Please forgive the number of pics applied to this post - but there were many more I didn't post - it was hard to edit. I will be sending out a snapfish album of all my pics to the folks that are in them and anyone else who wants one.
It has taken me a few weeks to write about these awards for a couple reasons but mostly because I had to let the dust in my brain settle and try to find a good way to describe it. I am not sure if any dust has settled but I will give it a go anyway.
I was not sure what to expect out of the evening. I made a couple of index cards with some notes as to the order of the show and Dave T. gave me some things to say as far as introductions go - but I always like to put my own little spin on things. I think my friends were expecting me to be funny - and let me tell you that is the scariest thing in the world. I could barely bring myself to think about it until the day before the awards. Then I just kind of felt panicked and not ready. - you know - the usual. I had a few things I wanted to say but wasn't sure how to say them. My friend, Robyn O. was very helpful for letting me pick on her a bit (and she wasn't even going to be there) then I thought - will people just think I am being mean? Will anyone get my sense of humor? The doubt started taking over. Robert and BFF just said trust yourself - you are funny - put in all the jokes - put in even more jokes! By Sunday morning I had pretty mush decided to stick to a straight script with maybe one joke on Robyn O. thrown in for good measure.
Also I had promised her I would wear these ugly earrings because I lost a bet with her a while back. - So there I was - hours away for standing in front of 100 of my peers plus the critics, wearing ugly earrings and not having anything really funny to say.
At times like these I just stop worrying because there is too much to worry about if I did. The fun kicked in a couple hours before I was supposed to arrive at the Firehouse. Steve O. was meeting me there from work so I left early and met Robert and my BFF at White Dog for a little last minute encouragement (and a drink). I also ran into Grieg Leach who was missing the event because he was bar tending. That helped put everything in perspective for me. Then we were off to the Firehouse.
Thankfully Steve Moore was was there to get the audience laughing before I even had to step on stage. That was a huge help. Everyone looked beyond beautiful and everyone was having a great time just being all together. There were so many folks there I didn't get to see and talk to everyone I hoped to.
I had an absolute blast on stage. I got braver as the night went on and it seemed that my audience of peers did appreciate my humor and did not boo me off the stage.
In the end the awards are what they are - as Roy Proctor used to explain - they are someones opinion and that is all, but the evening itself turned into more than an award show. It was a reason for all of us to celebrate each others contribution to the theatre arts in our community - even those who could not be there and that made it worthy of the dress code and all my worrying and self doubt. I should also say that I don't believe it could have turned into such a success without the positive, happy, kind attitude of all who were in attendance (seriously - the room was full of love and not petty feelings of competition) and because of that I am most proud of this community. Critics can often divide people and companies but on this night that the critics created, I witnessed only a strong sense of respect and admiration between fellow theatre artists and I can't imagine a more successful event than that - ugly earrings and all!