Two years ago, I was in the process of organizing a meeting on saving the Carbonells. The South Florida Theatre Awards Ceremony was on the brink of going away, and the Theatre League of South Florida was hosting a panel discussion about how could we stop that from happening.
At the time, I privately stated to close friends that I wouldn't care if the Carbonells went away. I had been to two ceremonies by then and they were long and sometimes painful to watch affairs. I had seen how much the discussion about awards had torn our community apart. Small theatre companies felt cheated, people complained constantly that the nominators and judges were not qualified, and Joe Adler never missed a chance to rant about how awards destroy the community, despite his many wins.
I've always been a process person. I prefer the process to the finished product. Ask my parents: awards have never interested me much. I won a lot of awards in school, and I never really cared. The few recognitions that I have gotten that I am proud of have more to do with my pride in my work than the award itself. It's nice that In Common Hours was a finalist for the David Mark Cohen Award, but I'm more thankful that people recognize the craft that went into creating that play.
So when I heard that an awards ceremony that is long, dull, and brings a lot of strife into my community is about to go away, I inwardly danced a bit.
Thankfully, my wish did not come true and Amy London took the helm of the ceremony.
The past two Carbonell Awards Ceremonies have been a wonderful experience. They've been fast paced, well planned affairs, but more importantly Amy knows that the Carbonells aren't about celebrating individuals, but about celebrating this community. She has taken the theatre prom concept and made it into the best possible thing it could be. Amy's Carbonells are about how wonderful it is to be in the same room together.
And I'm so happy that I can be a part of that. Not only as an audience member, but as the organizer of the official after party. It's so great to throw a party for people who walk out of an awards experience feeling jazzed about being a part of their community. The Carbonell After Party has a vibe unlike any of the other parties we throw, and I'm positive that it has to do with the vibe that Amy has created for us with the awards itself.
Thank you Amy London!