I went to a SWAG event Friday with Melissa Rauch who is on The Big Bang Theory with me.
“What’s a SWAG event?” you ask? Well, SWAG is an acronym for “Stuff We All Get,” “stuff” being products and services, “we” being the celebrities of the world at large, “all” being a term that is supposed to include all celebrities but is a bit of a misnomer because only super famous celebrities get the big-ticket items like free cars and free Rolexes and free trips to Fiji, and “get” meaning if you pose for pictures with different companies’ products, you get to take those products home.
SWAG events are held in conjunction with every major and minor awards show throughout the year, products and services getting bigger and better the bigger and better the awards show. The Golden Globes were the reason for this SWAG event, and Melissa and I met at this event right after our run-through for TBBT ended. Most frequently “gifted” items at SWAG events include make-up, costume and mid-range jewelry, T-shirts, and almost always some chocolate truffle that’s not vegan (grrr).
SWAG events are usually held in hotel ballrooms or on the rooftops of large hotels, and you get to see a lot of celebrities as they all take their turns looking at products and taking pictures with them and taking them home. I have seen my share of fun celebrities at the types of events in the past, and this Friday, I saw Dot-Marie Jones (from “Glee”), Jeremy Irons (from everything!), and someone from “The Bachelor” which I have never seen but Melissa had and so I acted like I had, too.Unusual miscellaneous products and services range from a Japanese ion-balancer which looked like a spinning silver golf ball on top of a stick to a 7-day free trial of meals made-to-order and delivered to your home to Soap Nuts, an all natural laundry detergent substitute. (On Friday, I got a giant bag of Soap Nuts and was super excited because, as a holistic mama, this kind of stuff rocks.)
The funniest part of the 90 minutes Melissa and I were there, though, was that vendors took turns knowing either Melissa or me, but rarely both of us at the same time. So where Melissa and I had thought it would be great fun to hang out together at this kind of thing, it proved frustrating for us to constantly tell vendors, “I’m not her assistant, I’m an actor, too” or “We are not together together, can I get a lip balm, too?” I was also once mistaken for a vendor myself, as one of the escorts who holds a giant body-bag sized duffel bag for all of your goodies held out a sign in my face that read “Nat Faxon, ‘The Descendents'” as Nat Faxon and I tried to say “Hi” to each other (I am a big fan of his from his work with the awesome LA-based improv troupe, “The Groundlings”). I smiled and told his escort, “I know who he is, that’s why I am talking to him!” He laughed and made a joke about it, but I am still baffled as to why the escort thought I worked at the meals-made-to-order-delivered-to-your-home table.
I got some very needed organic make-up, a necklace made by a jeweler who is an at-home mom who knew I was coming and pre-made me a necklace with my sons‘ names on it (so sweet!), and a bottle of vodka. I also got my husband a bow tie, my mom a paisley tunic, and a coupon for brand new sheets (I have not replaced my sheets since I gave birth on them 3 years ago, so this was a very exciting coupon to be handed!).
A lot about SWAG events is extremely frivolous and bizarre, and it’s one of the only ‘perks’ I indulge in in this crazy wonderful industry that employs me, if in small doses. And at the end of the day, it’s all about the Soap Nuts, isn’t it?
I thought so.