of dirt outside. I noticed it was missing halfway through the main dinner portion of the party and had to ask my "station captain" if I could abandon my duties to go look for it...great first impression, I think they'll definitely be calling me again.
Bussing: When we weren't busy running big vats of food from the kitchen to the various buffet stations we were asked to take a tray and "bus" the guests empty drinks and finished food. I don't know about you, but I find it super hard to balance stuff on a tray without things crashing to the ground. This led me to make the executive decision that "smiling furniture" wouldn't drop things repeatedly, and I developed the "Izzy Way to Bus." This involved me walking around without a tray looking at the ground and snatching up random trash/popcorn with my hands. Classy.
False Confidence: I started out on a team of about 10 station runners. For the first three hours of the party, we were in constant flow -- all of us hitting our stations, then coming right back to the kitchen and grabbing more food. Around 11 pm, I noticed that I was one of the only station runners that was still consistently coming back to the kitchen after making my rounds. I let it get to my head. I was like "God, I'm good! I'm exceptionally fast!! Somebody gimme a raise!!" ...then the head runner guy told me that the kitchen was slowing down so I should be bussing along with the others. OH. Replace exceptional with inefficient, please.
Sneaking food: Towards the end of the night, I decided that I had bonded enough with my service captain that he wouldn't mind if I just grabbed some food right out of the Chafer with my bare hands...he did mind. He also informed me that, "there is a camera up in that corner...the trick is to grab and nonchalantly walk away. You're definitely getting caught, you straight up danced with that fingerling potato then winked at me..." #winning
Interacting with the guests: I'm not gonna lie...for the most part I was good at this because I'm "such a people person!" But there were a few hairy moments:
1. Guest: (in reference to a dessert I was holding) "What is this?"
Me: "I honestly don't know, but I say try it - looks delicious!"
2. Me: (while maneuvering a bowl of rice through the heaving crowd) "RICE! BOWL OF RICE!"
3. Me: "It's a lotta MEAT!" (to anyone who would so much as look at the giant plate of raw kebabs I was carrying..)
..I think they found it all very informative.
In the end, my friends, it was all worth it because a certain someone from Modern Family called me "dangerous!" in a funny, flirty way. We had a moment. And life is made up of magical moments, people! So go forth, and apply to cater a giant event! Armed with this tale of my mishaps you now know "what not to do", and you should be filled with confidence at the knowledge that even I made it through the wilderness unscathed and with a paycheck!
PS: My ID was later found by another server who insisted my ID pic was way sexier than my real life self. What am I supposed to do with that information, dude?