Rider: a supplementary clause in a performer’s contract specifying food, drink, etc., to be provided
A recent conversation about celebrities with Housemate (our level of knowledge of celebrity trivia is sometimes better than our knowledge of current events – we’re bad people) brought us to the subject of ‘riders’. This is where celebrities demand certain things to be available in their dressing rooms when appearing on a show or at a festival etc.
My Favourite Celebrity Riders
Mariah Carey – Cristal champagne drunk through bendy straws (brilliant – of course you should drink champagne through a straw). Mineral water to wash her dogs in (not a euphemism!) 20 white kittens and 100 white doves (which must make for a very messy room) and a request that all furniture be particular colours and have no busy patterns. Classic Mariah.
Britney Spears – junk food – specifically MacDonald’s cheeseburgers without the bun. A framed photo of Princess Di (suitably bonkers), and a fine of $5000 if the phone ever rings in her dressing room (would this work on PPI automated calls?)
Lady Gaga – my all-time favourite. Posters of her rock idols – including Elton John. A very specific 56 bottles of water, half cold, half room temperature. Silver and black fabric drapes. And a mannequin with pink pubic hair. There are no words.
They all seem to have some common denominators: something to eat, something to drink, decor demands, necessary items (well, necessary if you’re a crazy multi-millionaire celebrity) and luxury items.
If I were a celeb, my dressing room rider would consist of:
- My luxury/off the wall request: a box full of kittens: no less than 3, but certainly no more than 8. That would be carnage instead of cute.
- My drink request: COLD water – I cannot stand water that isn’t refreshingly cold (it needs to make your teeth ache). I know it can’t be scientifically proven, but to me room temperature water just doesn’t taste as good.
- My decor request: the sound of soothing waves lapping against a beach to be played in my dressing room. Plus an enormous sofa to nap on (I am a cat napper extraordinaire, much to poor Pedro’s boredom).
- My food request: crisps and dip. Specifically plain tortilla chips with a selection of tex-mex style dips – ALL OF THE GUAC.
- My necessary item: my phone charger to keep my phone constantly fully charged so I can pester Pedro with annoying texts, and continue on my never-ending cycle of checking facebook, twitter, and my blog stats ALL DAY.
With moving-in-with-a-boy on my mind, this made me consider what our ‘moving in’ riders would be: the list of ‘demands’ we would state as our living requirements:
Based on what I know of Pedro, I think that his ‘rider’ would include:
- His drink request: Tea, tea, and more tea. A million cups (to the nearest million) a day.
- His food request: Hmm tricky – maybe his steak and mushroom sandwiches with the red wine gravy he loves.
- His decor demand: After a visit to one of my friend’s houses recently he expressed a man-envy of his large flat screen and surround sound set-up – so probably a cinematic style TV.
- His necessary request: a lot of hot water – Pedro takes hour-long showers (HYPERBOLE ALERT)
- His luxury request: a new computer chair with beer-cooler arm rests. Because he’s worth it.
- My drink request: diet coke. And lots of it. It gets me through tough days at work and through long rehearsals. It is a life saver.
- My food request: PEPPERCORN SAUCE. I love it. On my birthday I shouted the phrase ‘PEPPERCORN SAUCE’ all night. ALL NIGHT. (I know, Pedro is a lucky man). And banana icecream (not together).
- My decor demand: Tidy. I like minimal clutter, unless of course I have decreed it ok clutter. (Am I a control freak?!)
- My necessary request: Power sockets for my phone charger – so I can check my blog stats all day long.
- My luxury request: A Mulberry handbag. A beautiful, beautiful handbag of loveliness that will make me happy forever.
What would your ‘rider’ include?