How To Be A Seat Filler At The Oscars: You'd Better Know Someone Important Or Know Magic

Oscar statuettes are lined up in a local souvenir shop 10 days prior to this year's upcoming Oscars, the 85th Academy Awards, in Hollywood, California, on February 14, 2013. The ceremony is scheduled for February 24, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

Do you love the glamour and pretentiousness that is The Oscars? Do you hope one day to breathe the same air as Meryl Streep or Eddie Redmayne? Do you like standing around in formal wear for an entire evening, playing musical chairs with celebrities (WHO DOESN'T?). Well it might be time for a career change, because you should probably become a seat filler for award shows if you answered yes to any of those — mostly the third — questions.  In case you've always been wondering how to become an Oscars seat filler, wonder no more, because we've got just the way you can get your butt within the vicinity of Bradley Cooper's butt in just a few easy steps. 

And luck, you need a little luck to get that close to Bradley Cooper's butt. 

Did you know, the biggest names in Hollywood have bathroom needs too? Stars, they're just like us! And often enough, an actor or director, or anyone cool enough to actually get invited to The Oscars, has to use the restroom during the live broadcast. So while they sit on the porcelain throne, seat fillers get to sit in their very expensive plush seats, surrounded by some of the biggest stars in the business. Sounds like a pretty good gig, right? Before you get ahead of yourself, there are a few rules to follow: 

  • Dress appropriately. You know what celebrities wear to award shows, do that. You don't have to go out and buy a really expensive gown — just because you're going to The Oscars doesn't mean Ryan Seacrest is going to ask you "Who are you wearing?" — but you do need to look the part. So no DMB t-shirt. 
  • Don't speak to any "talent." Only exception is if they speak to you first. Don't be rude and ignore Rosamund Pike when she says "hello."
  • Be ready to run. It's a quick action, taking the spot of a guest of the show. You may find yourself booking it from the back of the theater — in the shadows where no one can see seat fillers wait — to the second row when Channing Tatum realizes he needs to step out for a moment. 

If you're willing to follow the above rules, then great! You're one step closer to becoming a seat filler. So how exactly do you become one of these lucky souls who gets to play seat swap with the Jennifer Lawrences of Hollywood? Follow these steps and we might just see you on a wide frame of the audience at The Oscars.  

Step One: Know Someone with ABC or The Academy

This whole situation is going to be a lot easier if you know someone who is part of the ABC family (not ABC Family) or works for The Academy, because it appears that seat fillers for a show as prestigious as The Oscars are only picked from employees of ABC and or The Academy. According to Vanity Fair:

Our mole tells us that prospective seat-fillers must submit a passport and basic job-application information, in addition to photos of the evening wear they’ve purchased or selected, in the chance they are chosen. She estimates that 300 seat-fillers were hired for the evening, most of whom knew someone “connected to the Oscars . . . family friends of staffers, industry insiders, etc.

If you've got one of those distant relatives who is an accountant for ABC, now may be the time to "Poke" them on Facebook. 

Step Don't-Even-Think-About-It: Apply to a Seat Filler Website

Supposedly awards shows use these websites — essentially extra casting sites — to find people to fill seats during live broadcasts. SeatFillers.com (10 points for a super creative name) will ask you to register with their company: you'll need to provide info about yourself, your "look," and award shows you'd like to apply to, and then it is just a waiting game. A few days before the show, you might get an email asking for you to be a seat filler. You also may not get an email. Enter the "luck" I said you'll need earlier. 

The problem is that even if these weird-looking websites are legit, The Oscars appear to be too high and mighty for a casting website that looks like it still live on GeoCities. According to an AV Club interview with a seat filler,

AVC: So how did you go about applying for the job?
SF: I never did. My relative [in the Academy] handled all of the paperwork on that end. As I understand it, the only way you can get in now is if you have a relative working for the Academy, or you work for PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is the accounting firm that counts the votes. So it’s not the kind of thing where you can just apply and get randomly selected. I did have to fill out paperwork later, when I got there. All kinds of things saying, “I understand that if I misbehave, I can [get the relative fired].”

But isn't it all worth it, if you get to maybe — maybe — crash a photo like this? 

Images: Giphy (2)

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