A survival guide for Oscar sprinters

Humor, and a quick massage, help to weather awards season

The cap gun has gone off. As of today, award season is no longer a marathon. It’s a sprint.

For anyone with a dog in the hunt, or credible kudos hopes (and you know who you are), weekends are officially canceled until after the Oscars on Feb. 27. Parties, receptions, dinners, screenings, Q&As, panels and photo ops are the new normal until early March.

To prepare for this acid test, many award season vets start by trying to make the most of the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Longtime strategist Tony Angellotti spent time last week in Yosemite (longer than he planned after getting snowed in) to recharge for the “crazy” that is January and February.

Yep, there’s no denying it: The Golden Globe Awards are around the corner (Jan. 16), followed by the gauntlet of guild fetes (PGA, DGA, SAG, WGA et al.) and the other important precursors to the Main Event.

Nobody will work harder to get their movies and clients to the Kodak Theater during the next eight weeks than top talent reps. How do they get through it?

“Try to be positive and maintain a good sense of humor,” says 42West’s Kelly Mullens. “Laughter is a necessity to maintain any sort of sanity.”

ID PR boss Kelly Bush emphasizes the importance of teamwork among her staff, and the need to stay healthy.

“You have to get enough sleep, avoid bad food and too much alcohol and try and squeeze in a workout or massage to give back to yourself as you go along,” Bush says.

One of the toughest lessons to impart, especially for first-time contenders, is how to win or lose gracefully. Bush advises clients that there’s much to be gained from the attention that comes with kudos traction.

“A performance just being talked about in this way is an excellent career boost and reminds directors, producers and studio execs that you are someone to be taken seriously,” she says. “The most important thing is to try and have fun and enjoy the moment and not take it too seriously.”

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