Red Carpet Lessons from Judith Light

May 16, 2014 / by Lavina Jadhwani, Classical Directing Fellow


The eleven directors of the Class of 2014 have been convening in New York for the Drama League's Professionals Week, which kicks off our fellowship experience. The week has been jam packed with exciting events, scintillating conversations, and fabulous shows! The week culminated in our presentation to the New York theatre community at the 80th annual Drama League Awards. None of us had walked a red carpet before, and I was feeling quite nervous about it. Fortunately, the lovely and generous (and fellow Carnegie Mellon alum!) Judith Light met us in a green room to assuage our nerves and give us a crash course in red carpet decorum!

Here are a few tips on how to pose for the press, via Ms. Light herself:

- Work the "side pose." Stand with one foot slightly forward - but not too much! The goal is to look relaxed and confident. 

- Make sure you know which camera you're looking at, especially if you're in a group shot. If you're not sure - just ask! No one wants to wreck the shot by looking in the wrong place. 

- Always ask the photographer, "Did you get what you need?" before moving on. 

- Ladies: dresses with pockets are the best, amirite? BUT if you're wearing one, make sure you pull your dress down a bit when you pose, so they don't cause your skirt to bunch up. Put your hands in your pockets - the weight will flatten the front of your dress - but make sure you stand with your thumbs OUT. Judith says that thumbs in the pocket make you seem closed off, whereas thumbs out will show off the details of your dress. 

- Fellas: button your jacket. BUT careful of hugging - it will cause your suit to bunch up! If you get caught in an unexpected red carpet hug, Judith recommends a quick unbutton before doing so. 

- Couples: don't glom on to your partner when posing. Similar to the hugging problem above, it will cause awkward bunching. Leave a little bit of space so both of your outfits are on display. Fellas, consider standing just behind your lady (sort of like a prom photo, but more classy), on a diagonal. 


My Chicago colleague Michael Osinski and I practiced a bit in the green room before following Judith on to the red carpet. How do you think we did???