This is my husband’s garment bag which he has packed for his jaunt to NYC. If you were to look inside, it would look like a blue Oxford button-down torte, each shirt layered with a different shade of khakis. Tomorrow he takes an early morning trans-continental flight in order to attend:
- An APA (Audiobook Publishers Association) Mixer: This is where, for audiobook professionals, the week’s festivities begin. Everyone crowds into a very small, loud space and attempts to be heard by yelling stock rhetorical pleasantries and hopes that the responses are remotely appropriate to what the other person has said. This of course adds to the noise level and so it continues for two hours. People smile, pay $12 for a glass of house white wine, and are ultimately relieved when they can leave and breathe in the fresh air of Manhattan But it is really nice to see who’s come in for the big event.
- The APAC (Audiobook Publishers Association Conference) panels: For APA members, there is a narrator track and a publisher track. Ostensibly, members attend panels that will help them in their professional lives. What really happens is that panel members, for fear of either giving away their respective companies’ “secrets” or offending a major audiobook publisher who would then sue the sound bytes off of them, will use euphemisms (lie) and not really be helpful at all. Members will then sneak off for cigarette breaks outside of the Javits center and gossip. In all fairness, I should point out that the gossip usually proves to be invaluable.
- The Audies: This is the industry’s equivalent to The Oscars – without the acceptance speeches. In years past, there was a full dinner served and winners got to say their thank-yous; but at one point during the evening, the number of losers in the room outnumbered the potential winners: People got restless and by dessert, many were playing with their remaining silverware. Now, The Audies are preceded by an open buffet of hors d’oeuvres and bar and, followed by a champagne and dessert bar – all to be followed by a a post party at a small, loud space…. As far as the actual ceremony goes, the emcee will either make or break the proceedings as any number of dark horse candidates end up taking home a crystal trophy. Polite, bemused applause follows.
In between and all around these events are a number of meetings, meet-ups, early dinners, late dinners, teas (wine served before 5:00 p.m.), cocktail hours, nightcaps, shows… It’s exhausting but I would be lying if I didn’t say I am extremely jealous that my husband gets to go this year and I don’t
Sigh. Maybe next year…