A few weeks ago I got a message from Jonathan McNamara of the Phoenix New Times informing me that I had been nominated and was a finalist for the 2011 Big Brain Awards.Â The Big Brain Awards are annual awards give out by the New Times to exceptional and innovative people in the arts in the Phoenix community.Â I never thought that I would be nominated, let alone a finalist.Â The committee started with nearly 400 nominees and whittled the list down to 18 finalists, 3 in each of 6 categories.Â I’m a finalist in the Performing Arts category.
I was selected as a finalist because of my work with Improv AZ and because of Sponsor A Law Kid.Â I am very excited and humbled to be nominated.Â I have been blown away by the phenomenal people I’ve met in the Phoenix area in the last two years that to be singled out for my work is quite an honor.
I will find out if I’m a Big Brain winner or just honored to be nominated this Saturday at Artopia.
None of this could have happened without the love, support, and guidance from some special people in my life:
- My family and friends,
- The supportive professors at Arizona State University,
- The crews at Improv AZ, Ignite Phoenix, #evfn, and Evo at 11,
- Ari Kaplan who encouraged me to pursue a niche in prank law,
- My Sponsor A Law Kid sponsors,
- My legal mentors,
- And everyone who has encouraged my quirky ideas and crazy dreams up until now
There are two special people I need to single out and thank for their support and guidance.
- Jeff Moriarty – If it wasn’t for Jeff organizing the first No Pants Ride, none of this would have ever happened.Â There wouldn’t be Improv AZ, and I wouldn’t have met most of the amazing people in my life today.Â Jeff was also the person who encouraged me to become a blogger and helped make Undeniable Ruth possible.
- Evo Terra – Evo is one of the most outspoken and brilliant people that I know.Â A few months ago I asked him how he he developed a thick skin against criticism.Â He responded, “Figure out who’s opinions matter to you. Then genuinely do not give a shit what anyone else thinks.”Â That is easier said than done, but those have become my guiding words when I’m against people who disagree with what I write or what I do.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far.Â I’m up against some phenomenal people this Saturday: Tom Leveen and Joseph Perez.Â While it would be nice to win, I will be pleased regardless of the outcome.