Premiere Party
September 22, 1999

Premiere Night.

The red carpet. The limos. The screaming fans. It's the stuff that makes Hollywood so grand!

That, of course, was not what happened tonight. Replace the limo with a '96 Toyota Corolla, put a cement curb where the red carpet would be, and my one 'screaming fan' just gave me a valet ticket and drove my car away.

The premiere party was thrown by our partying producers, Bob Gleenblatt and David Janollari, at the restaurant Atlantic. All of the major players were there, from production to crew to cast. We hung out for an hour or so until 9:30 rolled around and then a hush settled over the crowd. The black-and-white stills of the cast flashed across the screen and the cheers went up. It was time. Oh Grow Up was born.

It was fun to see the pilot on the air. Even though I have seen it about 20 times before tonight, this was the first time I didn't have to bring the video tape with me. Everyone laughed it up and had a blast. The show looked good, sounded good, felt good. It was a lot of fun.

As the night was winding down, I had a rare Hollywood moment. The party was waning and there wasn't anyone policing the door. We were at a public place so people that weren't connected to Oh Grow Up were trickling into the bar, unknowingly crashing the tail end of our little gala. At one point, I turned around and there were two women from my past: Joan Green and Amy Slomovitz. I had crossed paths with them over two years ago, May 1997. They came to a showcase I was in. This is the important excerpt from that meeting:

The big guns at the showcase belonged to Joan Green, the manager of some repute who I had pinned lots of hopes on to take me to the next level. Her two assistants Brittany and Amy were both so excited about me and the showcase that I thought winning over Joan would be a shoe-in. I just had to make sure she came. And she did!!

That's the end of the good news. We spoke briefly afterwards, and they were not moments filled with warmth and love. Joan Green was so cold to me I basically just thanked them for coming. And as Brittany hustled past me I said, "Should I call you or should I not call you?" And she said to definitely call. That call, however, was just the formal dissolution of our encounter together. It had been a fun couple of weeks, but no dice.

So back at Atlantic, I spun around from the bar and found myself suddenly face-to-face with Joan's assistant, Amy. Amy had always been a big supporter of mine, she just didn't have the pull to override Joan's decision. She was happy to see me and had no idea what they had stumbled into. Our conversation went something like this...

Amy: "Who are you with now?"

Ducey: "Pakula/King"

Amy: "Do you have a manager?"

Ducey: "No."

Amy: "Do you want one?"

Ducey: "No, I have a show."

Amy: "Oh my God. What show?"

Ducey: "It's Oh Grow Up. That's why we're here. This was a party for the show. It just premiered tonight."

Amy: "Oh, that's so awesome! Joan, this is John Ducey, remember him?"

Joan: (slowly, almost sleepily) "You look familiar. Have we had a meeting before?"

Ducey: "Well, no, actually, you came to a showcase I was in a couple of years ago--"

Joan: "I feel like we had a meeting or something. You look familiar."

Ducey: "Well, we never actually had a meeting. You saw the showcase and--"

Joan: "I think you look familiar. It might have been a meeting."

Ducey: "Really, it was a showcase that you saw with Amy and we didn't have a meeting."

Joan: (drifting off) "I'll think of it later, I imagine."

Amy: "Oh John, that's so great. I'm so happy for you. Look, if you ever decide you want a manger, call us immediately. It was great seeing you."

OK, so it wasn't the perfect Hollywood moment. If this were the movies, the person who passed on me would have recognized me and would have spent the whole conversation visibly upset for having let such a gem slip through her fingers. Instead, I got a prozac-coated amnesiac response as if she had seen a picture of the puppy she used to have as a child (and had somehow taken a non-existent meeting with). Oh well, it was still pretty good. And it was nice to see Amy and share my happiness with her. It was a fun, interesting end to the night.

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