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12 March 2013

55th Grammy Awards Rearview Mirror

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The 55th GRAMMY Awards are now a month past. The little trophies have found their way onto shelves in musicians’ homes and have begun to accumulate dust. The excitement is still fresh for the winners and the rest of us have resumed our lives.

Watching the big event and thinking about it after, I pondered if any lessons could be learned from this annual award ceremony. Of course, as a former project manager, my first inclination was to focus on the event itself, but that really isn’t where my current interest lies. Instead, I pondered whether there are lessons to be learned from the musicians in attendance.

Fashion Tips
Award ceremonies are always a fascinating canvas upon which one can draw his/her own conclusions regarding fashion hits and misses. This year’s event was no exception. Even though CBS forbade provocative attire, there were many attendees who chose to draw attention to their appearance in this manner. From the black see-through dresses worn by Alicia Keys and Kelly Rowland to the open front worn by Katy Perry, many attendees chose to thumb their noses at the network’s request.

In contrast, Carrie Underwood took a more tasteful approach with her projection screen skirt during her performance.

Stage Presence
Performing for your peers (and millions of television viewers) has to be just a little bit nerve racking. So this is the perfect case study for how a musician or band can connect with the audience and provide a great performance. Although I was nonplussed by the opening act, Taylor Swift was able to appear at ease in the weird “Alice in Wonderland” montage and really connect with the audience. Some of the other musicians weren’t able to make a connection, which is always a little painful to watch, because you feel an empathy for their discomfort.

Award shows also provide a unique window into the character of the winners (and losers!). Kelly Clarkson obviously wasn’t prepared, making her comments a true window into who she is as a person. I am a proponent of the prepared speech to ensure minimal rambling and also to ensure you don’t leave out a key statement of gratitude. However, prepared or not, what a winner says in his or her acceptance speech speaks volumes. In just a few minutes you can get a sense if this person feels he/she is self-made or successful through the efforts of others; if God plays a leading life role, or is just a prop for the ceremony; and how they truly view their fans. Cameras panning the audience for the faces of the nominees who don’t receive the awards also provides some character clues.

What is YOUR rearview mirror recall of the 55th Grammy Award show?

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