Day 39 and it’s my first red carpet in America, so I bust out the electric blue three piece which I’ve worn twice a week as I only packed a tiny bag. This is the Toscars. It’s a big night for the Brits in LA community. This will be the tenth year that the event has run, and it’s fiercely competitive. I’ve got a nomination for best scribbler, which is a pleasant acknowledgement of the time I took over my first ever screenplay. I arrive on time and blag a ticket for Lyndon. There’s a free bar which is a damn shame as I have to drive back to The Valley tonight. And there are a load of 5 minute spoofs of the Oscar Nominees on show. What have we got? Moolight, Whacksaw Fridge, Hidden Spaces, Lionel, The Pences, A Right Fool, Hell or Hot Sauce, and Manchester by the Canal. 

The event takes place in The Renberg Theatre, which is a central screening venue for the LGBT community, and not a Theatre, which is something that’ll take me a while to get used to. It’s a cinema, not a theatre. It’s just called a theatre.  

The whole process of this Toscars reminded me of the 24 hour film festival with Johnny Oddball many years ago. That time I didn’t sleep at all, whereas this time we all just tried to hack something together around all the other things that we were doing over a couple of weeks. It was clear that everyone was in the same boat. They were a mixed bag, but what was most enjoyable across the board was the sheer attack. People were genuinely throwing themselves in. One of the guys presenting the awards said “What is it with you Brits, you just come over here once and then you stay?” I know what he’s getting at. It’s lovely to so easily find a community of people who are just happy to make a load of films without trying to get them perfect, and then celebrate each other’s work so roundly. Everyone was dressed up, everyone was smiling. There were a bunch of in jokes, but that’s inevitable with a community that’s been around for ten years. I liked everyone I spoke to.


Apparently one of the stars of one of the shorts is a famous porn star. He is known as “the hedgehog”, and they’d got him to play Noel Gallagher in Manchester by the Canal. Mother, I’ve arrived. We also had Britt Ekland, who was in The Man with the Golden Gun, and married Peter Sellars. She’s well into her seventies by now but still looking sharp. Towards the end of the evening one of the presenters, evidently enjoying very much the fact that she was in the spotlight, decided to ramble for ages making incomprehensible jokes and references before concluding with a rare access of clarity “you’re all fake”. I didn’t agree with her. I met some lovely people in that room, and worked with more.


The award itself is a golden clenched fist. It would’ve been fun to take one home but it goes elsewhere. It’s not about the winning etc. Someone asks why it’s a clenched fist. It’s because the whole event revolves around masturbation. Tossers/oscars. Although I reckon they tell the press it’s Yorkshire accent. T’Oscars.


(Hearty apologies for the rushed blog. I took ages to drive home and all I wanna do is sleep. I’ll try to structure some thoughts next time rather than just ramble until I see 500 pop up. Thanks for sticking with me.)

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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