EMMY 2001 ~ A Fan Goes to the Awards Show

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Sitting with the stars

From the Rafters at the 28th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, May 18, 2001, Radio City Music Hall

As an All My Children fan, I figured if I didn't go to the awards this year, I wasn't ever going to go. Lightening -- in the form of 21 nominations -- doesn't strike twice. What with all those nominations, AMC was bound to win something, right? Some of my all time favorite actors were up for major awards.  I had to attend! So did nine of my friends, and we vowed to be "as loud as we wanna be" applauding for our faves.

Getting the tickets, since we needed ten, proved to be an ordeal on Ticketmaster. I'm just glad my smoldering AMEX card didn't have to bear the brunt of the $190 per ticket cost. (Although the airline mileage would have been nice!)  Seats actually started at $55 for upper rear mezzanine, but you can't see much from there and you can't see the actors up close as they walk in to take their seats.

Since the event was "Black Tie Optional" we saw all sorts of differing dress from formal gowns on down to ripped old jeans and sneakers. One of our group was at a taping of "LIVE with Regis and Kelly" the day before and was actually chosen to go to the Before Party, stay on the red carpet with Claudia Cohen to help identify the actors, and even go to the After Party to do the same. The rest of us festered with jealousy, but that was assuaged by her numerous phone calls with the dish of the hour. Tidbits like:  "Guys, the security guard at AMC said..." and "I just plowed into Gina Tognoni (Kelly, OLTL) and almost knocked her down! I didn't see her! I'm so embarrassed."

After dinner, we made our way over to the red carpet but could not get anywhere near it by this time. Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford took a walk down the carpet while thousands of fans started screaming in anticipation. Knowing we wouldn't get a decent view of anything outside, we proceeded inside and to our seats. At the doors they made us split, some had to go down one aisle due to the ticket number even though we all sat together in a row.

Slowly, actors began entering the beautifully restored art deco auditorium. To our right, we noticed more and more CBS actors entering while NBC seemed to come in to our left. Lesli Kay (Molly, ATWT), Outstanding Supporting Actress, looked stunning in her fuchsia-patterned gown.  Finally, Anthony Addabbo (Dimitri, AMC) came through the left, which was perfect since that was where our seats were! From what we could tell, we'd have ample opportunity for photographs of our favorites. Each time an actor entered, they were instantly bombarded by amateur paparazzi and autograph hounds. Security guards frequently had to inform the boisterous throng of admirers that they had to let the actors through to their seats because taping would begin on time. Dick Clark runs a tight ship, that much is certain. Yikes. The talent was pouring through the doors at a much faster pace now with only 15 minutes until air. Not so basic black made Esta TerBlanche (Gillian, AMC), who arrived with Laura Allen (Laura, AMC).  Also in black, Ingo Rademacher (the once and future Jax, GH) made a splashy entrance once people recognized him with his new "look." Unfortunately for Ingo, the new look wasn't that popular. Dick Clark would announce the remaining time to "take your seats" before airtime like a bloomin' cuckoo clock. As time pressed on, the rest of the attendees made their way through the gauntlet: Jesse McCartney (J.R., AMC), Brian Presley (Jack, PC), Marisa Ramirez (Gia, GH), Kiko Ellsworth (Jamal, PC), Cady McClain (Dixie, AMC), David Canary (Adam/Stuart, AMC), Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos (Hayley & Mateo, AMC), Rebecca Budig (Greenlee, AMC), Julia Barr (Brooke, AMC), Kelley Menighan Hensley (Emily, ATWT), Marcy Walker (Liza, AMC), Eric Dearborn (Gabriel, AMC), Finola Hughes (Alex/Anna, AMC), Eden Riegel (Bianca, AMC), J. Eddie Peck (Jake, AMC), John Lindstrom (Kevin, PC), Jay Pickett (Frank, PC), Linda Dano (Rae, OLTL), Josh Duhamel (Leo, AMC), Vincent Irizarry (David, AMC), and finally Cameron Mathison (Ryan, AMC).

As the final announcement was being made, most of the paparazzi and autograph seekers were still awkwardly looking around. Someone was noticeably missing.  Henceforth dubbed "The Phantom of the Emmy's" by our group, Outstanding Supporting Actor, Michael E. Knight (Tad, AMC) had managed to enter through a different aisle than the rest of the cast thereby bypassing the AMC fan cluster. Curses! Foiled again.

The most interesting part of the evening was watching the interactions of the actors once the house lights were down. Who was talking to whom, who was reassuring whom, etc. This is the stuff that you can't see on TV in the comfort of your own home. The most amusing moments of the evening weren't happening onstage. Cady McClain was jumping up and down like a kid in her gold sequined halter-top and skirt when Michael E. Knight won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor. Later, when Jesse McCartney was up for Outstanding Younger Actor, Cady and her boyfriend (who videotaped the evening) were out of the room. They must have heard the category being announced as they quickly tried to enter from the top of the auditorium. The security guard had other plans. As this occurred right by our aisle, we had front row seats for the entire exchange. The guard was adamant about not letting them reenter while the nominees were being announced. The house lights had to be up.  They would have to wait until the Emmy was awarded. A panicked Cady kept stealing glances down at her on screen son, while trying to convince the guard to let her go. "I've got to be there." He refused. This was the immovable object meeting the unstoppable force. All it took was a moment of distraction. The minute the guard turned his back on her to talk to someone, Cady grabbed her boyfriend's arm and made a mad dash down the aisle in heels just to be there with Jesse. The section that had overheard everything erupted into applause and cheers. We could see her hugging Jesse once it was over with.

All in all, aside from a severe case of laryngitis from screaming my brains out, it was a complete thrill to attend the Emmy's this year. We all celebrated Michael (E. Knight) and David's (Canary) wins back in one of our hotel rooms until we were too pooped to party any longer.