Earlier this week, we were fortunate enough to be the only local media to fly to Los Angeles to cover the annual Golden Globe Awards held on Sunday night (US time) at the Beverly Hilton.
And for one day in our lives, we were Hollywood royalty.
Oh wait, actually, we were near-royalty. Yes, when you are in Hollywood, it is easy to get carried away.
There were a few moments when we felt like fish out of water on the red carpet before the stars' arrival. Then we soon got a tantalising taste of the glam lifestyle.
It wasn't difficult. There were flashing lights and camera flashes (even if they were just from photographers and TV presenters testing out their shots) and we eased into the moment quickly.
We strutted confidently down the red carpet, in our gowns hastily bought from online store ASOS, with professionally done make-up and hair, pretending we were celebrities.
Of course, no one cared.
When the stars started arriving, we were on a first-name basis with them.
"Brie, Brie!" we shouted, as though we and Best Actress (Motion Picture - Drama) winner Brie Larson were due for a much-needed catch-up.
When Queen Latifah arrived, we went "Queen!", hoping she would at least look at us (she did).
And in that moment, we felt like we had a whole new #squad of Hollywood celebs - those who merely looked at or spoke a few words to us.
But that was everything to a couple of girls who have spent their lives binge-watching movies and TV shows.
Thanks to our few days in Tinseltown, we also learnt that not everything is the way it seems. Let us debunk five Hollywood myths for you...
1. MYTH: CELEBS ARE STUCK-UP DIVAS
Okay, so Best Actor (Motion Picture - Drama) winner Leonardo DiCaprio seemed a little cold.
But while some celebs didn't make press stops on the red carpet, they made sure to wave when we shouted out their names.
Jane The Virgin star Gina Rodriguez, Empire's Terrence Howard and even mega movie star Jennifer Lawrence waved and smiled at us.
When we ran into (we actually mean stalked) Best Actress (TV Series - Musical or Comedy) winner Rachel Bloom, who stars in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, at an afterparty, she was more than happy to oblige us with a selfie and some friendly conversation.
She might have been a little tipsy or just really happy with her win, but she was genuinely nice and spoke to us for a while. This was also the closest we got to the Golden Globe trophy.
Empire hottie Jussie Smollett also humoured us when we caught him at the hotel lobby after the ceremony.
Equally obliging was award-winning How To Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis, who granted us a selfie even though she was visibly tired.
Extra points to her husband, who lovingly held up the train of her dress as well as her heels as she attempted to zoom out of the venue in flats as quickly as she could.
2. MYTH: ALL GOSSIP IS MOSTLY TRUE
On the day after the Golden Globes, Jennifer Lawrence hogged the headlines. But unlike previous award shows, where she was a media darling, this time, she didn't quite charm the press.
After winning Best Actress (Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy) for Joy, she answered questions from the media in the press room backstage.
When a journalist questioned her about her chances at the Oscars, he was also filming her answer with a mobile phone (a tool we used for our interviews, too).
Lawrence then said in a wholly tongue-in-cheek manner: "You can't live your whole live behind your phone, bro. You can't do that. You've got to live in the now."
The reporter was caught off-guard, but recovered quickly and laughed it off before he continued with his Oscar-centric line of questioning.
"We're at the Golden Globes," she joked, deadpan. "If you put your phone down, you'd know that."
Again, it was clear that she was just pulling his leg.
After all, everyone is by now familiar with her warped sense of humour, especially the US media who earn their pay cheques writing about her. Besides, everyone laughed out loud.
But the next day, gossip sites accused Lawrence of being obnoxious (she wasn't).
We admit she could have at least answered his question, but that doesn't mean she deserves a beating down.
Mail Online's headline was "Jennifer Lawrence slammed for rude outburst at foreign reporter who used his phone during Golden Globes interview".
Other sites like The Wrap said the reporter was using his phone as a translation tool because his first language wasn't English.
Again, that was not true. We were seated just two rows behind the reporter and he was definitely filming Lawrence's answer.
3. MYTH: Going from Commoner to royalty is a breeze
We learnt it the hard way: It is not.
With no faith in our dismal primping skills, we engaged the services of in-home beauty service Glamsquad to get us ready for the big day.
Ashikin's boho braided updo required 24 elastic hair bands and 63 bobby pins to hold up.
When it started to feel like she had knives in her hair and a Grade A migraine coming, we had to yank them out.
It was a soul-sucking 15 minutes of her life, which probably resulted in some unfortunate bald spots.
Also a front runner in the "Beauty Act Made of Nightmares" was that moment at the end of the night when super-strength, extra-sticky Hollywood tape and adhesive bras have to come off.
Some four hours later, we trudged up to our rooms in free rolled-up flats from a vending machine when our feet started to cry for help.
4. MYTH: GOODIE BAGS CONTAIN ITEMS OF SHEER LUXURY
Oscar nominees are known to have received gifts like a year's worth of car rental worth US$20,000 (S$28,800) and a US$15,000 exotic holiday in the US$160,000 bags in the past.
In short, items they don't need and can already afford.
We'd like to think the Golden Globes operate on practicality, instead.
Stars, guests and lucky us received a chic B-Low The Belt carry-all containing a Corkcicle 16oz canteen, a Wet Brush-pro Detangle hairbrush, an Elizabeth and James Nirvana For Her perfume oil, a 3Lab Hydra Day SPF20 suncreen-cum-moisturiser and an InStyle magazine, among others.
Its worth? A non-flashy, un-Hollywood price of over US$1,000.
5. MYTH: AFTERPARTIES ARE STAR-STUDDED AFFAIRS
Celebrities are infamous for being fashionably late, but we learnt that afterparties are probably an exception.
Barely an hour after the live show ended and right up till midnight, the roomfuls of glamorously dressed attendees consisted of a sea of faces that we had never seen on the big or small screen.
Read: Esteemed guests, industry people or nobodies. You know, like us.
We had exclusive passes to three of the biggest ones that night, all held within or of walking distance to the hotel - The Weinstein Company/Netflix, InStyle/Warner Bros and HBO - but left with a grand total of seven celebrity sightings.
We blinked, and Rachel McAdams, Selena Gomez and Nicole Scherzinger were out of sight.
Patrick Stewart sailed past and disappeared into the crowd.
We awkwardly lingered beside Donald Glover/Childish Gambino, who was surrounded by a big group of pals, and just as easily lost him in the dark and amid the loud music soon after.
It was a mystery to us how we could count on our fingers the number of stars that we saw.
A quick check in the bathrooms revealed free L'Oreal make-up we could take home, but no star sightings.
Could these A-list parties be so exclusive we needed special X-ray glasses to be able to spot Hollywood's biggest talents?
Where was Brad Pitt, who apparently scooted next to Gomez and talked to her about his movie The Big Short?
Or Kylie Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian?
Or were we just - gasp - not-so-fashionably late for our first Hollywood bash?
Amid our search high and low for these elusive beings, we picked at the lovely food that was served.
Naturally, they had fancy, hipster-sounding names like Winter Black Kale Chopped Salad and Black Truffle Caesar.
Not as lovely was the music, which took us back to ladies' night at a C-list club back home.
A thoughtful touch, however, was a playlist tribute at the HBO party to British legend David Bowie, who died of cancer on that same day.
This article was first published on January 13, 2016.
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