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I'm an Emmy Award Winning meteorologist at Fox 61 in Hartford. For the latest forecast updates (and fun stuff too, like food and family pics), please follow me on Facebook, twitter and instagram. I look forward to interacting with you there!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I Won My First Emmy!
I’m officially an Emmy Award Winning Meteorologist! I love the sound of that! I randomly see the golden statue or think about the Emmy and squeak like a mouse because I’m so happy, excited and proud of myself.
The official title of my award is “On Camera Talent Anchor-Weather”. To enter, you need to submit a composite. I submitted two full forecasts. One weathercast was blizzard coverage (plenty of those to choose from this year). The other was a normal summer forecast complete with the “Frizz Factor” and an explanation of the term “dog days of summer”.
I don’t think anyone understands how shocked I am. I’m normally very critical of myself. 95% of the time I finish a weathercast and say, “eh, I could’ve done better.” In January every ounce of my energy went into forecasting. I didn’t sleep or have a minute to myself. Then I would agonize about missing the forecast by an inch or two. I would think “I’m not cut out for this job. I might die 10 years sooner from stress.”
But all the stress and insecurities leaked out of me in that moment that I heard my name announced at the 2011 Boston/New England Emmy Awards.
May 14, 2011-The Emmy Award Ceremony
When my sister Jade told me she wanted to come with me to the ceremony/dinner, I told her she would be bored. This was my first nomination so I didn’t know what to expect. But everyone said it was a long night, two hours away (Quincy, MA). The nominees in my categories are Boston legends. Harvey Leonard has been on the air in Beantown for 25 years. He has two Emmys. Another nominee, Mike Wankum has ten golden statues. Everyone in Boston knows his name. Jeremy Reiner and four time Emmy nominated Cyndy Fitzgibbon are outstanding meteorologists in one of the best markets in the country. I gave myself 10% odds of winning. But my sister wanted to come and I was happy to have her.
I presented the first Emmy awards of the night with FOX CT Morning News Anchor Sarah French! I was stiff and nervous talking in front of the room of anxious people. Luckily, I shot most of my nerves on stage so I wasn’t thinking about my category for the first half of the night. My category was one of the last.
FOX CT started raking in the awards. Jim Altman pulled in FOUR Emmys! It was amazing to see Sarah French sit there in shock when they announced her Emmy Award for the series “Make A Wish Mondays”. I was so happy for them and proud to work with such talented people. But towards the end, I started feeling waves of nervous energy. When that happened I would tell myself “look, you can always enter again next year”. I was already talking myself off the cliff!
The seven minutes before my award were a blur. “Are you O.K.?” My sister asked, concerned as I stared into space with a glazed look.
FINALLY! My category was up next. “Let’s just get this over with,” I thought to myself. I squeezed my sister’s leg and clenched my jaw. The presenters announced the list of nominees. “And the Emmy goes to…..” Why did the silence feel so much longer for my award!? Come on already!! “Ra…” Were they about to say my name? Sounds like the start of my name. Must be my imagination.
“RACHEL FRANK!” My sister screamed like a little girl screams when she sees a bug. The whole FOX section was cheering. (We had three tables). I sat there processing what had just happened with tears filling my eyes. Was I about to cry? My hands were shaking, my heart was pounding and I felt like I was drunk. Was this real!? I raced up the stage. Crap, what would I say? It’s not like I expected to win!
First, I thanked FOX for letting me be myself on TV, even though “I can be weird sometimes”. I also thanked my sister Jade, making a joke about how she was complaining about the long drive all night. I threw the award up in the air and said “Jade, I hope this makes up for it.” I should’ve given a shout out to the nominees. Instead I babbled about not knowing what else to say and repeated the words “thank you” over and over again.
The award they hand you is a dummy. The real deal sits in a box with satin lining in an adjacent room. I just leaned on the table with the Emmy, needing a moment to catch my breath. Tears filled up my eyes again and my face hurt from smiling so much. I made my way to the media wall and opened the black box for the first time. I pulled out the Emmy. It was heavy! Maybe eight pounds? It said my name on it! I was in la la land. “Are you ready?” the photographer had been waiting for me. “What’s your award for, Miss?” “The weather,” I said proudly. “I’m a meteorologist.”