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How Do You Feel About Awards Show Speeches?

How Do You Feel About Awards Show Speeches?

I have to admit - I watch ALL the awards shows.  Literally all of them.  I don't know why they captivate me.  Unless it's a show I watch or an album I love or a movie that gripped me, I can't say that I'm all that invested in who actually wins.  Maybe it's the fashion, maybe it's the grandiosity of it all.  For whatever reason - I'm going to watch.

Now, in all of my watching, the one thing I can't say I've ever gotten comfortable with is watching people give acceptance speeches. There are people who just nail it - like this year's Emmy winner for Best Writing (Comedy) Lena Waithe.  Then there are the people who get up there, act surprised, do the whole heavy-breathing-can't-remember-their-words thing that I hate.  Still there are others that attempt to make a joke or throw in an esoteric Hollywood reference and it just falls flat (looking at you Sean Penn...every.single.time).  Of course there are the EPIC fails (side eye to the 2017 Oscars).  Lastly, there are the awkward moments when someone didn't time their long ass speech and gets played off by the elevator music (seriously, who doesn't time their speeches?) like Sterling K. Brown at this year's Emmy Awards (whose actual speech was incredible and I wish I'd had a chance to hear more of it...still awkward watching him standing there even while his mic gets cut off, though).  

But nothing else makes me as uncomfortable as when I see an award presenter totally bomb the one job they were asked to do.  There are those folks who try to be funny or go off-script or make an ill-timed political quip.  That just doesn't sit well with me.  Still others try to play off their misread of a teleprompter as a case of nerves (yes, I'm looking at you Cicely Tyson).  I know some of you may say, "give them a break, you would freeze up just the same."  And you're probably right.  But it doesn't make it any less uncomfortable to watch the train wrecks as they occur.  (And yes, I know I'm kind of a piece of s*it for even mentioning Cicely Tyson but hey, whatever, it's my blog).

So what is it that makes me feel this way? As someone who enjoys public speaking, it's ironic that I cannot stand watching other people do the same.  I get tense when I see people approach microphones knowing that they have a limited amount of time to get a point across. I literally hold my breath when I think someone is about to fumble through a prepared speech and damn near hyperventilate when someone doesn't have anything prepared.  It's like a mix of pity for them (if they fumble) and pity for myself (that I have to witness it).  

So basically at the end of awards shows I'm sweaty and feel like I'm on speed.  It's literally as if I've been on this wild ride for 3 to 4 hours and am just glad it's over when the ending credits roll. Watching people be vulnerable is unnerving to me. Maybe it's because it exposes something within me that feels insecure about my own vulnerability.  Whatever it is, my level of discomfort at watching these portions of awards shows is on level 10.  And don't get me started on how I feel about people singing the National Anthem....that's a topic for another day....

How do you feel? Have you practiced your acceptance speech in the mirror?  I know I have... Sound off in the comments below.

Photo credit: NY Magazine

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