Golden Globe Speech Disasters

Fabulous: we’ve hit the Award Season, where starving actresses will look fabulous; actors handsome; and the compere will deliver a risqué joke that the audience will adopt a fixed smile for. Someone will get up in excitement even though their name isn’t called and the majority of nominees will adopt their much rehearsed losers smile to hide their disappointment.

Lady Speaking For maximum amusement, however, I love the speeches and in particular, those that go horribly wrong. Emotion, hunger (for the actresses), nerves and even alcohol, contribute to these amusing faux pas of the film industry.

When I was a child, I loved watching “The Good Old Days” with my grandmother. It was a Music Hall and Variety show, with singing, dancing, and general entertainment. The best part was when the audience shouted “Hook, hook”, or “Get him off” and mysteriously a hook would appear from the stage wings, grab the performer and drag him off. I still shout ‘Hook’ at the television when people have outstayed their welcome on discussion programmes, AND at Award Ceremonies. I also loved watching the old style Labour party conferences where a yellow light would warn a speaker that his time was nearly up; a red light and a siren would abruptly end his speech. Oh the drama.

Of course I’ve never won an award where I’ve had to give a speech, and so I can’t fully appreciate the emotion of having to deliver a speech which is the culmination of a career’s dedication to reach this moment. BUT for actors in particular, I would have thought  there would be some self awareness and preparation, in case you win. Over the years – and the Globes appear to have a track record of this – there have been plenty of memorable speeches, with actresses sobbing, making a fool of themselves or being dragged off the stage in a Hollywood version of ‘The hook’.

Of course, for mere mortals like me, it is unlikely I’ll ever be in a situation where a global audience will be watching me on TV as well as all the powers that be in my industry. So really, I’m surprised there are always speech disasters at these awards. I would have thought that being an actress at the top of your profession, you would be totally focused on ensuring your ‘brand’ comes across brilliantly when you give your acceptance speech. That you won’t make a fool of yourself, be drunk or sob. I would have thought you would rehearse: just in case.



About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

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