Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Empy Awards

I almost didn't go to the Empress fundraising and awards gala this year.  Money is tight and time is tighter, and I thought maybe I'd opt out this year.  But at the last minute, a few things changed to make it possible for me to attend, and I was excited to be a part of the "Old Hollywood" theme.

Having attended the gala for the past two seasons, I thought I knew what to expect.  Basically, a night where I would get all excited about dressing up, and then leave to spend a few hours battling my socially awkward tendencies.  I knew this year would be worse, as I was attending without Kirk there to act as a buffer.  As I described it to Michelle, "I'm leaving now.  I'm off to awkwardly try to find someone to sit with and then actually have to talk to them."

"That sounds awful!" she responded.

But I knew also to expect to get to see lots of friends and acquaintances dressed to the nines, get to bid on beautiful baskets in the silent auction, get to watch former cast mates accept their Empy Awards, and (best of all) listen to a talented group of performers introduce the 2014 season with sample performances.

So, despite the looming social discomfort, I really was excited for the evening.

It turns out I didn't know exactly what to expect, because I definitely didn't expect this.

For one thing, the EYT show has in the past been ineligible for the production staff awards.  As its own sort of thing (that the kids pay for, etc), it gets a little bit different treatment (which this year included awards for three of my awesome EYT kids).

For another thing, there were incredible shows on the season last year, each with a fantastic director.  To be honored with the title of best in a group like that was certainly unexpected.

It's extra crazy to think back clear to last summer's show, Beauty and the Beast Jr, and to remember all that went into pulling off such an epic show.

I'm glad they didn't ask for an acceptance speech, because all I would have babbled was, "Thank you."  It would have been difficult for me to express to whom that thanks was directed.  But it definitely goes to the 67 kids who shared the stage, to their dedicated parents who volunteered and lent their kids, to the amazing staff at the Empress including Jake, Michele, and Marie, to Kaylin who saved us nightly with costumes, to Lisa and Katie for assistant directing, to Jamie for her vocal coaching, and to the billion people who helped pull together costumes.  "Best Director" to me is just a compilation of "Best of All Worlds," and I am grateful to have had that opportunity.

And I'm pretty glad I went to the gala... :)