Monday, March 12, 2012

Behind the Scenes at the ISES Star Awards

Gangsters and flappers were out in full force last Friday night as the Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter of ISES celebrated its annual STAR awards. And the event organizers really strutted their stuff with a Roaring 20s theme complete with speakeasy, moonshine, dancehall girls and even the Keystone Cops.

I was briefly backstage, serving as a volunteer during part of the event. Although I’m an ISES member, I haven’t had the time to really get involved. But this was a great opportunity to see old friends, make new ones and actually be useful for a change.

I showed up early for the volunteer orientation and was able to take a peek around before the show. I was simply stunned. This Nicollet Island Pavillion, nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis was propped out in awesome detail, from a Chinese laundry entrance to a speakeasy to a moonshine operation set up in the bar. I was able to catch some of the rehearsals, including dancers from the Dancers Studio and live animation provided by Live Spark.

I love being backstage before the crowds arrive. There’s something about being a mouse in the corner and watching the organizers handle last-minute issues with deft hands, the peacock girls applying their make-up and chefs setting up their stations. I happen to think that this is just as exciting as the actual event.

I am assured by the committee chair, Ami Cervin, that photos are on the way. I won’t spoil the surprise anymore, but will share them with you when they’re ready.

In the meantime, congrats to the STAR award winners and the ISES organizers and suppliers for a fantastic job!