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SAG awards preview Oscars

February 6, 2011
By KATHRYN SPIRA, For The Leader-Herald

I've always been a big awards show person. What I liked about this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards, which was broadcast both on TNT and TBS live Jan. 30 is there's no designated host, just different pairs and trios of actors making presentations to other actors.

The awards themselves are called "actors," so it's all about acting, nit critics, press, or some nominating committee.

I can't help but feel like actors are the best judge of other actors and their performances, because they've been there and know what it's like.

As the SAG website states:

"The Screen Actors Guild Awards are also unique in the size of its voting body. Two randomly selected panels of 2100 SAG members each from across the United States choose the nominees for television and motion pictures. The final ballot then goes out to the full guild membership - approximately 100,000 members -who select the outstanding performances of the year."

I wasn't sure of this fact myself, since I was only a candidate for SAG, based on the fact I didn't have enough movie film credits to qualify. My MS appeared too early in my stay in Los Angeles for me to rack up more film credits, or for me to care enough to pursue acting hard enough to secure parts by then.

As Lorne Michaels said on Oprah Winfrey's new Masterclass show on the OWN network, you have to have talent, luck and perseverance to make it in the entertainment field, and when the MS hit, I ran out of perseverance.

A couple of the wins made me ecstatic, in that I watch the TV shows and adore them. One such show is "Hot in Cleveland," my hometown, incidentally, which stars veteran actress Betty White who won in the best comedy actress category. In the best dramatic actress category, Julianna Margulies won for her role in "The Good Wife." I was disappointed in the picks for best male actors, liking Hugh Laurie of "House" and I would have preferred one of the three nominated from "Glee" and "Modern Family" to win, although I do like Alec Baldwin and used to watch "30 Rock" regularly before I tired of the concept.

I'm glad Betty White won, but I also have a personal connection to Edie Falco of "Nurse Jackie," since I worked with Edie in New York City as a waitress before she made her big hit in "The Sopranos." I also think Jane Lynch in "Glee" is fantastic and would have been a strong contender as well as Sofia Vergara of "Modern Family."

Suffice to say, the Oscars will be on ABC on Feb. 27, and I will be rooting for my favorites at that time. I think the SAG Awards were a strong preview with a good tell on who may win at the Oscars.

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website



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