Gala Audie Awards 2019

Audio book narrators really know how to throw a party. Yesterday’s Audie Awards was a glitzy snazzy gala held in New York City at Gustavino’s expansive hall underneath the 59th Street Bridge.

It was very purple!

The weather, traffic and parking gods all aligned to make this trip as smooth as it could be. Even though I awoke to a foot of snow (and an hour and a half of shoveling) by the time I hit the highway the road was clear and sped down to New York in just over three hours. Finding free on-street parking a block from the venue was the next big win! Walked off to have dinner with an old friend. 

 I’d never been to a gala event like this, and a month ago when I tried on my tuxedo I found I’d shrunk out of it. So I went to Franklin Rogers, an old-school men’s store in downtown Providence and got kitted out with a shiny chianti-colored suit and my first pair of pointy-toed shoes. 

After dinner I still had an hour to kill, so I went into a nearby Bistro and ordered an espresso. (My fifth of the day!) Drinking espresso never takes me as long as it does Europeans or Italians. Fortunately, the bistro had a big restroom and I hogged it for ten minutes to change  out of my driving/schlepwear into my new shiny suit.

Outside Gustavino’s there were sparkles and spotlights. Inside, a line of servants (ahem) waited attentively to collect coats and bags. Despite my dawdling, I literally was the first one there to pick up the heavy silver medal that signified LOKI RAGNAROK (and me) as an Audie Finalist.

Me on the red carpet!
Yes! Red Carpet

Then it was off to the red carpet. The photo here was taken with my camera and blurrs the medal, so when the “official” one comes through I’ll repost it.

More servants (waitstaff, actors with day jobs) waited with glasses of wine or champagne. I stuck to the water, knowing there was a long drive home. 

Then I mingled, introducing myself to anyone who was standing alone. In short order I met a literary agent who was accompanying a client’s spouse, a young fellow who said he wanted to direct movies but was there with his boss who was a “paymaster” for audio book narrators, and Kate Reading, who was lovely to talk with. (I actually had listened to and enjoyed a number of her books, but didn’t realize it until this morning.)

Me, Kennedy Phillips and Levar Burton
With Kennedy Phillips and Levar Burton

It also seemed that the “Original Works” folk attracted each other. Kennedy Philips of the Magus Elgar book and I went over and asked Levar Burton for a selfie. Bonus factoid: The last time I went to New York for a big award — the World Ebook Award for Cinderella Spinderella, Levar Burton was also there and presenting. (He didn’t remember 😉

Eventually we all went upstairs, where I was seated at the table farthest to the back of the room with some of the other peons. 

Award ceremonies are weird. They hired a celebrity (Tan France from the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye) as the host. He spoke for a few minutes and then introduced the people who were going to announce the awards. Unlike the Oscars and Grammies, the presenters didn’t read the winners, instead it was pre-recorded narration, so it sped by like a freight train. 

Meanwhile, I poked at the chocolates and fruit “desserts” which were tasty but not truly delicious.

Time passed quickly with award after award zipping by with applause. Why do they say, “And the award for Most Words in An Audiobook goes to…” and then the name of the publisher? 

Finally, it was our turn. Drumroll. The announcement of the title. There’s my name on the screen! The moment of suspense and…

The winner was… Spin, the audiobook that had a full cast of Broadway stars. Sigh. 

LOKI RAGNAROK - Audie Finalist (and Silver Medal) Winner for Original Work!

I’m sure they deserved it, but dang, I wanted it. Oh well. At least they gave me a medal!

The ceremonies finished, I got my coat and bags. Grabbed another selfie on the Red Carpet. Quick walk to the car. On the road by 10 and in bed by 1am.

All in all not a bad day.

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