Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Emmys: Why It Really Is Such An Honor Just To Be Nominated!

It’s Emmy time again and the nominations were announced today. A list can be found on the official website.

Unlike other awards, the Emmys are special. They aren’t based on ratings, DVD sales, or the number of soap boxes sold during the commercials. Instead, the winners are chosen by their peers, the members of “the Academy.” So, even if your show is going to be cancelled because some network idiot scheduled it in the time slot against American Idol and no one watches it, you can still walk away with an Emmy. Hooray!

Who is “the Academy?” The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is made up of over 15,000 professionals who create the shows you see aired on television. It is composed of not only actors, writers, directors and producers; but also of hair and makeup specialists, composers, camera operators, animators, editors, set designers, sound engineers, costumers, stunt people, even commercial writers and actors, publicists, and agents (how did they get in there?)

There’s even a category for Interactive Media, which this blog is sadly, not... Oh, well!

But, if you think that you can just sit back on your laurels and get an Emmy, you’re wrong. Just like winning the biggest pumpkin award in the county fair, you have to pay an entry fee and submit your entry. Sorry! No one’s going to come out into your field and measure your pumpkin.

Someone (maybe you?) must fill out the entry forms in person or online and pay the fee in order to apply for one of the 83 possible awards. Samples, such as DVDs, tapes, or artwork must be included. Entry fees cost anywhere from $200 to $900 for each entry.

However, the good news is that if you join the Academy and pay the measly $160 membership, the fee can be waived. Plus, then you get to go to the awards ceremony and hover in the nose bleed seats for hours! Whoo Hoo!

In order to join the Academy, you must be credited for work you’ve done in the TV business (even as a volunteer). A full list of requirements is up for interpretation on the Academy’s website at:

Every member of the Academy gets the chance to vote for their favorites among the vast pool of entrants, which is why, in this particular case, getting nominated is such an honor.

However, only a panel of volunteer judges made up of Academy members will pick the actual winners.

The Emmys will be presented on Sunday, September 20 and will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, who is currently starring on, How I Met Your Mother on CBS.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Will Good Orlando Magic Juju Wear Off on Idol Contestants?

FOX television’s American Idol is holding their 9th season auditions in Orlando this year at Amway Arena, the home of the NBA Basketball team, the Orlando Magic. Over the next two days, hopeful Idol contestants can register for a chance to audition in front of the show’s producers on Thursday, July 9. Of those, a few will be chosen to perform later this summer in front of Idol’s Fabulous Four: judges Simon Cowell (sigh!), Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi McCuddy (recently married, Kara McCuddy has a nice ring to it and is easier to spell).

In a city built up by Disney, “where dreams really do come true,” and where the Cinderella team, the Orlando Magic surprised many critics by making it all the way to the NBA finals this year, could Orlando, maybe even Amway Arena itself, actually be truly “magical?”

Although talent is the first requirement, luck does play a part in getting to audition live in front of the famous Idol judges. You have to stand out – have a magnetic personality, be cute or gorgeous, dress outrageously, or sing phenomenally for the producers as they survey the crowd.

Sadly, TVgrrrrl is too old to audition this year (over 28). Boo hoo! I wouldn’t make the cut, anyway (As Simon says, I’m “too ordinary”). But, it would be fun to just “be there” amidst all the excitement at Amway Arena.

If you are planning to stand in line for a ticket, there’s no magic which will protect you from the sun and the heat – bring your sunscreen, lots of bottled water (no coolers allowed within a certain area), a hat, a folding chair, a fold-up poncho to stay dry during our wacky 10 minute rain storms; or even better -- a close friend or family member to put up an awning over the sidewalk and watch your cooler and stuff when it’s your turn to go inside. Don’t forget to read the FAQ’s, rules and release form online before showing up.

For the best juju, practice lots of “magic” songs, such as:
Abracadabra -- Steve Miller
A Kind of Magic – Queen
Black Magic Woman – Fleetwood Mac
Blue Magic – Jay-Z
Do You Believe in Magic -- The Lovin’ Spoonful
Every Little Thing She Does is Magic – The Police
It’s Magic -- The Fender’s
Magic Man – Heart
Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf
Magic – The Cars
Magic – Pilot
Strange Magic -- ELO
That Old Black Magic – Johnny Mercer
This Magic Moment – The Drifters
When You Wish Upon a Star -- Jiminy Cricket
You Can Do Magic -- America

In your down time, you can also visit the American Idol Experience at Walt Disney World. If I were a betting girl, I’d go there when the judges visit later this summer – you never know, they might just show up for a TV promo!

Read the TV Guy column (no relation) online at Orlando and see photos of competitors waiting outside, by Joe Burbank.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Only Billy Mays Could Sell Me Orange Glow

The majority of American TV viewers will say that they absolutely abhor “infomercials,” those annoying two to sixty minute long commercials disguised as informative television shows. However, there was something about Billy Mays that made me want to stop and listen.

Maybe it was the gravelly tone of his voice; the excitement of his presentation; his loveable, huggable, teddy-bear appearance; or perhaps the convincing demonstrations that made me not only listen to what Mays had to say, but actually buy some of the products he hawked.

Yes, it’s true. I have spent many a dime on CLR here in Florida where hard water mineral deposits coat shower enclosures. The product is now so popular, the manufacturers no longer need to hire Mays to sell it. A list of his current commercial / infomercial products can be found on Surf Til You Drop, including: the Awesome Auger, Big City Slider, Fix It, Flies Away, Hercules Hook, Impact Gel, Mighty Mendit, Mighty Putty, Oxiclean Products (Oxiclean, Orange Glow, and Kaboom), Samurai Shark, Simoniz Liquid Diamond, Steam Buddy, Tool Bandit, What Odor?, and Zorbeez. I have to admit that while I am willing to try the products he sells, I prefer to buy them in person in a store, rather than online or by phone, so I can easily return the item if it is defective.

Although Mays tragically passed away on June 28 in Tampa, FL, he is living in perpetuity on his television ads, many of which are still airing to this day. It’s as if nothing has changed and I like it that way. It’s ironic that while other iconic legends who have recently passed away are being remembered in past tense for their sensationalistic exploits (such as Michael Jackson), we can pay homage to Mays in the present in a positive light by keeping him alive doing what he does so very well – selling stuff.

Sadly, rumor has it that his family requested that his Mighty Putty commercial advertisement spots be pulled, according to a Reality TV World article by Christopher Rocchio. I think that would be a shame, not seeing Mays everyday. You wouldn’t pull Michael Jackson songs off the radio or Farah Fawcett movies off TV, would you? No, you’d relish every replay with fond memories…

Fortunately, the infomercials will resume next week after Mays funeral, which is being held in Pennsylvania on Friday, July 3rd, according to an article by Eric Deggans in the Saint Petersburg Times.

Me, I’m thinking of maybe trying some Oxi Clean.