G.L.O.C. MARCY GIRT attended the Screen Writers Guild Awards hosted by G.L.O.C. KRISTEN SCHAAL and lived to tell the tale.
A Night at the Writers Guild Awards
by Marcy Girt
Some people have their Super Bowl, some have their World Cup…I have the Oscars. In fact, I’m something of an awards show junkie. Now, before you get excited and invite me to team up with you on Trivia Night at Pete’s Candy Store, I should explain that I have no memory for names and dates. In fact, unless someone really moved me with their speech, I probably won’t remember them at all.
I watch these shows for one reason. I want to see the look on someone’s face the moment their dream comes true. Yes, I like the fancy dresses, and the silly dance numbers, too. But these events are a real and true confirmation that some people get to live the dream—my dream. The dream of being a celebrated performer. Some actually get to be in real movies, playing wonderful characters in fascinating worlds. However unlikely it may seem to me at times, at an awards show, such a life seems suddenly possible…It IS possible! To top it off, if actors do a good enough job, they even get a pretty statue to take home. It’s a constant reminder on the mantle (or, maybe in the bathroom, like Susan Sarandon) of why they didn’t take that nice, quiet teaching job and “settle down”.
So, in the midst of my annual awards season addiction, with the all important Academy Awards a mere 3 weeks away, my roommate bursts in in distress.
“My date broke her foot…Wanna go to the Screen Writers Guild Awards?!”
OF COURSE I DO.
We have to leave in 20 minutes. I cancel my plans for the evening. I flat iron my hair in under 10 minutes, I pull out the only half acceptable dress I own and throw it on. I almost need to pinch myself: I am going to a real deal awards show!
We arrive at the WGAs, descend the staircase to the show room— and to my utter disappointment, it looks like a replica of my college psychology lecture hall. This ain’t the Oscars. Slightly disappointed, I remind myself that I am surrounded by writers—amazing magicians who have conjured our heroes out of thin air—and my excitement is somewhat rekindled.
In walks Kristen Schaal, our host. Unlike Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes, Schaal has decided not to turn the WGAs into a roast. She is refreshing and funny, witty and ditsy and above all, it seems like she is having fun. She is purely there to show us a good time—to make us laugh—and we do. Even well-tread comedy antics like wacky outfit switches are funny, charming and new when Schaal does them. Awards shows call for a brand of humor from another time, and she effortlessly makes us feel like we are watching Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, or Carol Burnett.
Still, as the night goes on (in spite of our great host), I begin to agree that the old comment, “It’s better to watch at home” is correct. I can’t see the faces of the winners well enough to catch the look in their eye—the look that shows this means something to them. And writers are not so practiced (as our beloved movie stars) at crying and heartfelt thanking. They stammer through their ‘thank yous’. It becomes clear that there is another WGA award show simultaneously happening on the West Coast—many of the winners are not even here to accept. The most interesting acceptance speeches are somewhat sad: thoughts and prayers for the journalists in Egypt; a winner whose wife couldn’t come at the last-minute, who seems genuinely sad about her absence. Even sitting down, my feet hurt in my 4 inch heels. I want to be at home on my couch, comfortable. Suddenly, I remember this is not televised, and no one but this live audience got to see Kristin Schaal lip-sync to an original song while a pack of campy male dancers twirled around her. And just then, Kathleen Turner enters to present the last award. She is radiant. She finds her good friend, legendary director John Waters, in the audience and says hello as though this is her living room and we are her guests. I am her guest. This world of movie magic is real, and I’m in the room.
Bring on the Oscars.
Marcy Girt is a New York actress, comedian and writer. Her credits include Comedy Central’s Honesty, UCB’s Gravid Water and various promo and commercial spots. For more about Marcy visit her Web site: http://www.marcygirt.com/