Will there be a “Hidden Fences” gaffe? A cute Sunny and Dev moment? Velvet suits? Maybe.
Comparing the Arts Council for Monterey County’s Champions of the Arts gala with the Golden Globes doesn’t convey what makes either event special.
But they share some likeness: creative folk being recognized for excellence, acceptance speeches for golden awards, a select audience of colleagues.
Two of the several people being recognized this year are Melissa Chin-Parker, for luminary, and Alan Silvestri, for lifetime achievement.
Chin-Parker of Salinas first acted at The Western Stage in 1987, joined its staff in 1994 as a teacher and program manager, and has been its artistic program director since 2001.
She says she’s always loved and done many forms of art since childhood – including vocal and instrumental music, dance, drawing and painting – but in theater she got to do them all.
“I love telling stories, I love hearing others’ stories,” she says. “What’s most powerful about theater is it’s not a solitary pursuit. You’re working with so many different people. It becomes something more than what you set out to do.”
Silvestri has scored all of Robert Zemeckis’ films since 1984’s Romancing the Stone, including the Back to the Future series and Forrest Gump, but he’s shared his musical talents with other directors on Predator, The Bodyguard, Parent Trap, The Abyss and The Avengers.
And he does it from his home in Carmel, where he’s lived for 28 years.
“All of the work is done sitting at a desk, or at a piano in a room, by myself,” he says. “Other than the times when I record with a symphony orchestra, all the work is done in a room.”
He says that he’s mentored local young people, kids of friends or neighbors, who have aspirations to enter the world of music. And a few years ago he and Clint Eastwood conveyed an honorary doctorate to Diana Krall at the Monterey Jazz Festival. But he says he and his wife, a founder of the Monterey branch of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, live a “very soft, quiet life.”
“The most courage we all need is the courage to face ourselves,” he says. “When we see someone who does something that we aspire to so well, for me I start to self-doubt. Being in a room full of people who face this on a daily basis will be very helpful to me personally.”
Alan Silvestri still has self doubt?
“I absolutely do,” he laughs.