2016 Indie Music Channel Awards Recap

I’m finally sitting down to write a blog post about my recent weekend in Los Angeles for the 2016 Indie Music Channel Awards (Apr 23rd-24th, 2016).

This was my 3rd year attending this particular awards show.  My first year was 2012, and I attended as a guest of Viktoria Tocca – who completely swept the awards that year…

Viktoria Tocca – 2012 IMC Awards

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Jennifer Thomas and Viktoria Tocca – 2012 IMC Awards

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I had such a fun time that year as a guest, that I decided the following year to enter my music in to see if it would garner any nominations, and it did.  I ended up winning 9 awards that evening including “Artist of the Year”, and “Album of the Year” (for my album Illumination).

Jennifer Thomas – 2013 IMC Awards

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By the way, here is Viktoria and I again at the Nominees Reception (2013).

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But ANYWAY I’m not here to go down memory lane, but I just wanted to say all of that to make the point that I’ve been involved with the Indie Music Channel for several years now – it is a wonderful platform and still a small enough entity where these events feel like family. I really enjoy attending.

Hence…the reason I went to the 2016 awards THIS year.  Obviously, there were a few years gap there.  For those who don’t know I had a baby in 2014 (my 3rd), and so I took an extended break. And then at the end of 2015 I released a new Christmas album entitled “Winter Symphony”.  And it is for that album for which all the nominations were for.

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So here are a few photos I thought I would share in this blog, that I haven’t shared on social media before – so you are seeing a good portion of these for the first time – woohoo! 🙂

Day 1 – LA and Film Scoring/Director’s Notes Session

Arriving in LA at my friends’ Ryan and Becky McNeal’s apartment, ready for fun!

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Oh my goodness excuse the horrible quality, but this is from the film director’s notes session I did with Alex and Ryan about their upcoming short film “Desert Rose” that I’ll be scoring the music for…

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Basically, we sit. We watch without talking. And then we watch again and talk. And then we watch again and critique. And then I try to imagine throwing the temp music out the window and what I would compose to replace it with.  The usual.

I also went out to the theater with friends to go see “The Jungle Book”, which was quite good. And the theater seats were WAY better than anything we have where I’m from, by the way.

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Day 2 – Yummy Food and the IMC VIP Reception

And oh wow, let me share just a little bit of food porn here…I went to Cafe Aroma not once, but TWICE, it was so yummy…

Man. I’m actually really hungry typing this post, and those pictures are NOT doing me any favors.

Focus, Jennifer…focus.

So Saturday night was the VIP Nominees Reception. In the past they’ve held this event in the daytime and it was quite casual, but this year it was a red carpet event held at the W Hotel in Hollywood.

Something you may or may not know about me is that I’m pretty much either in yoga pants or a formal gown.  Never, hardly EVER, in between.  The fact is when I’m at home I like to be comfortable – I work out of my home music studio AND I’m a mom, so I pretty much wear whatever is comfortable.  And then when I have music events, concerts, or videos then of course I dress up and make myself quite presentable.

But when it’s anything in-between I SO struggle.  Fortunately I found this cute striped midi dress from Alloy Apparel online (it was onlyi $39 – Score!) and it was perfect for the VIP reception.  AND I brought my beautiful and talented friend Aeralie Brighton with me. If you don’t know who she is, you need to Google her. She has a very beautiful unique voice and she has sung on many major video game soundtracks, movie trailers, and projects.

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So a funny story – is that on the way to LA I actually had some mishaps. I almost boarded the wrong flight, and I lost my drivers license making it impossible to pick up my car rental (which I was totally bummed about because I had a nice one waiting for me!).  But I discovered Uber and Lyft while there, and I gotta say it was AMAZING! I don’t know why I thought I ever needed a car rental.  Those services were so fast and easy to use, and super inexpensive as well.

Aeralie and I attempting to get a decent selfie together before embarking out on the evening, while waiting for our Lyft taxi.

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Which is quite hilarious because it literally looks exactly like the selfies we took a short while later at the W Hotel…

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Women. We are always on a quest to get the perfect selfie, right? Haha. At least I’m honest about it, come on. 😉

And a few more selfies throughout the night with music friends Greg Ryan, and Dale Edward.

Some from the professional photographer who was going around that night…

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And then here’s me on the red carpet…which, by the way, I just want to tell you that I put cushy heel inserts into my red heels that night and they were AMAZEBALLS.  So much more comfortable. I don’t know why it’s taken me years to figure that little secret out.

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It was a really lovely evening, lots of nice people and talented musicians.  Afterwards it was off to Hollywood Blvd to catch our Lyft taxi home…

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And, of course, take more selfies because well, the background looked pretty neato.

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Aeralie and I had a late night staying up laughing and talking, and finishing off our leftovers from Cafe Aroma. YUMMM. Perfect midnight snack 😉

Day 3 – Lunch with Brian, IMC Awards

The next day, I went to Cafe Aroma AGAIN, this time with my mixing engineer Brian Vibberts.  Brian worked on my album from LA while I was in Seattle and so we never met in person until lunch this day! It was great!

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A friend of mine commenting that we have almost the same face from the nose down, and oh my goodness we totally do.  Haha!  Maybe it’s the lighting, but too funny.

Anyway, Brian made my album sound pretty off-the-hook amazing.  If you’re not a musician, let me just explain to you what he does.  He is basically one of the last people to work on the album – he is the one that mixes all of the tracks together (aka “mixer”).  And on my album particularly, I had hundreds of tracks going on including a 100 piece choir, orchestra, brass, percussion, soloists and then my piano on top of it all.  It is not an easy task to take all of those hundreds of tracks and mix them at levels where everything has a proper place and sounds sonically correct.  He is one of THE key persons when it comes to the process of making music, and I couldn’t be more thankful to have worked with him on Winter Symphony.

Dress Drama

Later that evening was the actual awards show, which of course takes hours of prepping.  Here is yet ANOTHER funny story – so I actually had dress drama.  I am in the process of losing weight and I didn’t want to buy a new dress, nor did I have very many options in my closet either.  A good portion of my dresses fit me at a smaller size, and then the ones that do currently fit my body I’ve worn a bajillion times this past concert season – not to mention they are all red and Christmasy.  Not exactly a dress I’d wear in 75 degree LA weather in the spring time.

So I decided to rent a dress from Rent-the-Runway.  I’ve never used them before but I spent a lot of time browsing through their reviews and options, studying various dresses.  I’m actually a little embarrassed how many hours I spent on that site, but when you’re trying to figure out “Will this dress fit my curves?”, “Will this dress be too big or too small?” etc it does take some planning to figure it all out.

Well I narrowed it down to 5 dresses that I liked.  ALL of them ended up being rented out already and so I was not able to get them. I was rather disappointed.  So I ended up choosing a dress that was definitely not my first choice – it was a very long sequin gown in a forest green color.

Well it arrived and looked pretty awful on me. I felt matronly and unattractive, and even with heels and trying to accessorize it, I just was not happy. And when you’re getting red carpet photos taken and possibly going to be up in front of an audience – the last thing you want to worry about is your dress. You want to feel beautiful and confident!

So at the very last minute, I called Rent the Runway and explained that the dress wasn’t going to work for me and I asked if I could send it back and exchange it for a different one.  There was this black dress by designer Monique Luhlierre (the one I ended up wearing) that I was originally interested in but they didn’t have it in my size.  But they did have it in a larger size, and I thought I would just take a chance and order it in the larger size anyway.

They rush-shipped it and it arrived in LA just in time for the awards, however, it was WAY way way too big on me. Like 4 sizes too big on me.  So right before the awards show that night, Becky was literally safety-pinning me into that dress and pinching/gathering it up as tight as she could.  She also tied a big black sash around the waist and pulled that sucker in as tight as it would go.

Fortunately it had a flared skirt and so the fit from waist down was fine.  But the bodice (upper portion) was a bit of an oversized mess, and because of that I had to adjust it quite a lot throughout the evening and make sure that I was always standing for pictures in a way that hid certain things, or helped my waist look smaller.

In our Uber Taxi SUV on the way to the Grammy Museum…

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Funny enough though, I ended up getting LOADS and loads of compliments on the dress that evening.  So that did make me feel much better…

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Bathroom mirror check halfway through the awards…

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Annnnnnd blurry selfie with Prince…

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You guys. The awards were LONG and I needed to get up and walk around a bit before my categories.

And of course, I had to get my girl Adele into the shot as well…

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Okay! So back to the awards now. I did eventually go back inside.  Here is a snapshot of my friend Greg Ryan, whom I was sitting next to, with a very “deer in the headlights” type of look…probably because neither of us knew my flash was on. Whoops.

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Greg ended up winning LOADS of awards that night – which I was very happy for him, since he is also a fellow pianist/composer in the same genre. He flew all the way over from England for this, and he gave quite entertaining award acceptance speeches which I quite enjoyed. 🙂

Annnnd my girl Viktoria Tocca also took home a LOAD of awards as well.  I lost track, she won a LOT. Because she is awesome like that. 🙂 (unfortunately she was touring and wasn’t able to be there in person this year though ).

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My loot for the night…

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And some photos of me accepting the awards…

If you really want to know how I felt the absolutely stupidest that evening, was when I failed to acknowledge BRIAN during all 3 of my blasted acceptance speeches!  (Music Video of the Year, Best Classical Music Video (over $5K), and Best LIVE Classical Performance.

Not only am I an idiot when I get up and have to accept an award, but my mind goes blank and I forget to thank all the wonderful people who contributed.  I was thinking “Ok video award, so I’ll thank Ryan and Alex because they directed and edited it, and yes I’ll thank my husband and children”, etc….and then I’d sit down right next to Brian and say “CRAP!!!”.

3 times people.

So right now, I’m having a redo.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank my AMAZING sound engineer/mixer Brian Vibberts, whom, without him this album would not have sounded half as amazing as it did.  Thank you Brian.

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I made up for it though be letting him hold my awards for red carpet photos. 🙂 I’m KIDDING!  I totally wanted him to.

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And then here is Ryan, Alex, and I…

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And here is Greg and I again at the end of the night…

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ANYWAY.

We caught our Uber ride back home, ordered pizza, and I personally put my pajamas on and once again finished my 2nd set of leftovers from Aroma Cafe (YUM) around midnight-ish. We all celebrated our wins for “Alleluia” (my music video that won two awards), and then called it a night.

Day 4 – Heading back to Seattle

The next morning I was up and off to the airport…with bedhead and leftover awards show makeup. Because I’m lazy like that.

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And SPEAKING of #airportbathroomselfies, we terribly missed Glen Gabriel this time. He lives in Sweden but he also obviously played a huge role in Winter Symphony and it would have been so fun to have him at the IMC Awards.  BUT hopefully we’ll be seeing him in LA this November for the HMMA Awards because…

HMMA 2016

More airport, uh, stuff…

And then back home…

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Yes, on order to get home I travel by taxi, then plane, then car, then boat, and then car again. 🙂

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One of my friends from home commented that she enjoyed seeing my FB updates while I was in LA, and asked me if I felt like I lead a “double life”.  Because, you know, picture me usually at home in my yoga pants and a top knot and that is the real me.

I will say that having these special music events to go to always makes me feel inspired to be a better musician. I love being around other creative people and seeing them work hard as well.  It definitely inspires me.

AND I always come home a better mother as well – having a few days break to be a kidless adult does wonders for my mommy heart. I always come home more ready than ever to love them and give them my attention. 🙂 My hubby as well. 🙂

Until next time…

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EPR Radio Nomination and your support

It’s that time of year again when Enlightened Piano Radio is gearing up for their annual awards for 2016. Last year all of YOU were so amazing and sent in emails requesting that I be nominated for “Best Piano Instrumental Album”, and guess what? Not only was I nominated, but I also won and was able to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York. 

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They are accepting nomination emails now for 2016, and you can send your nomination in until February 29th. I’m not twisting anyone’s arm, but it would be mean a lot to me if I had your support.

If you feel so inclined, please send an email to:

cathyroakes@hotmail.com

Please include “EPR NOMINATION FOR BEST HOLIDAY ALBUM” in the subject line, and let them know you are wanting to nominate Jennifer Thomas for Winter Symphony for Best Holiday Album.

Nominations MUST be received no later than February 29, 2016 Any nominations received after that date will NOT be considered.

Thank you all so much! I just love you guys!

Being Happy for Your Friends’ Happiness

20150206_183709I just returned from Grammy weekend in Los Angeles!

Will (my husband), and I flew down with the purpose of supporting our dear friends, Ricky Kej, and Wouter Kellerman as they were nominated for a Grammy Award.

And guess what? THEY WON!

It was very exciting, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them!  I have known Ricky for a couple of years, and Wouter for the past year.  Early last year, Ricky and his wife spent a few days in Seattle and I showed them around and we had so much fun.  And Wouter is so incredibly nice and has a 100 watt smile all of the time!  I can honestly say that these two gentlemen are a couple of the most genuine people I’ve met, and they do music for all the right reasons.

I am beyond happy for them!

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Aside from this amazing weekend, I wanted to talk about success and happiness.  It’s something that we all want.  We ALL desire happiness in various shapes or form.

But there is this thing, especially now days with social media, where if we see a friend have a little bit of success – whether they got a job raise, or lost 50 pounds, or sold a million copies of their new book – we sometimes feel bad about ourselves.

WHY?

This has been on my mind so much lately – so many instances recently where I’ve seen people hate on others for their good fortune.

I read this article last week that was featured on the Huffington Post entitled “When Her Good News Makes You Feel Bad“.

READ IT.

I think comparison and competition exist partly because we believe that there is a scarcity of good things in the universe. And that belief makes us kind of small and scared and unable to feel true joy for others or peace for ourselves.”
(Read more in the article).

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I will admit, that there have been times in my own music career, when I’ve seen other similar artists get millions of youtube views, or sell a lot more albums than me, or maybe they are just a heckuva lot more famous than myself…and there is a part of me that has momentarily felt bad for myself.

On the flipside, I have even had friends unfriend me before, or not talk to me – and at a later time I come to find out that it was because I was doing well in my music and they weren’t, or that my life was going so much better than their’s and they just couldn’t take seeing the positive status updates.  At one point, a friend sent me a personal message telling me that the reason she had backed away from our friendship was because I was always posting about things going well in my life, and it made her feel bad about her’s.

Everyone has their good days and their bad.  But we are all different, and we all certainly do not have the same talents.  While I might be good at music, I can tell you that I am not very good at crafty things.  But instead of dwelling on the fact that I will probably never sew my kids’ Halloween costumes or have a Pinterest home, I remind myself that I can appreciate others who are gifted at those things and concentrate on the things that I am good at.

And above all, HERE’S the thing, everyone:

When you finally understand that there is NOT some cosmic rule that the universe or God makes about how much good fortune there is to go around – and that just because someone else has something good happen to them does NOT mean there is now less of it available…you will find yourself in a place where you can truly and genuinely be happy.

You will be happy for yourself.

You will be happy for your friends (and I mean GENUINELY happy).

You will find hope for yourself.

And you will find a whole lot more love in your heart and see the world differently.

And if you see your friend talking about something wonderful that happened for them?  Be happy for them, and then you get out there and work hard for yourself too and just know that it IS possible for you as well.

– Jennifer

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Jennifer Thomas Receives Top Female Artist of the Year and The Indie Award from Classical Crossover UK

Late on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, I was coming home with my family from the mountains near our home outside of Seattle after just having family photos taken when I checked my phone to see what emails I had after being out of cell range most of the day.

My inbox was completely flooded with messages, facebook posts, and more.

“Wow, that’s a lot of Merry Christmas’s”, I thought.

ccukBut then I kept seeing “Congratulations!” everywhere, and soon I realized that the 2012 Classical Crossover UK Awards had been announced and I won TWO!  “Top Female Artist of the Year”, and “The Indie Award”.  Considering my recent disappointment in not getting the Grammy nomination, to get this news really made my day. My week. My month.

Here are some of the super nice things that the editor, Nicola Jarvis, wrote about me and the list of nominees as well.

BEST FEMALE ARTIST AWARD
Jennifer Thomas simply oozes talent, and she puts it to good use.  Primarily a pianist, Thomas is also a violinist, producer and composer and has featured in film soundtracks and commercials.  Her 2012 release, Illumination is an album that boasts integrity and incredible intricacy in its arrangements and composition, offering a balanced track list of old and new.  It’s absolutely ridiculous how musical Thomas is – she may not have major label backing (yet) but that doesn’t stop her from producing world class music. To buy Illumination, click here.

Jennifer Thomas – Winner

Jackie Evancho – Nominee

Katherine Jenkins – Nominee

Siobhan Owen – Nominee

Hayley Westenra – Nominee

THE INDIE AWARD
The internet is enabling independent artists to reach out to audiences in ways that were unfathomable two decades ago.  Unfortunately, an indie artist’s pathway is still blocked from major promotional appearances and accolades.  It’s too easy to give up and easy to fail, so when an indie artist earns achievement after achievement, it says much for their talent, but also their hard work and dedication.  Jennifer Thomas is an inspiring independent artist, constantly aiming higher and earning over 30 nominations or wins from various awarding bodies.  Thomas also produces top quality music; Illumination sounds like a soundtrack to a major Hollywood film – something that can only normally be achieved with the financial backing of a major record label.  It takes years to build up this kind of reputation and resources to get to where Thomas is today.  To buy Illumination, click here.

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Jennifer Thomas – Winner

Siobhan Owen – Nominee

Affiniti – Nominee

Phillippa Lusty– Nominee

Naria – Nominee

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Storybook Journey should be a staple in any classical crossover collection.  Whilst it’s not as technically brilliant as Jennifer Thomas‘s Illumination and not as lushly orchestrated as Jackie Evancho‘s Songs From the Silver Screen, it still shines brightest among the 2012 album releases.  The key lies in its prime idea and concept and the perfectly fitting way it is carried out.  It’s a wholesome, circular album, inspired by stories and fairytale and it’s confidently realised.  Siobhan Owen’s pure vocals, atmospheric harp playing and emotive delivery ensure its theme rings true.  The tracks have been carefully selected both thematically and commercially (a very rare feat) and the overall package of the album just puts the cherry on top.  Storybook Journey announces the arrival of Siobhan Owen as a serious artist as well as vocalist. To buy Storybook Journey, click here.

Siobhan Owen – Winner

Jennifer Thomas – Nominee

Il Volo – Nominee

Gregorian – Nominee

Jackie Evancho – Nominee

The Tenors – Nominee

David Garrett – Nominee

I came to the CCUK site late in the year. It is a website dedicated to helping the world be aware of those of us in the Classical Crossover genre.  It’s not a complete roster yet, and there is a long list of artists still waiting to be added to the site, but it is the most comprehensive site dedicated to this cause (and receives an enormous amount of hits).  I’m so honored to be among such talent, and am very excited about the awards! Thank you all for your continued support of my music. I’m not sure what 2013 will bring yet, but this was a great way to end 2012 and kick off the new year.

Jennifer Wins “Best Original Score for Indie/Documentary/Short Film” at the 2012 HMMA’s

I just returned from a week in Los Angeles, where part of the reason I was there was for the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.  I had three nominations this year, for “Best Original Score”, “Best Classical”, and “Best Contemporary Orchestral Instrumental”.  I ended up taking home the win for the film score (for “Minuet“) – which I was super excited about.  It’s a pretty big category in the sense that it covered all indie films, shorts, and documentaries.  It was truly an honor.

Here as some photos from the event, as well as a short video from the evening.

Above: On the red carpet

Above:  Being interviewed after winning “Best Original Score”, with the writer/director Ryan McNeal on the left, and Jett Dunlap (interviewer) on the right.

On the roof of the Wilshire Hotel before heading over the HMMA’s in a Hummer limo.  My makeup artist Noelle Jensen, pianist/composer Michele McLaughlin, me, Composer Glen Gabriel, and Director/Actor John Soares.

Above:  Being interviewed on the red carpet.

Above:  Standing with Ryan McNeal after winning.

Above: My dashing husband, Will Thomas. I know, handsome right? 🙂

Above/below:  Acceptance speech for the award.

P.S. The beautiful sparkly dress (which received numerous compliments that night) is by http://www.promdressesol.com.  They were kind to send me some dresses to wear. I have been a customer of theirs for some time, and I absolutely love their designs.  Please check out their website, and if you do order a dress be sure to mention you found them through me.

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!