Curriculum of the Day: Emotions: Nervous!
Marty Robinson, Telly Monster, Pam Arciero and Annie Evans
We awoke to happy babies at 4 a.m. It’s time to get up in Connecticut!
Marty was so emotionally wiped out. Being the kind wife I am, I took the babies out of the room. First, we ventured up to the hotel roof. We witnessed a glorious sunrise, and then the clouds of smoke rising from the fires out to the east. It looked like someone had set off an atomic bomb in San Bernardino. We had a lovely time—the girls in the stroller, and me with my feet in the hot tub. It was one of those precious moments you hopefully will always remember. Then, we took a walk up to the Disney Concert Hall
that’s designed by Frank Gehry. Quite a wonder to behold with its huge waves of steel.
Finally, we had to have some breakfast back in the room. Final rehearsal for the show was this morning. The girls were previewed by the last of our Sesame friends who were here. We crammed into the van, the driver being great about squeezing in the double stroller in the front seat. We were walked through the backstage of The Orpheum Theatre and led down to the basement green room. It was a bit chaotic with dozens of crewmembers in headsets escorting presenters upstairs when they were on deck. The babies and I stayed downstairs when the Sesame gang was called up. Lyra and Ripley had their first glimpse of the characters that pay our bills on the large TV feed. They seemed fairly interested. They were also interested in the feel of the leather couch. The girls got to wave hello to Susan Lucci and Vanessa Williams (Mommy puppeteered).
After the rehearsal, we piled back into the van and returned to the hotel to get fancy. Iwona arrived and took the girls off in the stroller to enjoy downtown Los Angeles. Marty put on the same tux, different shirt. My gown for the night I bought at a Redding estate sale for $25.00. (I believe I’ve mentioned there’s a recession?) The woman at the house was quite a clotheshorse and had closets of items with the labels still attached. This gown had a simple, dark blue velvet top with a drop hemline, dark blue silky skirt. No one seemed to stop and stare, so I think I got away with my second hand purchase.
We gathered at the lobby of the hotel.
Can you pick out all the cast?
Marty and Telly in their tuxes.
Carroll Spinney who plays Oscar and Big Bird.
Leslie Carrara who plays Abby Cadabby.
Fran Brill who plays Zoe.
Video Producer Melissa Dino and Sonia Manzano (Maria).
Kevin Clash and Elmo.
David Rudman who plays Cookie Monster. The original Cookie Monster is Frank Oz who is busy with his directing career, but once in a while comes to the studio to do some Cookie or Bert skits, which is always a huge thrill for everyone.
Happy monsters and their puppeteers with Sonia.
Smiling on the red carpet.
Telly and Marty the Hipsters.
Something must have cracked up Fran.
After all the dazzle and paparazzi, we made it to our seats, which were very good since Marty was a nominee. Vanessa Williams did an incredible job hosting the show, with a fabulously funny opening number where she was put into situations with various Soap Stars and TV hosts.
There’s no denying it was a tense moment for Marty when his award was being announced. He was nominated along side three other Sesame performers—Leslie Carrara as Abby, Kevin Clash as Elmo, and Chris Knowing as Chris. The only non-Sesame performer nominated was Bindi Irwin. Very cute, talented girl but I wanted my husband to win, or at least someone from Sesame Street. Leslie was seated directly in front of us and Kevin to the side. There was a camera poised to pick-up one of them if they won. The envelope was opened, and it was—Kevin Clash as Elmo
We were all happy for Kevin. I was disappointed for Marty. He’s been on the show for 28 years doing incredible work as Snuffy and Telly, not to mention Slimey, Buster the Horse, Irvine and countless other AM characters. (AM stands for Anything Muppet, which refers to all the different humanoids, sheep, cows, penguins, etc. that are used on the show.)
There wasn’t time to be sad because suddenly all the Sesame performers were being whisked off by a stage manager to get set for their moment on stage. I was left alone with Leslie Carrara’s husband, Paul Rudolph, who also happens to be the Sesame Music Coordinator. A strange, young man in a tux came and sat in Marty’s seat, which was very weird. When the camera pans the audience, they don’t want to see any empty seats, so they have hired seat sitters who jump around filling empty seats when anyone wins, goes backstage to present or perform.
Sandra Oh had been asked to introduce the Sesame Street Lifetime Achievement Award. She was so enthusiastic, it brought tears to my eyes. She had been a guest star playing a Fairy Cookie Person recently and just gushed about how moving it was to meet Carroll Spinney, see the set and be a part of the show. After they showed a video of show clips from 1969-2008, the curtain rose. There was everyone, including Oscar’s can starting to sing an Emmy-ized version of “Sunny Days.” The crowd leapt to their feet, and stayed standing the whole performance
There were more awards for some very pretty people, a farewell to “Guiding Light” and the ceremony was over. The entire audience was invited to walk down the street to a post-ceremony party and dinner. We stayed for a little while, but it wasn’t as entertaining as the night before since we aren’t familiar with most of the soap crowd. As I mentioned in yesterday’s September 4th entry, the Craft Awards are much more “old home week.” We did get some time chatting with Buzz Aldrin about a manned mission to Mars.
Eventually, we all headed back to the hotel where there was a more intimate dinner waiting for us. However, Mommy had gotten up at 4 a.m., so I was barely able to keep my head out of the salad at this point. I said goodnight and went upstairs to relieve Iwona. The babies were sound asleep in their crib. Our Emmy adventure was over.