It was a dreary, dank day in New York on Tuesday, May 4, 1999. Not quite raining, but that annoying misty drizzle that induces gridlock, lack of vacant cabs, and the frizzies.
Finding the entrance to City Hall was challenging. Thanks to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, New York is booming. There is development everywhere. City Hall included. Amid the construction, only two long, narrow paths lead from the sidewalk to the front entrance in City Hall Park, one off Broadway and one off Centre Street at Park Row. Both patrolled by NYPD in squad cars. The officers had the list of invited guests, and cleared them through.
City Hall itself is a marvel of old-world charm and architecture. The marbled rotunda. The spiral staircases, all decked in the colors of New York: orange, white and blue. Quite a contrast to the fast-paced, technologically metal world of daytime TV production.
Welcome tables were set at the foot of the stairs, where Emmy Committee and Mayor's Office representatives would greet the press and the nominees. The event was scheduled to begin at noon, but press began arriving at 10:30 AM. Video cameramen were busy setting up in the back of the Public Hearing Chamber, as the caterer, Roy's New York, a new restaurant on Washington Street, prepared the Hawaiian buffet luncheon that included the most sinfully delicious chocolate, chocolate mousse cake for dessert.
Kelly Ripa (Haley, AMC) and Robert S. Woods (Bo, OLTL) arrived and sat together in the front row. Ripa looked adorable in a dark gray cotton suit. She dashed downtown from the studio on her lunch break, and had to return to work to tape her afternoon scenes. Woods looked dapper in a golden brown suit, and commented that he has never had so much fun on his show as he is having now. The forever gracious Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda, ATWT) wore a black leather jacket and slacks, and sat several rows behind Ripa and Woods.
Most of the attending nominees were behind the scenes people. Writers, producers, sound designers, art directors. Of the 500 NY area nominees invited, only 50 were able to break away from their busy schedules to attend the event. One photographer rushed in right before the proceedings asking, "Is Lucci here? Is Lucci coming?" Disappointed in learning she was not be able to make it, he photographed Ripa, Woods and Hubbard, asking what shows they were on. Although there were nominees representing such venues as Pop Up Video, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Sesame Street, and The View in attendance, the soap opera actors were clearly the draw for the press.
Both prior to and after the ceremony Ripa, Woods, and Hubbard were very approachable, posed for photographs, and answered questions from reporters. The certificates of nomination were distributed in alphabetical order, each nominee getting a handshake from the Mayor, who had to make a slight alteration in his usual handshaking technique!
"I will have to shake with my left hand, rather than my right," explained Giuliani as he displayed an ace bandage covering the palm and forefinger of his right hand. The audience response was sympathetic. "You should see what the other guy looks like," joked the Mayor as the nominees laughed. "He didn't support one of our tax increases. (More laughter). It actually happened because I banged it on a door, then it got irritated because of all the people who shake hands with me. The doctor said I had to put a bandage on it so I wouldn't shake hands. Now I am filing workmen's compensation claim. (Big laughs from audience.) It might be part of your work to act, and if someone interrupted it, you'd have a workmen's compensation claim. It's part of my job to shake hands with people. It's been interrupted now. I have a good workmen's compensation claim. " The Mayor certainly knows how to work the room. With this story Giuliani had the audience in the palm of -- his hand! Everyone was charmed.
After the nominees received their official certificates, they remained on the stage for a group photograph. Photographers went snap happy, calling out to the nominees. "Kelly look this way!" "Over here, Mr. Mayor!" "Right here, Robert!" "Elizabeth, over this way!" Click, click, snap, snap. As the group dispersed, the actors were asked to remain for a few more. The clicking and the "look this way" comments continued. At one point, Kelly Ripa was nabbed by the throng of photographers. She was charming as she posed, and smiled, and winked, and smiled, and turned this way and that and smiled again. The light bulbs flashed in her face a hundred times, yet she remained positive and gracious. I was standing nearby marveling at her composure. She turned to me and said: " You may not believe this, but I HATE to have my picture taken!" Everyone laughed. Hating it or not, she certainly handled herself admirably while in the spotlight.
Ripa hopes that someday Haley and Mateo will have a normal life, "even though that's boring and people don't want to watch it! From an actress' standpoint, it would be nice to have a couple of days off," she giggled, "when your character is not in constant turmoil!" She also said she didn't enjoy the recent exodus of new characters on All My Children. " I never like seeing people go. Ever. If it were up to me, we'd have a cast of 800! My best friends are there."
Meanwhile, reporters were questioning Robert S. Woods. An older woman, kept trying to break though to him. "One for the fans, Bo," she yelled out. "Please, Bo! One for the fans!" It appeared she was the mother of a reporter, who kept trying to contain the outbursts to no avail. Finally, the reporter, embarrassed, approached Woods and asked if he'd mind saying hello to a longtime fan. He was wonderful. Posed for a photo with her, and I believe, signed an autograph. Even at this official Daytime Emmy event, a fan prevailed. John Cannon, President of NATAS, is correct in saying that no fans are more enthusiastic than the fans of daytime.
Although it's pretty doubtful, Woods thinks there could be a slight possibility that they might bring Drew back from the dead on OLTL. "There ARE two kinds of death," Woods remarked. "Soap opera death and real death. My dead wife showed up at my wedding reception when I got remarried. That happened one time. And Asa came back from the dead. He was lost at sea in a shipwreck." Due to the nature of Drew's demise, however, he thinks Bo's son is probably gone for good. Yet, when he was reminded that a character on All My Children came back from the dead after being cremated years before he remarked: "(Daytime) is the only medium where you can, in fact, survive cremation. So, maybe Drew? I don't know!" he concluded with a laugh.
One thing is for sure. Woods is having a blast on OLTL right now. "I am having more fun than I've had in a long time. It's really extreme stuff. Breaking up of a marriage, and people are all up at arms and (there's) a lot of controversy about the whole thing. But for actors, it's some of the best stuff in the world to play. Tragedy. Conflict. Drama. We didn't have enough of that for a long time. Now, we've got a lot of it!" He couldn't be happier.
Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda, ATWT) was asked how she developed her fashion flare and style as Lucinda. "Wardrobe would dress me in these expensive suits and dresses. At first, I hardly moved in them, afraid to rip a seam, or spill something. But that began to inhibit my performance. So, I decided what the heck? I'd put on this incredibly expensive suit and push up the sleeves, stand the collar up. Do whatever I wanted to the clothes. It freed up my performance and gave Lucinda a style all her own!"
Nominees and press shared in the buffet luncheon. Robert S. Woods waited patiently in line with everyone else to get his meal.
Mayor Giuliani began honoring the Emmy nominees several years ago as part of his Administration's continued support and promotion of the entertainment industry in New York. The event is sponsored by the Daytime Emmy Committee, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the NYC Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. The day's dreary weather could not place a cloud over the encouragement, support and sentiment behind this wonderful event. To all the Daytime Emmy nominees on both coasts, your work and achievements in daytime television more than merit the recognition you've received. Congratulations and best of luck May 21st.
|< Prev||Next >|