Well, the Golden Globes have started off another awards season and countless other award shows will follow – it is time for me to declare that I am not a fan of awards. I will never get to “thank the Academy” but I am involved in judging several professional awards programs.
Judging has its merits.
For me, judging awards is a fun learning opportunity and is by far the best part of awards. There is the camaraderie of working with others in the profession. Each time I judge, I learn how others apply the criteria for professional excellence and/or about a new technique or a novel approach to a communications problem. So, judging expands my professional horizons and my personal network.
Public recognition is overrated.
I typically don’t apply for awards myself because I feel as though applying for an award is a cry for recognition not otherwise given. I have an entrenched view that good work will be recognized and rewarded by those who benefit from it and that they are the only ones who matter. I am not naïve enough to believe that always happens, so I understand the need some feel.
There are some professionals out there (including me) who do amazing work and have every right to be proud of what they do. For me, being able to be part of a successful project or getting hired for the next project is sufficient.
Awards ceremonies are boring.
Which takes me to the yet another issue I have with awards – the award ceremony. Those who attend to receive their award and moment in the spotlight are really only there for that moment. The rest of us – the hangers on – are supposed to smile and clap appreciately. For the most part these events are quite frankly boring affairs sometimes punctuated by an incident that can be anything from poignant to embarrassing. For example Meryl Streep’s speech at the 2017 Golden Globes is one for the ages. Yes, I will watch many of the awards programs in the coming weeks in the hopes of seeing a blooper, a costume malfunction or another special acceptance speech.
Participants decide the award’s value to them.
So what is the value of an award? Proof that someone is capable of doing good work, recognition from peers who are doing the same type of work, and bragging rights. For me the value of awards programs is the privilege of learning about what others are doing, plain and simple.