Special thanks to Disney for the magical trip to Los Angeles to cover the World Premiere of Moana and its press events.
“You have to know where you’ve been to see where you’re going”.
There has truly never been a more appropriate quote for my life. From dropping out of college to becoming a young, single mom; to going back to college and starting this blog then turning it into a full time career, every moment I’ve faced has brought me to where I am. It is this quote in Moana that spoke to me on so many levels, but more than anything, gave me an appreciation for being in that very moment, that I may have overlooked.
The Moana red carpet at the historic El Capitan Theatre was actually blue, and the pre-party was set up to look like you were under the water, “Moana” means ocean, and Disney spared no expense in setting the party up to look like a Polynesian wonderland complete with a Havianas hut, Polynesian inspired tattoos, leis and hair orchids, and wonderful Polynesian food.
My dear friend and I walked the carpet, snapping pictures along the way, then happened upon the party where we mingled with Pete Wentz and the cast of Stuck in the Middle while watching Polynesian dancers masterfully move their bodies to intense beats.
I ate a macadamia nut cookie and sipped champagne while watching a pregnant Tori Spelling make plates of fried rice and egg rolls for her four children.
I waited in line for a free pair of Havianas for Styles and got a new (temporary) tattoo. It didn’t hurt like my last tattoo did.
I posed for pictures with the beautiful replica necklace that The Salty Sparrow made for me, inspired by the necklace Moana wears in the movie.
I gave the ocean a high five with a dear friend and documented it for posterity.
I searched shamelessly high and low for Alan Tudyk so I could tell him how much Styles loves and appreciates his work and I scoured the crowd for Lin-Manuel Miranda because I wanted to tell him how much Hamilton has meant for my family. I was not one of the lucky ones.
Instead I watched the crowd and marveled at the fact that these people live in L.A. and make movies or music or just know the right people, I guess no differently from myself really.
The truth is that nobody knows my story. These people don’t know why I was there or who invited me, just that I’m there, and that I’m lookin’ fierce in my polka-dotted Amazon Prime skirt and utterly over-worn gold Tieks.
I drank the experience in with the understanding that I may never get to do this again, because nothing in this life is certain.
I reveled in being one of the elite and then I slipped into the El Capitan theater where I took my seat two rows back from the stage.
Te Vaka, led by Opetaia Foa’i, took the stage and wowed us with their traditional Polynesian music and dance.
Their culture is so rich and absolutely beautiful and being able to see their song and dance in action was truly a breathtaking experience.
The movie started and once again I was blown away with this film’s beauty and swept away with the knowledge that I was sitting in a theater with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dwayne Johnson, Auli’i Cravalho, John Lasseter, John Musker, and Ron Clements – just to name a few.
Don’t stop dreaming, but take action on those dreams, because there’s a wide ocean for us all to conquer on the way to finding ourselves and our purpose on Earth.
Now mark your calendars for November 23rd, when you can catch Moana in theaters.