The 2018 NYWIFT Muse Awards
What a difference a year makes! Last year when we were on the Red Carpet covering the 2017 NYWIFT (New York Women in Film and Television) Muse Awards, we were green members of the press corps, struggling elbow-to-elbow with our colleagues trying to get the stars to stop for an interview or pose for our camera on its tripod. This year, we were full on maniacs! I unceremoniously stuck my microphone into the faces of all of the guests who walked the carpet, and April - this time with her camera on a mono-pod - flew up and down the carpet to get the best shots and camera angles, at times hoisting her camera into the air for aerial shots. For the 2018 Muse Awards, INFEMNITY Productions was a pro!
The honorees for this year were NYWIFT out-going Executive Director Terry Lawler; television producer and film director Tricia Brock; VP of Original Documentary and Comedy Programming at Netflix Lisa Nishimura; actor, comedian, writer, and disability activist Maysoon Zayid; five-time Academy Award-nominated actress Ellen Burstyn, and four Golden Globe and two Emmy Award-winning actor, producer, and business woman Sarah Jessica Parker.
I have been on both sides of the velvet rope at red carpets - the first time as a director/producer of my documentary film "Matthew Kennedy: One Man's Journey," and now as a television talk-show host - so I can appreciate what is needed both to give a good interview and to be on the receiving end of one. Last year the big Hollywood star was actress Laura Dern, and I politely stood by (not wanting to interrupt anyone) while other journalists got their interviews and male cameramen pushed me out of the way. This year, I was the one doing the pushing, and yelling my questions after addressing the stars by their first names. Last year Laura Dern was being pulled away by her staff by the time she came to our end of the carpet, so I did not get to ask her a question. This year, after loudly
congratulating Sarah Jessica Parker on receiving her award, she thanked me, then I proceeded to slowly ask my question. She then approached me and generously gave a thoughtful answer, while April did her magic with the camera. Suddenly other microphones from other media were in our faces. I also had made a point of having our "Noshing with Nina Show" microphone, complete with the NWN logo prominent in the footage being filmed by other cameras. I can proudly announce that we're getting the hang of it, folks!
Nancy Giles of CBS This Morning and The Giles Files was the emcee again this year, and she and I lamented the fact that not one African-American woman was selected to receive an award this year. Word traveled there at the Red Carpet that Ava DuVernay was in New York City that day, and would have been a most deserving honoree. Well, next year we will make sure that this mistake does not happen.
A word about Sarah Jessica Parker's eyes: they are very beautiful. When she looked deep into my own, I almost got so distracted that I forgot why I was there and what I was doing. I can imagine her flashing that beautiful smile and easily cajoling industry executives into doing her bidding. I personally have never experienced such a comfort level with male executives, yet. But I suppose it's never too late to learn.
All of this to say: Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode of "The Noshing with Nina Show" including our special Red Carpet interview with "Carrie Bradshaw" herself, Sarah Jessica Parker!