HMMA Recap

I just returned to a sub-zero freezing Seattle from a weekend in sunny Hollywood, where I attended the Hollywood Music in Media Awards as a Nominee for “Best Song” in the Classical/Orchestral Genre.

My #1 fan, Will (my husband), joined me on the trip and we left our two boys (ages 1 and 3) with my parents for the weekend.  It was a much needed vaca for the both of us, in which we were able to tie in with the awards as well.

Since this red carpet/awards show was a first for me, I thought I would give you a behind-the-scenes report on how it went, what I thought of it, and would I do it again?  Find out….

What to Wear…

Of course, before this event ever took place, I spent quite a lot of time trying to figure out what to wear to this shin-dig.  I wanted to stay classy, chic, but at the same time not look too overly formal or out of place.

I can honestly say that I went through probably hundreds of dresses  both online and in stores, trying them on, etc before finally settling on this Adrianna Pappell black dress.  I have to thank the two talented stylists that helped me – Shannon Abbott, and Noelle Jensen.

There was definitely a wide variety of dress at this event – from tuxedos, jeans, totally weird outfits that Lady Gaga probably would have worn, to classy dresses, to completely skanky hooker wear.  Thankfully I’m proud to say I was not part of the hooker category.  Not that I would ever wear something like that anyway, I felt a bigger desire to dress appropriate for someone in the Classical genre.

Here is a photo of me with the Kodak Theater Complex in the background, more specifically The Highlands where the awards took place. By the way, you should be able to click on any of these photos to enlarge them.

The Red Carpet…

One of my biggest anxieties about this event was the fact that there was a red carpet before the awards where I would have to walk, be photographed, and interviewed by TV cameras.

I can’t say that I was nervous for this, but just anxious about how I would look, worried about tripping and falling, or having an unsightly clothing mishap.  Thankfully none of those things happened.

This is Will and I waiting in line for the red carpet.  You see the “red carpet only” sign above the door. At that point, we were forced to split up – as Will headed to the VIP lounge while I walked the red carpet.  The only people allowed in the red carpet area were presenters, nominees, and press.

I was able to talk to several artists waiting in line for me, find out where they were from and what they were nominated for.  There definitely was a huge variety – from pop artists, hip-hop, instrumental, and more.  The group of gents directly behind me were instrumental nominees that came all the way over from Turkey.

Once I got on the red carpet, the bright lights were everywhere and I really couldn’t see much. I could hear photographers saying “Jennifer, look here”, or “Jennifer, turn this way and smile”.  I just tried to follow the direction of the voices and smile at whoever told me to.

Since we were there a bit late and the show had already begun, the interviewers stopped and went inside for the show.  I was actually quite relieved that I didn’t have to do any live interviews.  I was so thirsty and parched, I don’t think I would have spoken eloquently at all let alone be able to think on the spot for an interesting interview whatsoever.

I also forgot to mention that at this point I had been standing in line in high heels for about  2 hours and my feet were starting to kill me.  I just wanted to sit down.

The Awards…

The Awards show itself was definitely far, far, far from what we were expecting.

Obviously I have watched The Oscars and The Grammy Awards on TV many times and have seen what goes on. So in my mind that is sort of what I was expecting.  Well to be more accurate about this particular awards show, you have to throw out prior expectations and simply expect the opposite.

In a word, I would say it was disorganized and a little weird.

There was no where to sit unless you had purchased a VIP banquet table seat, so except for that there was standing room only.  So the entire place was filled with artists and nominees standing around, walking, etc.  There were 3 separate floors where you could “hang out”.  Each floor had a bar where you could order drinks, and occassionally there were people walking around offering appetizers.  This was great, however, from these exterior balconies and “hang out spots”, you couldn’t hear or see the awards show.  So you had to pay attention for when your category came up to be sure you didn’t hear your name called.

It was a mixture of “Ouch my feet are killing me and I just want to sit down” to “I can’t sit down because if I do, I might miss them announcing my genre and award category”.  So really, at the end of the night, we mostly spent our time standing.  I think I had about 4 blisters on both of my feet.

Did I Win?

I am certainly not one to “toot my own horn”, but when it came to this awards show I honestly thought I had a pretty good chance of winning. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of other very talented and well-qualified artists for sure.  But I just thought my own particular song was very fresh and edgy and would have caught the attention of the judges more than some of the others.

However, I did not win.  An opera singer who came all the way over from Sweden won the Classical/Orchestral award. She was very beautiful and well-spoken. I am happy for her, for certain.  I am perfectly happy for her and have no qualms whatsoever. She was beautiful and sang very nicely as well.  And I thought her comment when she accepted her award was really funny, “I’d like to thank my husband who let me spend all of our money on my recent album”. Haha how true that is…

The After-After Part

After the awards show, there was a big “after party”.  We chose to not attend, because quite honestly, the entire awards show felt more like a party instead of an awards show and frankly we had no desire to be on our feet for another few hours for yet another party.

So we left and at midnight, was finally able to eat some food for the first time in about 6 hours.

Would I Do This Again?

To be honest, probably not. Yes the whole thing was a great experience, and I do feel honored that someone out there thought my music was great enough to be nominated for this award. But unless by some miracle my music gets nominated in the future for something with a little more prestige and organization, I probably won’t do this again. At least this particular awards show.  Again, don’t get me wrong, I am glad that I went, but it wasn’t all that it seemed to be hyped up to be.  The amount of money we invested in the trip didn’t really turn the best value for our buck.

A big part of the reason I wanted to go to this was to be able to network, meet other people and artists, etc. And I can honestly say that that did not really happen.  Most of the people at this event were in a completely different genre than myself – the kind who are looking to expose themselves for record deals and whatnot.  That is not what I am looking for.  I don’t want to be signed to any record label, and am not looking to “expose” myself, per se. Well, yes I want my music out there, but I suppose this route wasn’t what I was really hoping for. What I did hope for though, was a chance to meet other artists in the LA area that I could learn from, perhaps sit in on recording sessions, gain knowledge from their experience and expertise.  And I really did not meet anyone like this at this event.  We also attended an “industry mixer” the following night, and again, it was not really anything that would have benefited me and so we left early and caught a late showing of “In Time” at the Chinese Theater.

One worthwhile part of the trip though, is I did get to visit my audio engineer (a.k.a. “audio stylist”), Rob Beaton, at his home studio in Los Angeles.  I got to talk with him for a couple of hours and listen to some stellar tracks he was mixing of some orchestral/choir works that were recorded at Abbey Road in London.  That was definitely a lot more exciting to me than the false Hollywood atmosphere at the awards show.

The Best Part…

…was really the time that I got with my husband.  Being the parents of two energetic boys who are 3 and under takes a lot of energy. TOTALLY worth it and we love them ever so much (and I missed them tons while we were gone!), but having the time with Will was so worth the entire trip.  It’s nice to know that despite all the fame, fortune, and success you can have in the world…what REALLY matters is family.

Here is a video recap from my trip.  Enjoy!


4 responses to “HMMA Recap

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience with me! I totally have a different view of someone getting nominated for an award. You looked fabulous and I loved your music!

  2. I would have voted for you, if I were a judge! And, I definately would listen to your music way before Opera, Ugh!! (Sorry, Opera lovers out there.) I think you chose the perfect dress, and you looked stunning! You are a beautiful and talented woman, who will go far with whatever you do in life. I admire your desire for modesty, and am very glad you chose not to dress like a hooker 🙂 You are a great example to me and my two daughters!

  3. Hey Jen,

    Awesome to have the experience, I imagine. It is a little disheartening when for everything, the people who organize galas, award shows, and other art expos endeavor little towards prestige and showcasing of the work. I had a similar experience with my last film, the premier was handled in mediocre way, and I was left feeling like the day I had look forward to and told everyone about was less than what I expected. But the great thing is, people still got to see my film, and so too did people get to hear your beautiful music! Your day will come, I am sure of it!


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