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My Take on The Blumey Awards

June 10, 2013

BlumeyLogo_180During the May 19 Blumey Awards – Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards competition – I was able to work backstage, where I found emotions and excitement levels high and a spirit of community in the air. I was stationed in an area between the stage and the dressing rooms, so participants were constantly running by. In witnessing the students’ interactions, I never felt as if the ceremony was a competition, even though I knew it was.

The evening truly was a remarkable experience. Seeing talented teens from around the Charlotte region nurtured and presented on the Belk Theater stage was an amazing spectacle. The students performed on the same stage that hosts the major Broadway national tours as well as celebrities and legends such as Gladys Knight, Lily Tomlin, The Temptations and Frankie Valli. I have to pause for a second to let that sink in … they were able to finish the opening musical number that was written and choreographed by artists with Broadway experience while looking past the blinding spotlights and seeing a theater full of fans on their feet yelling their names and cheering them on. I can’t imagine the rush.

One of my duties was to hand the winners their awards once they finished their acceptance speeches. They would all run through huddles of their peers, receiving hugs, compliments and congratulations, and then make their way back to me where I would hand them the award and snap a quick photo. The looks on the winner’s faces were priceless. There was shock, happiness and sometimes a few tears.

Areon Mobasher, Best Actor winner

Areon Mobasher, Best Actor winner

The feelings seemed especially overwhelming for Best Actress winner Eva Noblezada and Best Actor winner Areon Mobasher. Not only did they win a Blumey Award, but they also won a trip to New York City to participate in The Jimmy Awards, the National High School Musical Theater Awards, June 26 through July 2.

At the Blumey Awards, the Best Actor and Best Actress awards are presented in a unique way. All the nominees join together and perform a medley of the featured songs from their respective productions, and then they remain on stage while one is named the winner.

Eva Noblezada, Best Actress winner

Eva Noblezada, Best Actress winner

Personally, I can’t imagine being on stage in front of nearly 2,000 people while I learned my fate. You would think there would have been an awkward tension in the air, but instead, the students locked arms and clinched their eyes shut, and when the winner was announced, there was an outburst of excitement and encouragement from each of the nominees, win or lose. To me, that is the ultimate camaraderie. From my experience, that word “camaraderie” sums up the feeling of the entire night.

The students worked very hard to put on a good show, all while dealing with the emotions of being nominated or not being nominated, winning or losing. Instead of being competitors, the students were all part of a community joined together because of their love for the arts and live theater. They set out to better themselves and better their communities with their talents, and they succeeded.

If you haven’t been to one of our Blumey Awards ceremonies, I encourage you to attend on Sunday, May 18, 2014. You will leave feeling nothing less than encouraged and inspired by these aspiring performers.

You can see a full list of 2013 Blumey Award winners HERE.

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