Friday, March 2, 2012

The Reward of an Award?

An Oscar means a lot of things because it's like the ultimate award for a filmmaker so it feels great. But I think you have to consider awards with some distance and not get obsessed with it. When you're creating you shouldn't think about it.
Alejandro Amenabar

Happy Friday!
Here in New York, the cabaret community is buzzing about this years MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) 2012 nominations which were announced yesterday. 
IF you are part of the cabaret community, it may or not matter to you. IF you are among the lucky few who made it to the final ballot, it certainly matters! IF you didn't make it to the final ballot, you may be shaking your head at the validity of it all. I want to begin by saying congratulations to ALL who are on the final ballot. This is your moment and I don't want to take away from it. So go off and bask in your glory...and stop reading this blog! For everyone else, this is for you. I have no ax to grind. 
I have four MAC Awards out of five nominations...not that that truly matters to anyone else other than me! I do think the paradigm of the nominating and voting process needs to shift somewhat. IF I was to say what I truly think about some categories, I would be run out of town like the torch carriers chasing Frankenstein's monster.
 There used to be a more stringent screening process. It took me five years of doing cabaret shows before I got my first nomination. Year after year, I would get a call from someone on the MAC board explaining to me why I didn't get nominated that year. It stung but at least I got it. When I got my first nomination (my first win, also), I believe I got it that year based on my visibility in the community rather than my body of work. I knew who from MAC (the voters) had seen my show...not enough to warrant a win. I believe that on all of my wins, by the way. I have had people tell me that they had voted for me when they had not seen my show. I've even had people tell me they voted for me when I wasn't even on the ballot!
Kudos to former board member Hector Coris who recently wrote to the MAC membership to really be dilligent in voting for shows they had actually seen!
Over the past 12 months, I saw easily more than 50 cabaret shows. Some of them were some of the best shows that I have ever seen. MOST of them did not make it to the final ballot. THIS is an area that needs to be changed...but how?
Robert Stack never won an Oscar
Again, some are on the ballot for the right reasons and some for the "wrong" reasons. 
That is TRUE of any award show that has ever been produced. And I am attempting to address that in today's blog.
 My awards have not increased my prestige OR value as an entertainer. As I state often, enjoy the process! The awards are gravy!
 Sometimes an award is given as a consolation prize. Hollywood is famous for performers not getting an award for the project that they should have gotten it for but rather for a "lesser" work some other year to make up for that oversight. 

A case in point is Whoopi Goldberg's win for Ghost other than The Color Purple. How can you compare the two? You can't!
 The Kennedy Center Honors over the years have had some egregious oversights. It is a shame that they don't give any honors posthumously. 
If that were the case, Ethel Merman should definitely have one.  

I have been campaigning for Carol Channing to receive this honor for over five years. Year after year, she is overlooked. Her body of work and especially her efforts on behalf of arts in education should be recognized. Wake up Kennedy Center. NOW, THIS YEAR, is the time!
HELP CAROL RECEIVE THIS HONOR  All you have to do is send an E-MAIL to:
Michael Kaiser. His Email address is:

 In the e-mail you can state why you feel Carol is deserving of the award: Her great body of work spanning over 64 years that has given joy to so many people all over the world; her many other awards (the Golden Globe Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie, the Oscar nomination, Emmy nomination, Grammy, and three Tony Awards). And, let's not forget the great humanitarian efforts such as all her work to bring the arts to people everywhere.
 There are many in Hollywood whose careers were not affected by never winning an Academy Award. 
Mae West comes to mind as well as Cary Grant, Peter O'Toole, Terence Stamp, Eleanor Parker, Debbie Reynolds for The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Barbara Stanwyck, Ida Lupino, Doris Day, Geraldine Page for most of her films, Ellen Burstyn for Requiem For A Dream, Dorothy McGuire, Kim Stanley, Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment and Some Came Running, Deborah Kerr, Susan Hayward for I'll Cry
Ida Lupino never won an Oscar
Tomorrow, Jean Simmons, Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop, Some Like it Hot, and The Misfits, Thelma Ritter, Joan Blondell, Eve Arden, Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot, Anthony Perkins in Psycho, Gina Davis in Thelma and Louise, Greta Garbo in Camille and Ninotchka, Bette Midler in The Rose, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Fred Astaire.

Also, "Theme from "New York New York" totally overlooked and of course Judy NOT winning for "A Star is Born". 
 GARLAND only received a juvenile Oscar ( In addition to A Star is Born, Judgement at Nuremberg should had had her awarded the Oscar!) The bottom line is that Judy Garland SHOULD have gotten that Oscar for A Star Is Born
 Cher getting her Oscar for Moonstruck instead of Mask or even Silkwood.  
 More Oscar snubs - A Man for All Seasons beating Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf or  How Green Was My Valley trumping Citizen Kane

How many people remember or even know that Bob Hope hosted the Oscars 18 times? A record that I doubt will ever be beat!  
Earlier this week, Los Angeles Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Msgr. Bob Gallagher, Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes, Linda Hope (daughter of Bob and Dolores Hope), and members of the Toluca Lake Community gathered to dedicate a square in honor of long-time Toluca Lake Residents Bob and Dolores Hope.  
It somehow seems appropriate that after the Oscars were
Photo Credit: Ray Dunn
handed-out, that 18-time Academy Awards host Bob Hope and his wife, philanthropist Dolores Hope, were immortalized with a square in their honor at the Toluca Lake intersection of Lankershim Boulevard and Moorpark Street. Tom LaBonge, Linda Hope and children from the St. Charles Borromeo Church together pulled the cord unveiling the “Bob and Dolores Hope Square” signs that will mark the busy intersection in honor of Toluca Lake's most famous and revered citizens.
  “Bob and Dolores Hope were two of the greatest people ever.  What a team,” said Councilman LaBonge.  
“They're together in heaven right now, but they're immortalized right here on this corner in Toluca Lake.”  Linda Hope added, “It seems to be a very appropriate location for this dedication, because mother always thought of St. Charles as a second home,” adding “Dad wasn't the most dedicated Catholic, but mom was devoted enough for both of them.” (Source: Harlan Boll)

The bottom line is strive to do great work! 
Let that be your award!
Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple

From Peter Napolitano, "Congratulations to all of the 2012 MAC nominees! I am so grateful to be included. As we celebrate cabaret in the next four weeks, let's spread the word to as many people as possible about the quality, the variety and the sheer vitality of this community. As Susan Winter says somewhere down (or up) there on this page: "Bravo, brava to us all!"

And from Joshua DesJardins, " In the words of everyone else, congratulations to all the nominees! We're already on the start to making this a wonderful Month of Cabaret! See you all at B.B. Kings. :)

2012 MAC Awards are on Thursday, March 29th at BB Kings

The MAC Award Nominees will be revealed on the MAC Website on Thursday,
March 1st at 12:00 PM.  Stay Tuned!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!

Tomorrow's blog will be... My Exclusive Interview with Carol Lawrence!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

  Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Richard Skipper,
Dean Martin Never Won An Oscar!
This Blog is dedicated to ALL artists: Past, present, and future and the gifts they give to the world

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