Oscar statuettes by Mike Guastella/WireImage.com
How can I get tickets to the Oscars?
That's easy: Get into the movie business and assemble such an impressive track record that you either earn an Oscar nomination or are invited to join the Academy. Tickets go to nominees and a limited number of their guests, Academy and studio executives, and sponsors of the show. Academy members can play a lottery for the remaining seats. All of which means that none of the Kodak Theatre's 3,330 seats ever
goes on sale to the general public.
How can I get a seat in the bleachers along the red carpet?
Can you wait a year, and are you feeling lucky? For one week in September, the Academy posts an online application form at oscars.org/bleachers. Fans who win the drawing and pass a security check are allowed seats along the red carpet. Be warned: As many as 25,000 people apply for the 300 available spots. Can I become a seat-filler for the Oscars telecast?
Working on the theory that empty seats don't look good on camera, the Academy drafts a couple hundred well-dressed men and women to fill in for celebrities and other guests who leave their prime seats during commercial breaks. But because the unpaid job is a delicate one - you've got to look like you belong, be fast and diplomatic, and know enough not to bother the stars - it goes to people the Academy knows and feels it can trust - i.e., you need contacts. How can I serve as a stand-in during rehearsals?
Stand-ins work long hours and the job can be tedious, but it pays about $25 an hour and includes the chance to rub shoulders with celebs during rehearsals. But the general public need not apply. (Are you sensing a pattern here?) In general, the stand-ins are Los Angeles-based actors, members of SAG and/or AFTRA who are recruited from local theater companies. Most are veterans of the Oscars and other awards shows, many with more than a decade's worth of experience. Can I touch a real Oscar?
If you live in or can get to New York or Los Angeles, you can. In both cities, the Academy mounts an annual exhibit of Oscar statuettes - some historic, some destined for future winners and one that the public can hold. In L.A., the "Meet the Oscars" exhibit will be on Level 4 of the Hollywood & Highland shopping center (site of the Kodak) until Feb. 23; in New York, the exhibit will be at Times Square Studios. Note: The Oscar that you're allowed to hold comes with a security guard and is attached to a heavy cable, so don't even think about it! - Steve Pond Related:
" Cheat Sheet: How to Fake a Best Picture Conversation Inside TVGuide.com's Oscars special:
" A complete list of nominees
" A series of fab photo galleries
" Videos of this year's nominees
" Maitland and Ken reveal their picks to grab gold
" Vote for your favorites to win! Remember, come back here Sunday night to chime in during our live Oscars blog!