As the Academy Awards nominees take their seats tonight, I recall my own LA “Oscar” like red carpet experience. In November 2016, I was in LA as I had been nominated for a Society of Voice Arts and Science award. What an honour to be recognised by the great and the good in the voice world. It is such a prestigious award ceremony that I was thrilled. I had made the shortlist for outstanding TV promo campaign for my work with Sony TV. Hopping across the pond, I was ready for a great adventure. My destination? The home of The Big Bang Theory: The Warner Bros. Studio. In the high-spec Warner Bros. studio, I watched a live radio drama; saw a panel talk led by ACX with narrators and producers; witnessed a live audition for a contract with an agent; and heard million-dollar voices talk about work. In the afternoon, I had a one-in-a-million chance to meet and greet some casting directors, agents and managers in a speed dating session. It was a huge opportunity to play my reels to people with over 300 years of cumulative experience.
The LA red carpet
Drum roll please! The day of the Voice Arts Awards gala ceremony! A knock at the door: a Redken artist appeared ready to make me look fantastic. What a fantastic gift – thank you Redken – Zoraida Saray is amazing! Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins were our hosts and – wow - they host in high-octane style with a fantastic red carpet. It was a glitzy affair and lights flashed on and off as I walked along it. I smiled widely, stepping along in my pink high heels that were clashing wonderfully. I stood centre stage and grinned as the light bulbs went off left, right and centre. What a wonderful red carpet moment!
My top tips for the red carpet:
1. Lights, Camera, Action - It can be daunting with banks of cameras and lights set up. When you stand on your mark, adopt a comfortable stance and turn slightly with the upper body to the camera (photographer’s top tip) and smile. Smile, smile smile.
2. Stars are wonderful up close - At red carpets events, with everyone all dressed up, it is like a show but this time when you are there taking part, you realise that even the Stars and Celebrities are like you and me. Or rather, wonderfully normal people like you and me.
3. Keep hydrated - From prep to red carpet it takes hours, so in warm weather keep hydrated by drinking water in sips, little and often.
4. Be more cat - Red carpet events can be overwhelming with something exciting to look for at each turn. Be cool and, just like being a cat, own each step you take on the red carpet.
5. Enjoy - Looking great on the red carpet is hard work but it is a lot of fun and an utterly fabulous place to shine, but it can be over in quick as a flash! Work that smile, take that step and ENJOY IT!
And the award goes to….
What a spectacle! The awards categories were announced in style. Everyone was cheering on their favourite nominee. My highlights included an academy award winner on stage, famous voices being honoured and Erin Brockovich making an impassioned speech. I held hands with other nominees that night and, although I didn’t win, I still felt like a winner. The best part was seeing and feeling the passion, respect and love for the art of voice over. Thank you. For all the Oscar nominees tonight, good luck y buena suerte!