The ceviche is outstanding: scallops and lump crabmeat with the most delicate tortilla chips. So lemony! And I just had a fine episode of cocktail-party banter with the husband-and-wife team behind the film A Scientist’s Guide to Living and Dying. She stars; he directs. So far, he says, the buzz has been good.
Here’s Eddie Garcia, fresh off his star turn on Thursday night, when he played a live score alongside a screening of No Country for Old Men. And there’s a few more filmmakers hugging the walls, unsure of conversational prospects. I can see Rob Davis, RiverRun’s executive director, posted up by the door and issuing greetings and handshakes like his life depends on it. The tables outside slowly fill with that regular slate of Winston-Salemites who routinely show up when the food is above par and the drinks are free.
I happened upon this one quite by accident — a RiverRun supper housed in the roller mill for which this subdistrict near the West End is named. Just 20 minutes ago I was in Hoots Roller Bar, playing pinball and otherwise minding my own business, when I noticed the action over by the old mill: tuxedo-ed attendants, be-laminated socialites, confused bohemians, upper-tier volunteers with the glazed look that comes over them all by the last weekend of the festival.
My first instinct, upon seeing all the wide-open entrances and loose door policy, was to sneak in. I’ve been crashing VIP parties for decades, since before I was a journalist even. It’s easy: Sometimes you dress like you work there. Sometimes you act like you belong there. Sometimes you ensconce yourself in the thick of a moving crowd and glide past security.
For this one, I planned to enter the facility through the creek-side door and just hold up my notebook and pen if anybody started asking questions.
But then I remembered: Triad City Beat is a sponsor of RiverRun, and right there in my car I had a couple laminates that gained me access to every single event under the RiverRun banner.
So now here I sit, a welcome guest at the fancy party, on my second helping of ceviche and angling to be among the first wave to approach the buffet line.
It’s fine. Wonderful, even.
But it’s a little more fun when I’m not supposed to be there.