the end

Just back from the House series wrap party at one of my favorite places in Los Angeles, the art deco Cicada Club and Restaurant. Built by a wealthy haberdasher (!) in 1928, the building’s a gem of deco splendor, and once a week you can enjoy dinner and dancing to a vintage jazz band.

Tonight, though, it was host to all things House. I kept getting tapped on the shoulder by people I know, dressed, as the invitation said, “to the nines.” My favorite story of the night came from — well, I suppose I shouldn’t tell you, since I don’t have permission, but my informant said that after the final bit of shooting and speeches on set, a phone rang. Thinking quickly, he said, “It’s Doris!” — and got a laugh.

There were exchanges of gossip and intel, and the question always was, “What are you doing now?” This is staffing season for network television, so people are out making the rounds. It’s like musical chairs; when the shows staff up, you either have a place, or you don’t. With all the House folks let loose at once on an innocent city, the conversation runs toward, “Have you met on that show?” and “I hear So-and-So is difficult to work with.” Along, of course, with pictures of dogs and children and delectable gossip about mutual acquaintances shouted in one’s ear above the sound of the band. The television industry’s a community, like any small town.

Most parties with TV folks end by 11:00 or so, for we are a race of puritans who know the work starts early the next day. But this time people lingered. It was 1:30 before I drove home on this cool and misty night along surface streets, through Silver Lake, to the hills. Then, still in my long dress, I took my dogs for a walk.

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