The red carpet has been rolled away for another year, and the winners of last weekend’s BAFTAs will now be wondering where to place their trophies. In Olivia Colman’s case, she will be wondering what to do with the two that she won. Doorstops? Bookends?
The losers on the other hand will just have to imagine what their mantelpieces would look like with one on – unless of course they got completely drunk at the after show party and stole someone else’s. Naughty.
But what lessons can performers learn from this year’s BAFTAs? Plenty, in my opinion, and they can be broken down into three sections: before the ceremony, during the ceremony and after the ceremony. So, for what it’s worth, here’s my guide to good BAFTA behaviour.
You’ve won the award. It means you’re good. Embrace it. And enjoy the confidence boost. Yes, I’m talking to you, Sheridan Smith
Before the ceremony
Unless you’re Tom Cruise, don’t arrive last minute and spend ages signing autographs, thereby ignoring repeated calls from organisers to “take your seats in the auditorium as this evening’s ceremony is about to begin”. Yes, I am talking to you Ant and Dec. None of your peers will thank you that you arrived last just to make a point about how important you are – and everyone knows you were only parked up around the corner anyway, trying to delay your entrance as much as possible.
As much as it’s lovely that you then dart here, there and everywhere to sign autographs, try and remember that most of those people calling for your signature have already asked those ahead of you. They’ll only end up on eBay, or in the bin, anyway. So save your ink, get inside and let the awards begin.
During the ceremony
If you’re nominated for an award, the chances are you’re one of just four people up for that prize. If that is the case, the odds of you winning are pretty good and it might therefore be worth having some sort of speech prepared.
While you might think it’s more endearing to sit and shake uncontrollably when your name is announced, cover your mouth in disbelief, and then stumble on to the stage and swear a little before mumbling something about having nothing to say and that you can’t quite believe it – don’t. You’re an actor, improvise if need be, but try and say something coherent and genuine.
On a similar note, if you’re nominated but your name is not called, try and look pleased for the person or show that has actually won. Yes I’m talking to you, Michelle Collins. When EastEnders won the soap award last weekend, you looked a little displeased. You’re an actor – dig out one of your stock ‘I’m happy’ faces and smile away. No one likes a sour puss. Yes it is a shame that you used to be in EastEnders and so there was a time when you may have been up there collecting the award with last weekend’s winners. But you’re in Corrie now. Those days are gone, Collins. Grin and bear it.
After the ceremony
You’ve won the award. It means you’re good. Embrace it. And enjoy the confidence boost. Yes, I’m talking to you, Sheridan Smith. You often tweet about how insecure you’re feeling about your own capabilities as an actor, and about the fact you’ve not trained and that you sometimes feel a little out of your depth when you’re on set around those who have. Aside from the fact you were a member of the National Youth Music Theatre for many years, and you attended a dance school as a youngster (some will consider this a training), you’re clearly the lady of the moment, you’re in practically every TV drama and the theatre world can’t get enough of you. You’ve already won two Olivier awards, and last weekend you won a BAFTA for best actress. This means you’re good at what you do. So start believing it and stop with the insecure tweets. What was once endearing is now in danger of becoming a little irritating. And just a tad needy.