Saturday, September 26, 2009

How Does It Feel to be a Winner of the NYIT Awards? Part 2

The nominees for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards sit nervously in the dark at the New World Stages waiting for their category to be announced. Then, from the stage comes the boom of "and the winner is....".

For the 2nd year, nytheatre.com wanted to get the instant reaction at that moment from the winners. We asked three questions: (1)What was the absolute first thought you had when you heard them call your name? (2)Who was the first person you called/emailed to tell that you won? (3)What does this award signify or mean to you personally? Here are the answers in the order we received them. This is the second batch of responses (see previous post for the first group).

LEE/GENDARY - Outstanding Production of a Play
Soomi Kim, producer/creator

First thought: “YES!!!”

First called: My good friend Lillie Haws who helped dress me for the event.

Award means: SO much! This project has been a passion of mine for a long time. It is an original play about Bruce Lee. Not only was he the first real Asian American Hollywood star who brought the recognition of Kung fu to millions, he was an icon/iconoclast, martial artist, choreographer, teacher, philosopher an simply a super badass human being. To be able to portray someone of this magnitude and to be able to bring his story to the stage is a dream come true. To have won an award for this production is just icing on the cake. But I also recognize that I know that we won this award for “Outstanding Production of a Play” because I have surrounded myself with Outstanding collaborators and people.

JEFF GROW - Outstanding Solo Performance
Outstanding Performance Art Piece
Creating Illusion

First thought: Wow!! (Then my mind went blank to focus on not tripping on the stairs, etc. and preparing to say something coherent)

First called: Jessi D. Hill, who directed the show and couldn't attend ceremony because she’s working in Chicago.

Award means: It is really nice to have one’s work recognized and it appears people enjoy it, so that gives me inspiration to continue presenting it.

BRUCE STEINBERG - Outstanding Lighting Design
Blue Before Morning

First thought: I was totally floored when I heard my name. I couldn't really think of anything besides remembering to get my thank you list.

First called: I texted my classmates at the graduate design program at NYU. I've been so lucky to learn from and grow with all of them.

Award means: I am really happy that I won for a piece produced by terraNOVA. I've worked with them for three years and think Jen and JD's work is wonderful and challenging.

WILLIAM APPS IV - Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role
Amerissiah

First thought: I was not there for the ceremony because I was in a show that night , but when I got the text message from Derek Ahonen it was intermission of Oedipus the King which was the show I was doing at the time and I was so happy that I had to try so hard to forget about the award , because theres nothing happy about Oedipus.

First called: The fist person that I called was my amazing friend and talented actress Selene Beretta who was also in the Amerissiah in the role of Loni my drug addicted girlfriend.

Award means: What I hope this will do for my career is give me the chances to play roles that others may not think I can do and also give me the opportunities to perform at the higher levels of our wonderful industry.

CONSTANCE PARNG - Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role
Lee/gendary

First thought: Nothing. My mind completely emptied itself. I was stunned.

First called: My brother Walter. It was also his birthday!

Award means: I loved doing Lee/gendary. It was challenging and rewarding. I got to do good work with good people. The award was the icing on top. And it truly wouldn't have been possible without my amazing cast-mates, our director Suzi Takahashi's tireless work and dedication, Derek Nguyen's great script, Lucrecia Briceno's beautiful lighting, Airon Armstrong's expert choreography, our awesome crew, and Soomi Kim's inspired vision of Bruce Lee, whose heart & soul carried the show.

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