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Archived Weekly Features
This View by Nancy LeMay
Nancy LeMay is a five-time Emmy winning broadcast designer who has worked both in New York and LA, in network and local. She is a teacher and a painter as well. You can reach her through her website, and by email at
Preparing for The Emmys

Is it possible to prepare for the Emmys? Oh sure, buy/rent the dress/tux, write an acceptance speech or steel oneself against losing. Chip in with coworkers on a limo rental (drink and donít drive- never mix, never worry), or spring for a PT Cruiser for the night?

In the few weeks between the nominations and the ceremony, these are the things weíre preoccupied with. Itís the fun part, really; call Mom so she can brag and make sure to congratulate every single one of your co-nominees. But think about it for a moment- think about the other 11 months of the year and what it took to get here. Nothing any of us did, not a single nanosecond of the TV we produced happened because we alone produced it. We work in what may be the most collaborative medium ever invented; each one of us totally married to the skills, the commitment, the experience of our coworkers. (Acceptance speeches are the art form that honors this truth).
We rise or fall as a group; when someoneís just won an Emmy, you usually hear more than one person cheer, donít you?

Iíve gone to the LA Area Emmy Awards as a nominee every year since 1996, and Iíve come away with a statue in my hand more often than not. And Iím proud of this, as well as a bit astonished. Iíve had more good fortune than I could have wished for, and lots of opportunity to do the kind of work that gets this sort of recognition. But the Emmy is more than just a personal pat on the back- although pats on the back are cool in themselves. It feels great, after all, to know that someone thinks youíve done good work.

No, the Emmy is a reminder of belonging: you were a part of something that a small community of people produced for the larger community. The things that are recognized by the committees of our peers, judged in cities far away, are the works that attempt to make a contribution, interpret out lives, show our culture, question authority. They honor the very best part of our mission- a collaborative mission.

We are cynics in this business, mostly. Battered by the forces of the marketplace, working long hours, we are the folks who are at work while our families are home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, picnicsÖearthquakes. We give ourselves away 364 days of the year and get one day for ourselves.

This year itís June 29th. Win or lose, be sure to enjoy it.