The significance of a "Spammy"

Sometimes the awards that mean the most are the ones that look the goofiest. 

I'm now the proud owner of two "Spammies," made of an actual can of spam with little pig figures glued to the top, a fancy board glued to the back to say what the award is, and little foam star stickers and fake gemstones giving some extra bedazzling here and there. 

I was surprised to receive these awards during the Actors' Mission's recent "Golden Spam Awards" event, which was more hilarious and more heartwarming than I could have predicted. 

I was invited to the facetious awards ceremony as someone who has supported and volunteered with Actors' Mission over the past two seasons. The event featured dinner, some special performances (including an accordion solo), and the awarding of the Golden Spam awards, or Spammies. The awards were given to members of the local theater community working with Actors' Mission, from actors to directors to crew members and more. Most were tongue-in-cheek, playing off of inside jokes among crew members, poking good-natured fun at castmates, and highlighting favorite memories. The Spammies ranged from such honors as "Schmechnical Techcellence" to "Writing inside jokes that no one sees on props" to "Longest costume change." 

I was expecting to have a fun night laughing with the friends I've made from Actors' Mission - which I absolutely did. But I didn't feel like I'd been involved enough to have any chance at taking home a Spammy myself. 

So I was fairly shocked when the very first Spammy to be given out was announced as being for those who have helped get the word out, and was given to myself and my fellow reporter Trina Brittain from the Rocket Miner, for covering Actors' Mission in the newspaper. 

I was surprised again when my amazingly kind director, Jene Chollak, gave me another Spammy for my role in "Silent Sky" - the only full play I've acted in. And it wasn't even a facetious award making fun of me for anything. It was just her being kind, saying she wanted to recognize me for my stability and faithfulness during the production, like a Class V star (it's a whole astronomy thing). 

I would have had tons of fun at the event no matter what, but being recognized at it, even in small and silly ways, genuinely meant a lot to me. 

I've loved theater since I was little, and been a huge fan of going to plays and jamming out to musicals on roadtrips. I dabbled with becoming involved in theater myself in college, but could never seem to move past the outside of the inside circle of the theater people. 

When I started covering local theater productions for the newspaper, I realized I'd found a different way to gain access into the theater community. As I got to know more people, and as Sweetwater County's theater scene grew exponentially in the last few years, I started to feel more like a part of things. Eventually the connections led to me taking the chance to step in even further as an actor and playwright in a few Actors' Mission productions. 

But even though I've been involved, it was getting that decked out can of spam that somehow made me feel like I've finally made it into this world I've loved and wanted to be part of for so long. The fact that my role with the newspaper was what helped me get into it makes me so grateful. And the fact that I can continue to share that world with the rest of the community through the newspaper makes me even more proud. 


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