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How much seat fillers get paid to be at the Oscars

How much seat fillers get paid to be at the Oscars

When you're blending into the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown, you've got to look like a million bucks - even if it costs you almost a grand

As the 96th Academy Awards ceremony swiftly approaches, one woman's tale of splurging hundreds of dollars to prep for her stint as a seat filler injects a delightful dose of humour into the buzz surrounding Hollywood's grandest event.

When the camera scans the audience at the Dolby Theatre later this month, it won't just capture a dazzling array of smiles and glamour - it'll also unveil the hidden world of seat fillers.

Yes, amidst the glitz and glamour at the Academy Awards lie ordinary folks like you and me, granted the extraordinary chance to rub shoulders with the stars for a night.

Taiyler Simone Mitchell, a writer for the Huffington Post, bravely volunteered to be a seat filler for the 94th Academy Awards.

And despite not snagging a paycheck for the gig, Taiyler didn't hold back on preparation, shelling out close to $800.

In a tell-all piece penned for her then-employer Business Insider in 2022, Taiyler spilled the beans on the backstage hustle.

This year's acting winners.
Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images

First, she and her fellow seat fillers were instructed to sport a conservative vibe, donning shades of black or navy blue.

"I ended up purchasing a single-sleeved black dress with a leg slit on a site called Promlily for $148 after taxes and shipping," Taiyler wrote.

"The dress arrived on Friday - two days before the Oscars and a day that I was travelling back from a week out of state."

A day before the show, Taiyler rendezvoused with her trusty stylist, Katrina Vickers, at O My Hair Studio in Westchester, Los Angeles. Katrina worked her magic, meticulously silk-pressing Taiyler's afro for $75.

"I paid an extra $40 for a trim, $35 for a protein treatment, and gave her a $40 tip," Taiyler quipped.

Hoyte van Hoytema and Cillian Murph at the Oscars.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Unwilling to compromise on make-up, Taiyler sought out the services of Kim Paige, a maestro in Los Angeles. "I paid $160 for the entire service - $100 for a full glam look, a $45 travel fee, and a $35 tip."

And let's not forget the nails! Taiyler splurged a grand total of $142 to ensure her fingers were red-carpet-ready.

Given the hustle and bustle Taiyler and her seat-filler squad anticipated, heels were a big no-no, and bling was advised to be kept to a minimum.

"This crushed my heart because now I could only dream of running into Beyonce in heels," Taiyler lamented. "I instead bought sandals from JCPenney for $44.09 after taxes and a $20 discount.

"I also spent $63.94 for JCPenney jewellery — some of which I did not wear."

Lastly, Taiyler nabbed a chic black evening clutch from Amazon for $25.99 (pre-taxes), perfect for stashing her phone, lip gloss, and other must-haves.

If you're doing the maths as well, Taiyler's escapades set her back a cool $784.02—a mere drop in the bucket compared to what some other guests coughed up.

But for Taiyler, every dime was worth it. "Getting dressed up is worth it every now and then — especially considering that attendees can end up paying up to $10,000 for their Oscars experience...The experience was unforgettable and I'm happy I spent every dime."

Featured Image Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Richard Harbaugh - Handout/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

Topics: Oscars, Academy Awards, Fashion