And the Award Goes to...
The story of the Addys, and my night as a princess, begins not on the night of, but in early January. I get a message from Sean Lorton, owner of No Box Studios and director of the Quest Nutrition commercial I starred in last summer.
I'm entering into a new area here- well, that's not quite accurate. I'd been involved as a model in advertising but this felt like more than just a toe in the water and the pond was expanding into an ocean. This is a door opener - I'm ready for bigger things!
Honestly, I think I forgot about Sean's message after that. January was a busy month for me. Then I get another message from him and I'm in the middle of a shoot. They were changing around the position of the camera for the final angle, so I thought I'd check my phone and see what all the buzzing was about. My dad had called, and I had another message from Sean.
I am pretty excited, and although that was a really busy day with the shoot that afternoon and then I rushed to pick up pizza and cake for my husband's birthday and entertained friends that evening, it was on my mind. The thing is, I'm competitive- I would have denied that all my life but when I started doing triathlon it was too obvious to not accept the fact. It explains a lot tho, because I've since realized that competition isn't reserved for just sports. I've always wanted the best of everything. In school I wanted all the girls to like me, the boys to want me, I was teachers pet - and these things carried forward into my work life later. Making sure i was the go-to for special projects in my department, making my bosses like me, finding ways to elevate my position into something more than it really was. It didn't necessarily make life easier- I'll tell you that. It complicates things, especially when you don't know the motivation behind your actions. I knew I loved attention and I knew I wanted to be liked by everyone. Sometimes that's not possible. Anyway, there's a bus load more psychoanalyzing that can be done here, but lets move on.
As I start sharing this exciting news with my husband and friends, they all begin to tease me about the acceptance speech I threaten to give, and that its really not my award, but Sean's. I argue- what would it be without me? I mean, it's ME. The whole commercial is ME. So, I'm accepting it with him. Discussion closed. (Turns out, there were no acceptance speeches for the categories)
Marissa asked me day of, "So do you have your speech finished?" My knowing husband Mike said, "Ha. It's been finished for years."
Things start falling into place leading up to the awards gala. It's one thing after another and I feel like I hit the jackpot of luck or something. First, I'm looking at tickets to go, and yeah- they're pretty expensive. $200 for just Mike and me. They sell individual tickets and seat you with strangers as one option, the other option is for the production company to buy a table, each level climbing in cost as it gets closer to the stage. I want to go, and as luck would have it - No Box Studios secures a sponsor for a gold level table at the stage. I'd like to say I had everything to do with it, but it was part connection and part luck- or kismet. Call it fate, or whatever but just like that we have a table for 10 to attend the Addys on February 20th. I'm over the freakin moon and I'm dead set on wearing a gown. Since I've never attended, I'm asking around about the dress code. Everyone advises me that in a gown I will be over dressed. Over dressed it is then. Like a diva, I'm wearing a gown. The dress that is glued into my mind is a new Herve we got in the store last month. It's a very elegant, very sexy, long black gown. I want it, I've been wanting it, and I convince myself and Mike that I can wear it again and again... because every woman needs a long black gown in her arsenal. I mean right? These are the photos of me in the gown from the ecommerce photoshoot ... taken by Sheva Williams for Liberte.
Eventually, not that it would have made a difference, we find out the attire is "formal/cocktail" so, I'm totally fine!
The only drawback here is the back of the gown is very open and very clearly showcases the giant tattoo on my lower back. Not a huge deal, I just feel like it clashes with the dress, right? An easy fix in a photo- just some retouching of the image and its gone. Not so easy in real life, but- again with my network of contacts- I'm friends with the best makeup artists in the city and both Toni and Sharon offer to help cover it for me day of. Sharon is already scheduled to come by the store that afternoon to do Danielle's hair and makeup, who is joining me for the gala. The coverup makes me flawless- perfect for such a gorgeous gown!
I had 5 seats to fill on my half of our gold level table. Of course I wanted my husband with me, my rock, my number one fan, I couldn't go without him. I couldn't imagine experiencing a night like this without my other half, so that wasn't up for debate. And doesn't he look dapper?! I also had Danielle, my diving board into this ocean of opportunity. Marissa, a cherished friend and makeup artist who I knew would appreciate the event and want to support me. Susanne, a long time friend, and my most intimate photographer ;)
At cocktail hour we are sipping adult beverages (well, one of us clearly is not partaking) and I'm sort of trying to soak it all in, while glancing around for people I know. I'm also looking for opportunities to network.
I finally get to meet (in person) someone I'd been chatting with on facebook and planning to meet up with since last summer, Jason Burks- owner of Retrospec films. He friended me and we connected every couple of months, talking about how we needed to get together for coffee or such. I'd heard really great things about him and I've been hoping to work my way into a project with his company. I enjoyed a conversation with him and then later, after they were awarded many Addys, congratulated him.
Our table was pretty great, we were right up at the stage and since the awards were not hosted live, we didn't have to worry too much about talking or being rowdy and offending the speaker. The awards were all recorded previously and played along with a slideshow. It went on and on as the category and winners were announced.
Somehow, Sean and I ended up at the back of the room together when our category started. The rest of our table thought we were missing it, but we stood together watching the names appear on the screen for bronze, then silver... if we had won gold, I would have regretted not being at our table to cheer and celebrate with our guests. But when No Box Studios was announced as a Silver, it was only Sean who witnessed my unfiltered reaction. I actually think it was perfect that way. In a room full of people, I still somehow felt like we had privacy. Sean and I put so much into that commercial - time, energy, sweat, pride. It felt personal. Maybe it was selfish to feel that way, and it wasn't planned that we would end up standing together at the back of the room instead of our table, but that's how it unfolded and... I don't know. It was kind of poetic. I wanted to win, I felt like our product was a winner and during this part of the show, they were announcing the bronze and silver and then when they announced gold- they played a clip from that spot. I kept imagining how the energy in the room would change if they would just play the clip of our Quest spot. How all the people there would light up and nod their heads in agreement, "Yes- that one is good! That one deserves the gold!" But they were all deprived of that experience because we were given Silver. And they don't play clips of Silvers. I'm not great with rejection or defeat, who is? I like to win, who doesn't? I admitted I wished we'd won gold and then promised to hide my disappointment.
We still thoroughly enjoyed our evening. We all looked absolutely stunning. My table could have won best dressed, no contest there. If I could go back to that night again, I'd definitely get my girls over to the photobooth before Danielle and Marissa left (they both had to go early- and I kept forgetting there was a photobooth!!) so much was going on it was hard to keep focused. But there is something to be said for living in the moment. I mostly kept my phone put away and had Mike on photo duty, one less thing for me to think about.
One other noteable story- the People's Choice awards, which Shevaun Williams - my main photographer was nominated for her stunning black and white OKC Ballet Calendar Images. She couldn't attend that night, but we were hoping for her to secure the win on that one, and- in the event that she did- I was assigned the task of accepting her award! :) So, the prospect of me getting up on stage was exciting, which added to my hopes of her win. Shevaun text Danielle and me what she wanted said if she won and although I was really feeling optimistic about it- she didn't win. She did win multiple other Addys, gold and silver in the Visual categories (none were images of me... *frown*) Well deserved, she's a creative genius.
We made it to the photobooth near the end of the night to capture some memories...
I know I'm forgetting pieces of the story, but I'm sure you're ready to move on with your day :) Thank you for your continued support. I'm loving life- enjoying the challenges and new exciting adventures that come my way.
Feel free to comment, or "like" to let me know you were here!