A Look at The Genesis AwardsPublished March 16, 2012
Kristin Davis at The Genesis Awards by Katerina Makris
Katerina Lorenzatos Makis had the chance to attend last year's Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of the United States. The awards pay tribute to media projects that expose and explore animal issues.
As a Greek-American girl growing up in the old-fashioned South, I was bred with a double dose of shyness when it comes to flirting. But watching actor Esai Morales schmooze with one fortunate fan at last year’s 25th Anniversary Genesis Awards ceremony nudged me over the edge of decorum.
As he caressed Phoebe Rose, a cute little pudge of a pug, I found myself mumbling, “Lucky dog.”
Esai, who joined the cast of NBC’s sci fi cop drama 17th Precinct, chuckled amiably in response. I blushed to about the shade of the Red Carpet under our feet.
Phoebe Rose, however, maintained her ladylike composure. For her, Esai was just another celebrity conquest—yawn—to mention in her star-stocked blog A Traveling Pug.
The Genesis Awards: Cruelty Can’t Stand the Spotlight
Phoebe Rose enjoyed plenty of schmoozing opportunities that night. As The Humane Society of the United States' answer to the Academy Awards, the gala event pays tribute to media projects that expose and explore animal issues.
Though it’s trés glam to rub elbows—or paws, as the case may be—with Genesis Awards celebs, the evening is not entirely for the faint of heart. After a luscious gourmet vegan dinner (chanterelle mushroom ravioli, tiramisu, and more) , the show features clips from nominated projects that often include disturbing scenes of animals’ desperate plight in the U.S. and around the world.
Every year I notice that some guests turn their heads away because they can’t bear to look. A few even scurry out of the banquet room in tears. I think I spotted Phoebe Rose curl her lip in a snarl at the sight of horrifying conditions at puppy mills.
But it’s that kind of unflinching truth in reporting and in dramatic portrayals that the Genesis Awards seek out and honor. They follow the immortal motto of the event’s late founder, Broadway star turned animal activist Gretchen Wyler: “Cruelty can’t stand the spotlight.”
To understand The Genesis Awards better and why celebrities show up to them, watch the video below:
The Genesis Awards: Behind the Scenes
After the show, watching Esai stroll away with beautiful Brazilian Elvimar Silva, I sighed wistfully but remembered why I’m so fond of the veteran actor. At the Genesis Awards after party a few years ago, my writing partner Shelley Frost and I caught up with him on the dance floor and asked if he’d do a blurb for our dog rescue guide book Your Adopted Dog.
First he kissed all four of our collective cheeks in warm Latin style, then after only a couple of weeks he read the book and promptly sent us an eloquent paragraph that included this passage: “The salvation, protection, or care of other sentient beings brings us much closer to our own humanity.”
To me that experience sums up the Genesis Awards behind the scenes: the chance to connect with fellow animal advocates, grieve about problems, celebrate successes, and forge relationships for further work on critters’ behalf.
And of course you might get a moment or two with luminaries like Esai. Or if you’re Phoebe Rose, an all-out massage right there on the Red Carpet.
“Eat your heart out,” you could almost hear the perky pug snort smugly over her shoulder at Elvimar.
Don’t some girls have all the luck?
The 26th annual Genesis Awards will take place on March 24th!