Well as much as I hate to beat a dead horse. Bill Murray has been living here for well over 6 years. He had a house on Sullivan's Island up until his divorce. He co owns our minor league baseball team. And I saw him out and about downtown all those years that Rodney won and the year Philip Cohen won. I even talked to him a few times because he visited where I worked. So if what you are saying is true he would have won several years ago. So...
Once again who got second place for actor and actress?
The Bill Murray theme came on the heels of a year of Bill Murray spottings around town. They were so prevalent, all of a sudden, because he took up permanent residence downtown. He was on the top of our readers' minds and they have voted him best actor for the last three years. There is/was no conspiracy to make him win.
Damn, you actors are dramatic.
Dear me, Stephanie, please don't take offense. I have no problem at all with your wanting to have Bill Murray come to your party. Hell, I'd want to have him come to my party. He's a hell of a nice guy and a lot of fun, from what I hear. But I have to agree with ansempaul that staging the whole "Best Of" issue around ol' Bill a couple of years ago stuck in a lot of people's craws by implying that the local theater scene simply doesn't measure up and therefore isn't worth mentioning. Yep, Sharon Graci and Rodney Rogers won best actress/actor accolades, and rightfully so. They are phenomenal talents. But three years of Bill is a bit much, however swell he is and however much he gives back to the community. Bottom line, he doesn't act here; he acts elsewhere; and when he isn't acting in a film, he spends some of his time here. I really don't think I'm splitting hairs. I know you can't dictate the popular vote and I am by no means suggesting that you do, but this pattern does perhaps indicate that adjustments need to be made to the categories so that regular theater folk can get in on the action.
As to your protestation that this isn't the Academy Awards, I beg to differ. While it may be a lark to you, vying for the coveted "best" award, regardless of category, is not always a lighthearted romp to those under consideration. When the City Paper essentially puts its seal of approval on an establishment, directly, or in the case of a CP-sponsored "poll," indirectly, it is a very big deal, and one that can affect a business's fortunes, be it a restaurant, bar, theater, dry cleaner or street vendor. As to the issue of validation and tabulation of results, I would think that if this event is becoming larger every year, CP would want to assure its readership that the voting and tabulation procedures are verifiable.
For the record, Pat Conroy is one of my all-time favorite authors. In my opinion he's still pretty much local. Benton Frank is a legitimate pick as well. It really has nothing to do with either one being a successful, best-selling author. My concern is not celebrities beating out relative no-names, but rather, deserving locals who really do live and work here full-time getting their due. Is THAT really so wrong to expect?
So what I hope I made clear was that Bill Murray may have won this year, but that is because he was placed on the radar as the number 1 choice by the City Paper 2 years ago.
Well Bill may have won it this year, but the first year he won, no one voted for him. What I have heard from people that actually worked for City Paper that year is the actual local best actor winner got 2 phone calls that year. The first told him he won and the second said oops, sorry you didn't. The reason he didn't win...remember the Bill Murray Best of issue. Yeah, the local actor lost so the City Paper could do the Bill Murray theme. Oh and also of note I heard from current City Paper employees that Catherine Bell basically tied with a local actress and they went with Bell instead. So Stephanie who was the second place guy? and girl?
Interestingly, Colbert did not get a single vote in Best Local News Anchor (but Ron Burgundy got plenty). Colbert did get more votes than Bill Murray in the Best Local Comic category. Congrats to Dusty Slay for beating out some stiff (famous) competition.
best news anchor: Stephen Colbert
Two categories. Best Local Actor Who Is Bill Murray and Best Local Actor Who Is Not Bill Murray. Done. A vote for me is a vote for common sense. God bless you, and God bless America.
Oh dear. People. This is not the Academy Awards. I don't think we need to involve Price Waterhouse.
But I hear your complaints. We tweak our categories constantly in an effort to get people to vote for the people who (we think) deserve it. We stopped giving Pat Conroy best local author years ago, even though he still gets the most votes, because he hasn't lived here since he went to the Citadel. Dorothea Benton Frank is a part-time resident too, but a resident she is, and she's deserving, even if she is a famous best-selling author.
I think Best Local Stage Actor is a great idea, since that's how the category is intended. Sharon Graci has won multiple times. Best local celebrity is a good idea too, since we've got a good many of them wandering the streets.
We still do "local runners up," we just changed it this year to be "Best Local Blank" instead of "Best Blank, Local Runner Up." We felt like that was a better, more fitting designation.
In related news, it took nearly ten years for McDonald's not to win best fries.
This year, we had more than 6,000 votes, which means it usually goes to the most popular place in town or the places with the most locations or the guy who stars in blockbuster movies.
By the way, Bill Murray received more than 20 times the votes as the second place guy, without any CP votes. And, really, is it so wrong to want him to come to our party?
I vote to have a vote about hiring an independent auditing firm.
I completely agree with John Marcus. It's not about denying people their vote; it's about reestablishing this poll's legitimacy with an eye to getting people to take it a little more seriously. It used to be something of an honor. Now it mostly seems to be a rather glib, self-serving affair. Why is it so beneath City Paper to acknowledge artists, actors and musicians who actually work in this town? You could possibly make a case for Catherine Bell; technically, she plies her trade here. Bill Murray, not so much. Maybe a category for "most popular celebrity who happens to occasionally reside in Charleston and is part-owner of the local minor-league baseball team," but to anoint him best local actor, well, it diminishes the efforts of local artists. Perhaps the categories should be narrowed to best local stage actor/actress, best local theater, best improv theater, best Piccolo show, etc. (I loved "Wicked" but it's not local; nor for that matter is Spoleto.) As City Paper likes to think of itself as the preeminent arbiter of Charleston's arts and entertainment scene, I think it's time they reevaluate this thing and get back to the concept of dancin' with the one what brung you, instead of toadying to Bill Murray. (I note that there are no pics of Bill at the Best Of after-party, so I would gather that he declined CP's invitation.)
While we're on the subject of how things used to be, previous Best Of's listed runners up, or at least, honorable mentions. Maybe the "staff picks" are meant to supplant such data, but it's not the same thing. Coming in second, or even third, in a particularly competitive category (say, restaurants, bars, and yes, theater companies) isn't a badge of shame.
I also think it would be enlightening to know the vote tallies for the winners, regardless of category. For example, if a piercing studio -- I'm not picking on piercing studios; I simply see that someone posted something with regard to the winner of that category -- is deemed by popular vote to be "the best," and let's say fewer than five people voted, then I think there should be no conclusive winner listed, as such a minuscule universe hardly indicates overwhelming approbation.
Finally, ansempaul intimates above that Bill Murray was not actually the top vote-getter either of the times he won previously. Is this true? All the more reason that an independent auditing firm should tabulate the results to ensure that this poll is on the level. Beyond that, I would hope that City Paper's staff and their families are barred from voting.
Agree FCB. The review should be a best review if it is for a Best of Charleston. I have to defend our singers (more than a handful, with no more -maybe fewer- drunks than any other club). This is a real outlet for the talented and the pent-up singer. Karaoke Chris is top-billing all by himself. So, for a place that has been with it for over ten years, bring the heat, but bring yourself and your friends to have fun.
Best in area has to be Jack's in Ladson..
Do you think just once you could give a Karaoke review that mentions all of the people who can actually sing, instead of the handful of drunks who probably shouldn't?
There are plenty of very good singers in this town who do Karaoke because unlike musicians, they have "real jobs", and Karaoke is their only singing outlet.
Mike Daisey, you are a liar, who pawned off your lies on an exceptional journalist. You are not a story teller, you are a liar. Liar liar. Pants on fire.
Yet they can't afford a keyboard with a key that separates paragraphs.
"City Paper really needs to do an overhaul of the 'Best Of' categories so that it isn't a sham like it is every single year."
Because this whole "letting people vote" thing is so passe.
I'm sorry, was the award they created specifically for you not good enough?
Want to know who the real Best of Charleston are when it comes to LOCAL live theatre? Join us at the Woolfe Street Playhouse Sunday, August 25th for the first THEATRE CHARLESTON AWARDS. We can't wait to celebrate Charleston's incredibly talented theatre community!
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