We’re based out here in the land of spotlight and glitz known as Los Angeles, and we’ve crashed our share of Hollywood shindigs. Maybe you have, too — or have tried and been beaten to a pulp by security. Perhaps you out-of-towners are planning a little vacay with your posse to the West Coast and first on the agenda is get into one of the par-tays. We can vouch for the awesomeness of the parties, but getting inside isn’t always the easiest thing to pull off. Don’t worry, there are some tricks to successfully getting inside and not getting busted. And additional trickery on how to stay inside — where you’ll find yourself rubbing elbows with some Hollywood hotties and sipping Crystal with movers and shakers.

Beware The Size of The Guest List

You want the party that has a large guest list in order to blend in better. If the list has only fifty people on it, you are asking to be escorted away by the police. You don’t have to specifically see the guest list, but find an insider who can tell you about how many there will be at the party. Someone working the party, like a caterer, could help. Valet guys could also be an option. If you don’t know someone personally, see what company vans are arriving to set up that morning (yes, you’re kinda’ stalking at this point, but do you want in or not?). You can always be that casual fellow strolling by and are just curious as too how many people are supposed to attend. The workers don’t care and will usually give the info up.

Don’t: Get cocky and think you can still blend in at a smaller party.

Do: Still try and get your hands on the actual guest list. It’s good info to have.

Act Like You Belong

Nothing screams party crasher like someone who is lurking about and looking suspicious. Remember: when in Rome, do as someone who belongs at a Hollywood party would do. Or something like that. Act casual, smile non-creepily, and have the confidence of someone just showing up to a party you were invited to. Once inside, keep up the act — and don’t go back too many times for the free food. One of the people in charge is always watching the food and bar area and you could be singled out because you just love those pigs in a blanket way to much. Just be normal. Don’t be afraid to ask where the bathrooms are or drop your jacket at coat check. You’re Joe Undercover now, so just ‘be’.

Don’t: Get too drunk.

Do: Feel free to do some restrained dancing.

Drop a Name

When someone at the door is checking people in they will get suspicious of anyone who chokes up and starts fumbling for words — which is why you have to act like you belong. You’ll never get into any party like that unless you are a female with muy bueno enhancements. One key at the door is to have a couple of names you can drop that will lend your “how am I not on the list?” story some credo. You will need to claim you are a guest of _______ and you can call ______ if need be, but the cell phone reception inside is terrible. Saying they just told you that morning you were on the list is a solid play. Many times doormen have let by a crasher just to avoid the hassle of bringing out whoever they claim to know inside. No one wants a hassle.

Don’t: Drop a real celebrity’s name.

Do: Use two to three generic names — especially if you can find them on the actual list.

Scope Out The Entrances

On that note, sometimes the doorman is wiser than you or maybe there are tickets required to get inside and you will sadly have none. When this scenario presents itself you have to be undeterred. Other entrances and exits are surely hiding just around the corner. It doesn’t matter if this is a building, club, or mansion in the Hollywood Hills, there are other ways in. Start by finding where the party’s workers are hanging out, or coming and going. These are usually rear exits or side entries. Start your search there and be prepared to slide in when the coast is clear. We suggest a workers’ entrance because most of them at these parties assume you belong there if you act like it, and they aren’t getting paid enough to care.

Don’t: Try to pretend you are one of the workers.

Do: Focus on the smoking areas. Lots of comings and goings.

Don’t Stay Bunched Up

This is not a reference to the boxers your mom got you for Christmas that she claims will shrink in the wash. This is about your peeps. We imagine you are not sneaking into the party by yourself, because if you are, that’s just sad and you should reexamine your life. If you only have one friend going in with you, great, you should be fine. But a whole herd of dudes rolling up to party Hollywood-style will immediately bring you unwanted attention. Stay in twos or threes and find various ways in. Doormen have a limit to how many non-guest list types they will let in. Once inside, spread out and don’t all cling together hoping there will be an equally desperate group of models huddling together just waiting for your wolfpack advances. You can trade off who you are hanging out with throughout the evening, just not all at once. Got that? Let’s move on…

Don’t: Make Navy Seal hand signals to one another from across the room.

Do: Have a circling routine to safely keep your distances.

Dress The Part

If it’s a suit and tie affair, maybe that Motley Crue t-shirt and acid washed jeans aren’t such a good idea. Make sure you know what the accepted attire is before you head to the party. If it’s formal, it will likely be a premiere, fund raiser, or some awards-type event. However, the after parties at those events are often more dressed down, so do your homework. Get all that info before hand by either talking to someone close to the planning or even making a phone call to the event planner’s office and say you wanted to confirm the attire. If the party is in a house on a non-holiday night, you should be casual dressy. Think Sonny Crocket in “Miami Vice.” That’ll get you some sweet looks. Ok, just kidding, don’t dress like that.

Don’t: Go as Tubbs from “Miami Vice”, either.

Do: Consider a casual suit jacket.

Know Who or What The Party is For

This is a general reminder about having all your information. If you show up at a masquerade party and you are the only one not dressed up, you’re not getting in. And if you do, you’re not staying in for very long. If the party is in honor of a celebrity or Hollywood executive, know who that is and lay back while the rest of the crowd handle the congrats and honor-bestowing. No one will notice you are not pushing through the line to say your congratulations. However, if you went for it, this person will not know you and might get suspicious.

Don’t: Go in drag if it is a masquerade party.

Do: Clap for all the speeches. A-holes never clap.

Hang Back From A-Listers

So you’re inside now and having a rockin’ time. A big mistake that amateur party crashers make is trying to get some face time with some of the celebs at the party. If you somehow pull off sneaking into a party with an A-List actor like Tom Cruise, the last thing you want to do is sidle alongside him and start chatting him up. You may think the celebrity you are about to approach is probably the nicest person in the world, and they may be, but you will be taking them away from talking to people they may actually want to talk to. Or just people who have been kissing their ass for years. You and your stories are not a good way for you to stay hidden. It will be just a matter of time before the host of the party comes by to say hello and will start to question who you are with.

Don’t: Try chatting up an A-Lister’s wife/girlfriend, either.

Do: Approach Steve-O. He’ll never remember if he knows you or not.

Have an Exit Plan

If you do get busted or are about to, have an exit strategy so you can live another day to sneak into a different party. Discuss the plans with your friends and what doors will get all of you out of the building/house as quickly as possible. If you are separated, have a predetermined meet-up place so you can all go to Waffle House and laugh about your exploits into the night. If just one of you gets busted, it could mean tighter security the next time around — especially if it is the same event planning company. And if it’s a celeb’s personal party, word gets around to other celebs about a group of crashers and it will keep getting tougher for you. Don’t be that guy and ruin the party for all of us.

Don’t: Leave your car with valet. You’ll never get it back. 

Do: Consider windows as a viable exit.