A Day In The Life (Of A Tony Award)

by:  Thom Dunn at 10/21/2013

By now, it's pretty well known that we recently received a Tony Award. But then...so now what? Well, for one thing, we've got this fancy little trophy that's hangin' out at the theatre. So that's cool. And we've been taking turns passing it around the office, spending time with that shiny pretty thing, and generally keeping it company. You've got to imagine that it gets awfully lonely as a Tony Award -- there's all this hullabaloo and excitement leading up to the awards, and then you get handed off to your new owners and then you just kind of...sit there, in a trophy case or whatever. No one ever utilizes you or appreciates your other prestiguous talents. They just like you for your looks.

Well, here at the Huntington, things are different. We treat our Tony Awards with respect. And so I present to you: A Day In The Life (Of A Tony Award).

Tony (as we so affectionately call her) spent the previous day in the Box office, helping us to sell tickets. Despite the fact that she was not particularly sympathetic when our patrons called about website problems (whoops!), our Box Office was (understandably) quite sad to see her go.

And so Tony began her actual day over at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, where she helped out the electrics staff with some rigging on The Power of Duff.

This kind of work turned out to be a little much for our poor little Tony Award (she doesn't have much in terms of upper arm strength), and she quickly decided that she had had enough. When Calderwood House Electrician Mercedes Roman-Manson found Tony, she had already snuck off and started snuggling with the Lighting Sloth. "Why does the lighting department have a stuffed sloth?" you ask. "Don't ask questions," I respond.

Mercedes was less than pleased with the Tony Award's lazy work ethic, and for punishment, she handed Tony off to me, your friendly Web & New Media Manager, so that she could um...help me edit video and post things on Facebook and write this blogpost, I guess. Of course, by the time she arrived at my desk from the Pavilion, it was lunchtime, so I used the opportunity to read some stories to Tony from Kelly Link's Magic For Beginners, because, well, Tony Awards can't read because they're inanimate objects. Nor do they like grapefruit, apparently.

After lunch, I returned to my desk with Tony in tow. I had a phone conference scheduled with Adage Technologies, our back-end web development team in Chicago. I let the Tony Award sit-in on the phone call for a bit while I played Solitaire. Judging by the look on her face during the call, I think she really enjoyed it.

At that point, I'd kind of hit that late-afternoon-lull (you know what I'm talking about), so I ran upstairs to grab me a little Dunkies. Tony said that she could use a pick-me-up as well, unless she didn't say that because Tony Awards can't talk and I was just hearing voices in my head, and so I grabbed her a small with extra cream and two Splenda and that's how "Tony's First Dunkin Donuts Experience" became one for the memory book. 

And then the unspeakable happened -- the Internet went out! What's a Web & New Media Manager to do without the Internet? How was I to keep Tony entertained without Tumblr? I don't have the answer to either question, because I had to go the bathroom (because Dunkies) and I thought that might not be appropriate for an innocent young Tony Award to which I had arbitrarily assigned the opposite gender (it is technically an Antoinette Perry Award, so).

But when I returned to my desk, she was gone! My poor, poor Tony Award! I had abandoned her, and in my selfishness, she had been lost, stolen away from me, and left to brave the elements alone! I heard a haunting song swelling from within me...and then realized that it was actually coming from the cubicle beside me, where Annual Fund Coordinator Lisa McColgan and Creative Services Coordinator Dan Pecci were using the Internet Outage downtime to expose the young, innocent Tony Award to the soundtrack from Disney's Haunted Mansion.

Crisis averted. Phew. Okay. So we finished listening to the Haunted Mansion soundtrack, and by this point, Tony was a little shaken up with a combination of fear and caffeine. I had to finish editing the new Hunt video that I'd been working on, so I handed Tony off to Marketing Manager Meredith Mastroianni, who is much better with kids than I'll ever be.

Or so I thought, until she put Tony to work analyzing spreadsheet data.

After I'd finished the video, I stopped back over to Meredith's office, which she shares with Communications Manager Rebecca Curtiss, to check in on ol' Tony. But both Meredith and Rebecca had stepped out for a meeting -- and Tony was nowhere to be found! As I glanced frantically around the room, I noticed that the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet of Rebecca's desk was partially ajar. I opened the drawer and found Tony sprawled out in a feverish delusion, driven mad by hunger, spreadsheet cramming, or both. Having abandoned her attempts to open up the can of Chicken Noodle Soup (because Tony Awards don't have arms), she attempted to call the nearby Pho & I for delivery -- but unfortunately, she had neither hands to use a phone, nor a mouth with which to order. Poor Tony Award. Life is hard.

By this point, it was after 5 o'clock. The Internet was still out, and it had been an eventful day, to say the least. And so I handed off Tony to her next caretaker: Meg O'Brien, Manager of Education Operations. 

I looked back over my shoulder one last time as I walked away from Meg's desk. I saw Tony sitting there, basking in the dim purple glow, because for some reason everything at Meg's desk glows purple. And maybe it was the lighting, but Tony looked truly happy in that moment. I still look back fondly on the time we spent together, but I knew then that it was time for her to move on. I knew she was in good hands with Meg -- if nothing else, Meg could teach Tony some fun theatre games or something (I mean, c'mon, who doesn't love "Zip Zap Zop?").

I waved farewell to Tony, and she spun herself around for me one last time, her silver skin sparkling underneath the horrible fluorescent lighting of the office. "Goodbye," I whispered softly as I fought back the tears and walked out the doors onto Huntington Avenue. Even though I knew that I would see her again, it would never be the same. It would never be My Day With The Tony Award again.


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About me

Thom Dunn is the Web & New Media Manager at the Huntington, meaning it's his job to play around on the Internet and make things cool. He handles all of the video content and social media as well, and has the biggest computer monitor in the office. Like, ginormous.

Outside of the Huntington, Thom is a writer, musician, and homebrewer. It's all pretty cool. You can find out more about it at thomdunn.net.


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