It’s that time of year again. Basketball. Valentines Day. Snow. And “Best of” solicitations. Balloting where “one person, one vote” does not apply. Where people can send in their votes to publications they don’t read. Where relatives and friends determine the winners among restaurants they’ve never tried and businesses they’ve never used. Where votes are counted from people who’ve never set foot in Kentuckiana. Where the most absurd categories reign. (Best Nail Salon? Seriously??) And here in the theatre world, where “vote for me!” earns votes from people who didn’t see the shows. Where big is assumed to be best. And where outsiders decide who is a professional actor. (WE ALL ARE.)
If you really must participate, please do so fairly and honestly. Or better yet, ignore these contests in order to expose them for what they are: self-serving, promotional vehicles. FORCE them to become true rewards for excellence so that they’ll stop exploiting honest, hardworking professionals.
Be the best of readers, patrons and consumers. True excellence deserves it.
— A.S. Waterman