Increasingly, I am getting to create special live events, and none are more special and exciting to me than the Parnelli Awards, which I’ve had the honor of producing for nearly 10 years. This is a special event that is unofficially called “the Grammy’s for Roadies” – it honors those live event personnel who work behind the scenes to make concerts, special events, music festivals, and corporate events happen. The Scenic Set Designer for Adele, the monitor mixer for Rascal Flatts, the Lighting Designer for Guns ‘n Roses, etc., are honored for artistry and technical skills. Big and small sound companies, lighting companies, and even the truck companies who take the gear from city to city are honored as well.
Basically, one night a year we turn on the mic and shine the spotlight on those who have spent their career avoiding both!
Speaking of turning the tables … PLSN, which I am senior writer for, decided to do an article on producing the Parnellis. This involved another writer interviewing me, and believe me I’m rarely on that side of the interview pen. The article turned out well, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at an event that honors those behind-the-scenes.
The show is a big project – I’m involved with hiring talent, working with production people (video, lighting, audio, etc.), and making sure the show runs smoothly. I also produce and write six to eight videos, including three documentaries on our lifetime achievement winners (I’m particularly proud of this one on Danny O’Bryen). As this article points out, I am fortunate to have culled from the world of production an amazing team of people who put on a great looking, funny, exciting show.
And it was exciting – guitar genius Adrian Belew (David Bowie, Frank Zappa, King Crimson, Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson, Talking Heads, among others) was the host. I was able to get Tom Petty to come and surprise the crowd, and he spoke eloquently and humorously about his long time Tour Manager, Richard Fernandez, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
It’s a blessing to be able to apply my wide variety of skill set to a special event like this – everything comes into play: writing, editing, creating videos, working with other creatives, and producing something with many moving parts. My play writing experience, my comedy writing, even my musicianship, all come into play. I’m in talks with others to work on their show, and look forward to doing more of this kind of work for a wider variety of clients. It’s a completely fulfilling experience!