• 7th October 2013 - By Jan Andrew

    At a time of unrelenting bad news in politics and on the news, there’s still positive hope and pain relief for the future in the entertainment world. And let’s admit it, if you are an entrepreneur or just shooting for high productivity each day, you need lots of positive energy! My favorite shows lately for a quick dose of hope have been awards shows, including the Emmy Awards, the Alma Awards for Latinos and in repeats of the BET Awards for black entertainers, first aired earlier this summer.  They may seem very different, especially when the last two focus on ethnic groups that have faced many barriers in American television, film and theatre, yet the tone for all of the shows was one of immense gratitude, joy and laughter.

    One of the biggest winners at the Alma Awards this year was actress Rosario Dawson, honored, along with rock icon Carlos Santana, with the outstanding commitment to cause and community.  Her long acceptance speech started this way: “I accept this award knowing that despite continuous challenges, new and old ones, challenges which could easily dampen the most optimistic of hearts, we have strived, we have pleaded and we have given it our all to push through those obstacles because the grand and attainable visions we have for ourselves and our communities far outweigh any challenge that come before us.”  What a optimistic sentiment for these times!

    This attitude was echoed in speeches by such diverse artists as Eva Longoria, co-host of the Almas and Jamie Foxx, winner for best actor on the BET Awards. In addition, this year’s special tribute on the BET Awards show to soul singer Charlie Wilson included high-powered performances and touching personal homages from Justin Timberlake and Pharrelll and a moving speech of gratitude for his long career in show business from Wilson that had me almost in tears – not of sorrow but awe.  The message was never give up! In the Emmys ceremony, Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report finally beat his friend and awards rival Jon Stewart. Colbert managed to be both gleeful and amazingly gracious in his acceptance.

    These are just snippets of ceremonies full of high-energy and laughter, even for those denied a trophy.  Bryan Cranston was expected to win best actor for Breaking Bad at the Emmys but was upset by the Newsroom’s Jeff Daniels – yet Cranston later announced he felt fortunate to share the best show Emmy with the show’s cast and crew. “This is the answer to a wish and a prayer for me,” said Cranston backstage. “I’ve been blessed in the past and this show has been nominated in the past, but what I really wanted was what we got, to celebrate the win for the writing crew and cast. This is one helluva party, and what a way to go out.”

    So as we struggle through the economic tensions of the coming days, and just in general when life is overwhelming, maybe we should all remember to sing a little and count our blessings and be grateful to be part of this great drama called America. For more information on these awards shows, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/29/alma-awards-activism_n_4013712.html,

    http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1709766/bet-awards-2013-winners-list.jhtml and http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-207_162-57604111/emmy-awards-full-of-surprises-and-some-snubs/

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