First post of 2016!!
It was an eventful January, huh? We lost some legendary artists, like David Bowie, Glenn Frey and Alan Rickman. We had a whopper of a blizzard in Winter Storm Jonas - over 2 feet of snow here in NYC. Travel was banned for the day. I was fully stocked and happy to curl up and binge-watch some TV, including some shows and performances I wanted to catch because they were nominated for Golden Globe Awards.
Ah yes, award season is upon us. As my closest friends know, I am OBSESSED with award shows. The Golden Globe Awards, the SAG Awards, the Critics Choice Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards, and of course, the Academy Awards. (I feel the same about the Tony Awards and the Emmy Awards, but they fall outside of “awards season”, in June and September respectively).
There are a couple of reasons these events appeal to me so much: First of all, I am a complete statistics geek. I love Top 10 lists, Top 100 lists, any statistical data compiled about the “best” of something. TV ratings, movie box office, year-end rankings of just about anything are a huge turn-on. I deliberately seek out this information constantly. Like, ALL THE TIME. :)
I have no interest in sports whatsoever, couldn’t tell you under threat of death who is playing in the Super Bowl (though of course I know who’s performing during Half Time!), but I found a way of incorporating my love of statistics into baseball as a child. My father, who loves baseball, tried to instill in me an interest in the game. His favorite team was always the Los Angeles Dodgers. Each week, I would make lists re-creating the ranking of both the American and National League teams, including how many positions they rose or fell from the previous week. That was the only way to make the sport fun for me, as playing or watching the game was not appealing.
I had a blackboard in my bedroom as a child. USA Today used to print the weekly Nielsen ratings for all TV shows. So what was on my blackboard? A list of that week’s Top 10 TV shows, written in colorful chalk, and only to be erased when the following week’s data was received. What else was I supposed to put on my blackboard…..a drawing of a duck??
I’ve always been a huge fan of pop music, thanks to my mother exposing me to it at an early age. We were always listening to the radio, but a major part of my enjoyment of pop music was connected to famous disc jockey Casey Kasem’s weekly countdown of the Top 40 songs. It took four hours each Sunday morning for him to get through all 40 songs, and guess who was listening to every second of that radio program each week…..yours truly. In fact, when I was 13, I was able to convince my parents to get me a subscription to Billboard Magazine, a music publication that is mainly geared towards industry professionals, not teenagers in Lancaster, PA. Billboard was crammed full of charts for every style of music played on the radio or sold in record stores. I would practically be drooling when the magazine was slipped through our mail slot each week, and then I would re-create my favorite charts and share them with classmates at school the next day. Fortunately they humored me and at least pretended to be interested in my joyful extracurricular obsession.
Annual award shows highlight the best of the best from each year, as decided by their respective industry leaders. They are like Top 10 lists come to vivid life, with countless artists parading before us in a single event to present, perform, and make heartfelt acceptance speeches while wearing the latest fashions. For me, it’s like a never-ending bowl of cool, delicious mint chocolate chip ice cream (my favorite flavor of my favorite food). Besides that, I find them to be inspiring, motivating and encouraging to all struggling artists who are trying to pave a successful path for themselves in their artistic fields. Of course, this is relevant to me now more than ever.
Many criticize these award shows, but hey - it’s no different than an annual celebration of the final competitions of your favorite sport (Super Bowl, World Series, and their respective playoff events, which would correspond to precursor award shows like the Globes or SAG Awards). These events are amazing marketing tools for the various artistic fields, and bring widespread attention to special songs, indie films or inspired performances that the general public may have overlooked. Also, don’t you remember how good it felt when you received a gold star in grade school for a job well done? How about Employee of the Month, or anytime you were the recipient of a prize or gift thanks to your company’s rewards and recognition program? We are hard-wired to enjoy receiving these acknowledgements, from the time we are children all through our lives. Artists work diligently and passionately on each project, whether it’s a huge success or not. The same effort and energy is put into all, so why not celebrate the big wins in a major way?
…..and that’s why I love award shows.
Wishing you a joyful “awards season”….. :)