Congrats to all of the 2014 Tony nominees! Has it sunk in yet? Has your phone stopped ringing for even one second? Are you still in your jammies? That’s OK. It’s never too early to get some good advice from people who went through the circus of awards season last year. Here's some helpful hints from Billy Porter, Stephanie J. Block, Shalita Grant and Laura Osnes.
What do you wish you had brought to the Tony ceremony?
BILLY: I wish I could have brought my mother as my date. Unfortunately, she's in a wheelchair and I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus on attending to her needs.
STEPHANIE: I wish I had brought a larger evening bag to stuff a few hard candies and a small deodorant. (It's pretty hot and sweaty on the red carpet, and not in a good way!)
SHALITA: A fan! It was sooooo hot!
LAURA: A granola bar or some fruit snacks or something for all that stress and adrenaline...and not eating from 2PM to 11PM.
What did you bring to the ceremony that was invaluable?
BILLY: My support system. My angels, my sister, my mentor/patron Suzi Dietz and my manager of 23 years, Bill Butler.
STEPHANIE: I brought my husband, Sebastian, and his calm and care were invaluable to me amongst the excitement and chaos.
SHALITA: Beef jerky—smartest thing I did that night!
LAURA: My clutch literally was too small to carry anything I didn't NEED.
What’s the question you were asked the most during Tony season?
BILLY: “Who is styling you?” I styled myself.
STEPHANIE: I was asked how it felt to "finally be a TONY nominee." I grew to love the usage of the word "finally"—It somehow felt like a badge of honor.
SHALITA: "How does it feel?"
LAURA: “Where were you/how did you find out you were nominated?”
What should one do right before his or her name is called?
STEPHANIE: Right before your name/category is announced ask your date to quickly check your face, teeth, etc...making sure all are clean and free of schmutz!
LAURA: Lip gloss check, of course.
A Tony nominee should always…
BILLY: Honor the moment and write a speech. You have a one in five chance. Don't get up there lookin' like Boo Boo The Clown!
STEPHANIE: Always think of every member of your cast, crew, creative and producing team while going through the whole awards season. We're only there because of what was created together. Also, have a lot of flattering dresses (or suits) readily available.
SHALITA: Bring powder to interviews.
LAURA: Remember to be grateful during Tony season.
A Tony nominee should never…
BILLY: NOT prepare a speech.
STEPHANIE: Speak about shows they have yet to see. You will be caught in the fib. Whoops!
SHALITA: Be unprepared.
LAURA: Publicly show the exhaustion and sickness you are undoubtedly going through during Tony season.
What’s your best advice for this year’s nominees?
BILLY: Enjoy the ride! It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
STEPHANIE: This year's nominees certainly don't need my advice on award ceremonies. Have you seen the list of Leading Ladies in a Musical this year? They're old pros, each and everyone of them.
SHALITA: Hey, last year was a blast for me because I had never been nominated, and it was my first time on Broadway. So, I really didn't have anything to lose. Just have fun!
LAURA: Breathe, show up and try to enjoy it. It will be crazy and demanding, but exciting and so very special.