1.) In 1996 I was invited to a party in Aspen hosted by Kevin Costner. I had lived in Aspen a year before but now I lived in Hollywood trying to make my way through the smog as an actress. When I arrived I looked around and found someone that I recognized. I went up to her and said “Hey! How are you?”- she said she was doing great. I asked her how the Howling Wolf was doing. (This was a restaurant I was a waitress at in Aspen the year before.) She said “I don’t know what you mean.”? So I reminded her “Didn’t we wait tables together at the Howling Wolf”? – “No”. She said. “I’m a model”… ”Oh… how’s that going”? I asked, assuming it was something like wearing a fur hat in the Aspen information guide that got handed out to tourists. “It’s going well”. She smiled politely and walked away. My friend then decked me in the chest and said “I cannot believe you just told Rachel Hunter that you thought she was a waitress at the Howling Wolf. You are such a douche”….
2.) In 1997 I acted in a play called Mainliner in a tiny dump on Fountain Ave. I became friends with the directors girlfriend Kerry. We hung out here and there, she was an LA local who knew a bunch of celebs. One night we went to Tobey Maguire’s birthday party, Leonardo DiCaprio was there and I met him briefly. They ALL knew Kerry. I was her wing woman. It was awesome. About six months later, the play was over and I wasn’t seeing Kerry much anymore. But I got invited to a premiere on the Paramount lot. There was Tobey Maguire. I went up to him and said “Hey, I’m Miranda Bailey. I’m good friends with Kerry. We met at your birthday party”.- “Kerry who?” he said…”Um, Kerry…..” but for the life of me, at that moment I couldn’t remember her last name. “Kerry….um, something like a fish for a last name”? He looked at me like I was a pathetic loser ” Yeah”, he said “You’re not that good friends with someone if you don’t know their last name”. . I guess he was right.
3.) In 1998 I was crossing Beverly Blvd. As I waited at the light. I noticed this guy. Where did I know him from? Summer Camp? “Hey, is your name David”? He looked annoyed and pushed the walk button harder as if that would make the light turn and didn’t answer me. “Did you go to Anderson Camp in Colorado?”… the light turned. He walked faster than a pregnant woman headed towards the bathroom. “What a dick”. I thought to myself. That night I went home and turned on the boob tube. Where a little show called FRIENDS was on. And there was my camp buddy DAVID SCHWIMMER. Whom I never went to camp with. I just thought he must have been my friend.
4.) Later that year one of the owners of Beacon Pictures invited me to a “little party” at his house in Malibu. Excited and on my way, I hopped into Trader Joe’s to buy a bottle of wine. I didn’t want to arrive empty handed even if the bottle was only two dollars. When I arrived at the party I was confused. Was I at the right place? There was an IN & OUT truck outside and a HUGE line of people waiting to get in. I nervously walked up to a bouncer. “Who’s list are you on”? He asked. “Um, Kevin’s, I’m Miranda Bailey”. He looked at the list for my name. I noticed another guy talking to another bouncer, he was having a hard time getting in, that guy was Chris Rock. Holy Shit. Chris Rock is here! I thought. “Right this way Miss Bailey”. I was ushered in. EVERYONE, I mean EVERYONE in Hollywood was there. Wynona & Matt, Ben & Gwyenth…I was in celeb heaven! There was even a hot guy just my type…shirtless and playing bongos… some guy named Matthew McConaughey. This was intimidating. I needed a drink so I headed to the bar. I’d forgotten that I had slipped the wine bottle I brought into my coat until suddenly someone bumped into me which launched it out breaking and splattering all over 4 super models all wearing white. Thank God I was close enough to the bar to pass for their mishap not mine. They were pissed. But one girl took her finger and tasted the wine dripping from her leg and said ” Yummy, that’s really good wine”.
5.) In 1999 after a bad break up I ended up at a party that I didn’t want to be at. There was a guy there who came up to me and started chatting me up. I told him I was depressed. Told him all about my break up. He then went into this whole story about his dad and why he was depressed. We totally connected. He told me he just moved to LA to act in a pilot called Jack & Jill which was premiering that week and I should watch. I proceeded to watch that show every week for the next several months…there was my friend, my confidant whom we swapped sob stories at a party. One night I saw him at a bar on 3rd Street. “Justin!” I went up to him, “How are you”?- “Um, good, he said”.- “Well, I’ve managed not to get back together with that loser…How’s your dad doing”?… Blank stare. Then Justin Kirk, my confidant, my new friend who entered my living room every week from the TV said…”I’m sorry, but do we know each other”?…” I guess not”. I said. And I walked away heartbroken. What a fool I’d been AGAIN. Ten years later I executive produced a movie he stared in. We had dinner at Sundance. He still didn’t know me but this time, I didn’t care.
6.) In 2000 I worked at a head shop on Melrose selling the best bongs in town. (Acting wasn’t exactly paying the bills). And in walks…(I won’t say her name since she bought paraphernalia and I wouldn’t want to out anyone here…Although I’m sure some of you will figure it out.) So in walks… INDIE ACTRESS A. With my help, she proceeds to buy a very expensive hand blown glass bong. When she was checking out, she left her credit card at the register. I didn’t want to shout “HEY INDIE ACTRESS A” Across the crowded bong shop…so I just shouted..”HEY!…UM…LADY”!..she turned, grateful to see me waving her credit card and grateful I didn’t shout her real name. Then years later I acted along side her in a film which I produced. We became the best of friends. Yet, I have still not told her that, yes, I am the same girl who years earlier sold her Super Bong.
7.) In 2008 when I worked on The Squid and the Whale my father and I were out to dinner with the producer Peter Newman and director NoahBaumbach. We had a great meal at an Italian place in Tribeca. When it was over my dad hovered by the cabs out side while we were saying our good byes. I went over to him and said “Dad, go say good bye to Noah Baumbach, you’re being rude”. “I can’t”! He said. Then he opened his mouth and showed me that his front tooth was missing an a huge pointy shard of it was left. “I lost my temporary in the spaghetti….I think I ate it”. So we didn’t say thank you or good bye to Noah.
8.) In 2007 I went to a Tribeca Film Festival screening with an actor friend who knew a bunch of the SNL folks. At the after party I was sitting with Chris Kattan. He was extremely nice and funny. Although, he asked me if I had any cover up for his pimple. I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not so I gave him some cover up. He left to the bathroom and came back and said “Thanks”. I never saw a zit to begin with, so…maybe he was joking. Either way…Awkward.
9.) In 2008 I worked on a movie called The River Why. It was pretty low budget so we decided I could shoot the EPK myself. I took Amber Heard to a beautiful spot under a tree and figured it would be perfect. But every time she started to answer one of my questions a family of crows started yapping in the tree above her. I didn’t want to cut her off when she was talking so I let her talk through the buzzards for a few questions until she said. “How are you going to cut around those birds overlapping me”?- she had a point…. we moved to a driveway.
10.) In 2009 I was producing the movie EVERY DAY. Eddie Izzard came up to me on set and delicately mentioned that I could use a make over. Particularly my lips…which to him seemed “flat”. So he proceeded to show me how to use lip liner and gloss in front of the whole crew. When he was done with me I looked in the mirror at my drag queen lips which were definitely…fuller. I didn’t want to wipe it off just in case that would offend him so I spent the next several hours producing while looking like a clown.
And since then absolutely NOTHING has been embarrassing to me…NOT!
Indiewire Guest Post: On the 'Diary of a Teenage Girl', Self-Acceptance, and the Power of Cinema