An Emmy Winner's Guide To Surviving Endless Parties

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howtokillitatyournextworkevent_slide2_maddyIllustrated by Madelyn Somers.
As the Emmy Awards approached and the party invitations arrived, I was reminded that I needed a refresher on navigating work parties. My show, Veep, was nominated for nine Emmys (Julia Louis-Dreyfus won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series!). I was excited, nervous, and, of course, still trying to figure out what to wear just days before the party week went into full swing.

The festivities started Thursday night with the closing ceremony of The HollyShorts Film Festival, where my short film starring Tony Hale premiered. Following that was the Friday night nominee soiree along with the Maybelline/Vanity Fair-hosted celebration for Veep. There were two more parties on Saturday night. If we're counting, parties six, seven, and eight were the actual Emmys, the Governor's Ball, and the HBO party.

As I headed into these five days of partying, my feet were already hurting. I'm used to being on set in boots, not in a dress with heels. And, along with the heels comes mingling, working the room, and other tricky situations encountered at any work party.

Read on for 10 tips to make work parties work for you.
workeventshowtokillitatyournextworkevent_slide1_maddyIllustrated by Madelyn Somers.
RSVP on time and say thank you for the invitation.
Set the tone right from the beginning and we all know a little thank you goes a long way. Be happy you got the invite.

Show up and smile.
It's easy to find excuses not to go, but don't fall into that trap. Just go. It's as simple as that. Be there and be seen but don't be seen looking miserable. Show your pearly whites.

Dress the part.
Put a little extra thought into your look. Consider the occasion and plan early. Pull those dresses out of your closest and try them on well in advance of the event. In my case, I hate to try anything on. Big mistake. At the Screen Actors Guild Awards this year, I put my dress on only to find that the zipper was broken, and I had to stop at the tailor on the way to the show. It was either that or risk a very visible panty line, and that's no bueno. Also, a few words about shoes: Wear them around the house a few days before the big night, but even better, don't buy new shoes. Wear a trusted pair already in your possession. There's nothing worse than your feet hurting. Forget about smiling, and carrying on a conversation is almost impossible through gritted teeth. At last year's Emmys, my feet hurt so badly by the time we got to the Governor's Ball, I sat at a table all night grabbing people I knew by the arm as they walked by, a failed attempt at socializing.

Eat before you drink.
We've all heard this one before. Sure, we want to look and feel good in our outfit but that doesn't mean not eating! Consume a light meal before you leave, especially if it's going to be a long night. Emmy day starts at 2 p.m. and ends sometime around midnight. The award show is fun but also long, so I bring snacks (and so do most people). A little bag of almonds or a granola bar goes a long way.

If you want to drink, do it moderately.
This is the most important tip. We all know it's true, yet somehow there are still a bunch of girls who end up biting the floor and otherwise making a fool of themselves. People are watching, but now is not the time to star in your own reality series called "My Drunk Night." You're here to celebrate and do a little networking — not tequila shots.

Don't be job hunting, but try networking speed dating style.
Engage in a quick conversation, and move on. Remember you're supposed to be mingling. I don't recommend doing the awkward linger stance while waiting to talk to someone. Come back later and try again.

Balance the banter.
Have something to talk about. Read the newspaper, get caught up on current events. You need to be able to join any conversation with more than just, "uhuh," "right," and head-nodding in agreement. Also, politics and religion are off limits at work parties. Get on your soapbox at a more appropriate event, such as a party you're hosting during an election year.

Bring a friend, date, significant other, whomever you want, just not a random person you don't know very well.
You're not a babysitter and you don't want to be the person who is with someone who's doing the tequila shots. Your date is a reflection of you. Choose wisely. Also, choose someone who can mingle on his or her own and who doesn't expect you to entertain him or her all night.

Make the rounds.
Don't sit in the corner. Sometimes these events are quite large and unless you get moving, you won't see everyone. You can't see very much from the corner.

Say thank you and make a graceful exit.
Try leaving as elegantly as possible, making sure not to trip as you leave.

Some tips will be easier to follow than others. To find out how I fared at my week of parties, you'll have to stay tuned for my next post.

We're pretty sure Stephanie Laing is our spirit animal. The five-time Emmy-nominated TV producer of Veep, Eastbound & Down, and Banshee may only let herself feel fabulous for five minutes a day, but she spends her nights (once the kids are asleep, of course) curating her own blog, Put Your Pretty On.