Wednesday, June 27, 2007

On the Red Carpet (Okay, it was just a welcome mat that happened to be red)

By now you’ve heard about RaveTV’s unprecedented hat trick at the Capital District Emmy Awards earlier this month. Three nominations. Three Emmy’s. Three wonderful speeches, two of which included salutations to yours truly – come on Larry, what gives? But what you haven’t heard is how an evening affair in the Nation’s Capital transformed the staff of RaveTV into the Hollywood Icons they are today (okay, they’ve gotten some pub on and in The Baltimore Examiner, but I’m sure Peter Bart – Editor-in-Chief of Variety – reads Coffee on the 50 and will soon be calling).

The night began well before the first award was handed out as the RaveTV crew and their significant others, including this proud blogger, hopped in a limo outside M&T Bank Stadium. The parking lot was bustling as we left with an O’s game set to start later that night and preparations well underway for last weekend’s Dew Action Sports Tour. In case you missed it, they built a full-size half pipe in Lot D, where Shaun White would go on to win the Skateboard Vert Final, besting Baltimore native Bucky Lasek, and continuing his run as coolest kid in the world.

The ride to the Ritz went smoothly, thanks in part to the wine and Corona flowing freely in the back seats. Bonus points to Broadcast Coordinator Matt Brevet, who packed pre-sliced limes. Unfortunately Matt’s partner in crime couldn’t attend the affair as Multimedia Coordinator Jay O’Brien stayed home to battle the dreaded summer cold.

The beltway traffic delayed our arrival until the cocktail hour was already over, but fortunately for all of us who may have had one too many on the drive down, dinner was already being served and the ceremonies were about to begin. One annual pastime that I’ve learned in previous years is to flip ahead in the program to see when your category will be called. All three of RaveTV’s nominations were listed on the same spread, about two-thirds of the way through the book, so we knew we would be in for a few hours of festivities before our fun began. One award winner of note was Aisha Karimah, Community Affairs Director at NBC-4 in D.C., who won The Board of Governors Award. Her contributions to the community were inspiring, but her speech was even more memorable as she took time out to blow her nose (possibly fighting the same bug that bit O’Brien back in Baltimore) and started her speech over as she rightly claimed that this was her chance to shine.

The RaveTV run began with a win for Outstanding Achievement in Editing for I Am a Raven, which was produced by Senior Director of Broadcasting, Larry Rosen, filmed by Director of Photography, Jeff Atkinson, and edited by Manager of Broadcasting Lauryn Lukin (in case you hadn’t put two and two together up until now, she’s my better half). However, in her acceptance speech, which clocked in just under twelve seconds, (she’s a woman of few words, but wonderful eyes) she did refer to me as the better half, but I don’t buy it.

The second award was secured back in May when nominations were revealed as Jonathan Ogden’s Wired episode was the lone entry left standing in the category. The entire RaveTV team accepted this time, with Larry doing the verbal honors. In contrast to Lauryn, his speech surpassed the allotted 30 seconds, but he still managed to avoid thanking me as the maestro cued the music.

Their third win, for the broadcast of last seasons Eagles vs Ravens pre-season game, was the real upset of the night and judging by the look on Director of Broadcasting, Don DiRaddo’s face when the MC announced the winners, you knew he was either surprised or stammering for a speech now that he would have to talk the talk. Smart man that DiRaddo as he too included me, along with the other spouses and significant others at the table, in his impromptu remarks.

After the sweep, the group convened in the hallway outside the ballroom for the post-game paparazzi session. Bystanders remarked on the bevy of Golden Angels adorning the arms of all of us - there was enough for spouses to hold as well. For a brief moment, you could imagine what it was like to hang out with the cast of The West Wing when Aaron Sorkin’s scripts still earned statues and ratings (I really think Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip has hit its stride the last few weeks, too bad the show has already been cancelled).

Alas, we partied like rock stars for a few hours, but our true colors were revealed on the ride home. Nothing inappropriate, rather, half of those taking the limo back north had already dozed off by the time we hit 95. But not before we popped the almond flavored champagne (okay, sparkling wine) to celebrate the success of the past year. 13 wins in the regular season, 3 Emmy’s in the award season, and who knows, maybe a pilot deal for the new Fall season on NBC – Studio 60’s timeslot is open.

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