Okay. So maybe this Monday isn't like all the other ones.
Yesterday was the Golden Globes and my company was going into the awards show with three nominations.
For many people, the Golden Globes is the Rolls Royce of awards shows. It's one of the few that shows that serves dinner and alcohol during the show. The Emmys actually had pretzels at the bar last year which was a huge upgrade, since it didn't even have a bar until a few years ago. The Globes are a mix of movie stars and television stars. Although, if you have been in the business as long as I have, today's movie stars are quite often yesterday's television stars (yes, you George Clooney, Leonardo Di Caprio, Jennifer Aniston and Johnny Depp).
So there I was with all the glitz and glamour Hollywood has to offer: red carpets, rubbing elbows with the rich and famous, champagne, paparazzi and endless after parties. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.
Attending an award show is a little like preparing for an Ironman. First you need to qualify (that is get a ticket). The Globes, in particular, are a tough ticket. Allegedly they only dole out 360 "non-talent" seats. This means if you are not a nominee or a presenter, you are a "non-talent" (aka an executive... aka a suit).
It's always very secretive how many tickets a network or studio will be given.
It's all very political.
Which executives get to go? Which don't?
Who gets a "+1" (industry term for your spouse, date, BFF or agent)? Who doesn't?
Who gets a limo? Who gets a regular black car?
Who drives themselves? (Oh, the horror!)
But then there is an even bigger issue: What to wear?
As a woman, the bar is much higher. Men can put on a tux or black suit and call it a day. This year we saw a lot of guys in over priced black sneakers. No woman is getting a way with that look?! Okay, maybe Ellen DeGeneres.
We are expected to look feminine (a dress and high heels) and it needs to be fun (something shiny or glittery).
Female executives still need to look slightly professional. This just means your dress cannot be too short nor too low cut.
If you wear a bright color, it's harder to amortize (i.e., repeat the dress at another function). A bold color can add stress to finding the right handbag and shoes.
Black is always safe (and boring)... and unmemorable.
This year I recycled a short (black) dress that I wore to the Emmys two years ago.
The shoes. A conversation unto itself. This is the real killer... literally and figuratively. Shoes can make or break the outfit and most likely guaranteed to break your feet and back. The cuter the shoe, the more you want to kill yourself by the end of the evening.
That is, IF you survive the evening in those shoes. I have literally passed on incredible after parties, because I simply couldn't take one more step in my shoes.
On Saturday, I found some silver-strappy sandals on sale. They looked cute and were surprisingly comfortable, so I felt like it was a good omen.
When one of our actors won for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, we were so elated.
When our other nominee lost for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series, we were all devastated.
But then, we won for Best Drama Series and during his acceptance speech, the executive producer thanked me by name.
It's weird having your name announced on national television even when you're not the one getting the award. Your phone lights up with texts, emails and Facebook posts. People you haven't heard from in months suddenly want to jump on the bandwagon and congratulate you. The real value is not the 15 minutes of being "famous adjacent." The real value is your stock just went up with your bosses. This is one of those unquantifiable things.
But I swear it all comes with a price. In spite of the wonderful accolades from my various bosses, a company wide champagne toast on Monday morning, endless congratulatory emails, there is this weird postpartum depression and fear-based intangible: What do I do for an encore??
The head of Human Resources called and she wants to take me to lunch to discuss my future. But I am not ready to discuss my future. I have 51 weeks left to figure out what I am going to do next. They are not going to like it when I say I am not planning to renew my contract. This may be my only opportunity to ask for something that I do want, but I am not entirely sure what that is. I do not want to appear ungrateful. I have had a tremendous 16 years with this company and I don't want to end on a sour note.
I am committed to fulfilling my contract for the remaining year. I just feel like one wrong answer and I will be going home with the proverbial set of luggage rather than the "million-dollar prize."
I sound paranoid. I am paranoid. This industry makes you paranoid. Even when people send you flowers and pat you on the back, you constantly check yourself in the ladies room afterwards for a stab wound.