There are countless awards shows, but there’s nothing like the Academy Awards. Even if you’re a veteran of other shows, Oscar still is capable of surprising you. So as a public service, here are tips for nominees and guests about the March 2 ceremony.
Note to nominees: Don’t read pre-ceremony predictions. You have a one-in-five chance of victory. So either assume you will win, which will put you in a good mood until your category comes up — or assume you won’t win, so you won’t be disappointed.
Bring a snack. It’s a long time between leaving the house and the post-ceremony dinner. You don’t want to make a speech with low blood sugar.
Note to Pharrell Williams: Love the hat. Just make sure you take it off once you’re seated.
Note to everyone else: Don’t even think about a hat. You can’t carry it off. And don’t wear a paper bag with a message printed on it. Nobody can carry that off.
Note to women: A long train on your gown is romantic on your wedding day, but not on the human-gridlock red carpet. If people step on your train, it’s your fault, not theirs.
Ask your plus-one to grab your hand as the presenter reads your name. That will prevent you from absentmindedly applauding yourself on camera, which always looks tacky.
Speaking of tacky, don’t chew gum. If you want to keep your mouth moist, bring lozenges.Don’t drink water, or you’ll spend half the time in the restroom.
Prepare a speech, even if you don’t expect to win. There is nothing worse than watching someone giddily ad-libbing about how unprepared they are. Juliette Binoche pulled it off (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLjmshg_0Fo, about minute 3:05). You may not be so lucky.
Don’t list names. Even if you can rattle off 90 names in 45 seconds, remember that the 91st person who helped you and isn’t mentioned will be crushed.
When Idina Menzel sings “Let It Go”: Remember that this is not a sing-along at the Hollywood Bowl.
If you don’t win, just remember that you’re in good company: Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman, Peter O’Toole and Cary Grant never won. All were finally given honorary Oscars. Maybe you will be too.