How about this for a surprise birthday party idea? On your birthday, ask all your friends over and then give out awards to the ones you think really “kicked ass” in the last year! So it’s the guests that get surprised, not the birthday boy or girl. Well, that’s exactly what my friend Spike Gillespie started doing about a decade ago and now it’s an Austin tradition called the “Kick Ass Awards“.
This year’s ceremony, January 9, 2009, was graciously hosted by the Austinist and BookPeople. I don’t know where I’ve been, but this was the first time I had attended a Kick Ass event. The highlights for me were:
- My friend Marla Camp winning an award for the great work she’s done promoting the local food community. (This smart cookie started Edible Austin.)
- Jodi Egerton presenting an award while breastfeeding her son Oscar! (Not surprisingly, the award was going to GB Khalsa, her midwife, who wasn’t there because she was busy delivering a baby.)
- The groovy band Horses with Horns. (Their lead singer is 7 years old!)
- The most unusual Happy Birthday rendition I’ve ever seen, played on a theremin by Robert Mace. (Video below.)
I wanted to write a short post including a list of all the winners complete with hyperlinks to where you could find out more about them. After I got the names of the recipients however, I realized this wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. Many of these incredibly cool, creative and inspirational people have no online profiles or websites, that I could find anyway. I guess it’s no surprise that some people don’t spend a ton of time on the “internets.” They are busy experiencing life in 3D and perhaps haven’t really given much thought to online social networking. But as any good social media therapist will tell you, it’s extremely important to have an online presence, a public Linkedin profile at the very least. I’m jussayin’.
Below is the list of the 2009 Austin Kick Ass Award recipients in the order the awards were given. I linked each person, as best I could, based on what I could google up about them. All of these winners should really have a post of their own, as I have no doubt that each of them is involved with some interesting project at this very moment.
- Craig McCullough, author “I’m an idiot”, writer and editor at the Austinist
- Allen Chen, editor and publisher of the Austinist
- Rudy Ramirez, writer, director, performer, activist and funny guy
- Audrey Maker, political activist, burlesque dancer, Burlesque the Vote!
- Marla Camp, editor and publisher of Edible Austin
- GB Khalsa, midwife and yoga instructor Yoga Yoga
- Madge Darlington, artistic director Rude Mechanicals
- Margaret Moser, writer for the Austin Chronicle
- Stephen Moser, writer for the Austin Chronicle
- Garreth Wilcock and Mary J. Baird-Wilcock, a.k.a. Team Wilcock
- Peg McCoy, owner of Farm to Market grocery
- Laura Lane, actor, comedian, assistant professor of theater at TSU.
- Barbara Chisholm, actor Zachery Scott, writer for the Austin Chronicle
- David Zuniga, buddhist monk, managing director of Hospice Austin
- Cathey Capers, Bread for the Journey Austin chapter
- Susan Van Haitsma, makingpeace, writer for the Statesman
- Bob Dailey, Aids Services of Austin
- Owen Egerton, author “How best to avoid dying“, comedian, DadLabs
- Les McGehee, comedian, entrepreneur, author “Plays Well With Others“
- Deltina Hay, publisher Dalton Publishing
- Jodi Egerton, Ph.D, asst. professor at St. Edwards University, comedian
- Debra Broz, mixed media artist, manager/advocate of the Pump Project
- Anderson Mills, Austin’s favorite Belgian, Ph.D, Burning Man party guy
- Seabrook Jones, video director and photographer
- Ken Webster, artistic director of Hyde Park Theatre
BTW, the award for the best online profile of a 2009 Kick Ass Award recipient goes to……. Owen Egerton! Of all those listed, he’s the one who least needs a Social Media Therapist. :)