Image Awards Day 2: Red Carpet 101 at the Nominees Luncheon

January 27, 2013 in Jim's Journal


Jim Smith, Jr. on his first red carpet

Jim Smith, Jr. on his first red carpet

Pinch me! No, that’s ok. Don’t wake me up. Let me continue to enjoy this dream. I think I could get used to this. Today’s NAACP Image Awards highlight was the Nominees’ luncheon at the Beverly Hills Montage Hotel. The event was scheduled to begin at 11:30 am but the party could have gone on all night.

Marena and I arrived around 10:45 am and immediately realized that this wasn’t going to be your typical luncheon at your typical hotel. The ambiance was phenomenal. The energy was electric and the anticipation was contagious. Limousine after limousine pulled up to the front door to let fashionably dressed attendees out to join the fun. We took myriad pictures, wanting to capture every second and every smile.

The 2013 NAACP Image Awards Nominees Luncheon

Jim Smith, Jr. meets the press

Upon reaching the registration table and being told where to go next, we headed upstairs to the reception/greeting area. I was handed a piece of paper that read “Jim Smith, Jr. Nominated for the book The No Excuse Guide to Success: No Matter What Your Boss or Life Throws at You (Literary Instructional Category)” printed on it. I quickly learned that this same piece of paper was my ticket to enter the luncheon, by first walking the red carpet. I knew this week included red carpet walking, but I thought it was going to be on February 1st, the televised awards night.

The 2013 NAACP Image Awards Nominees Luncheon

Jim Smith, Jr. with rapper, Common

Rather than jumping right in, like I had been here before, I watched several others move across the carpet to see how it was done. Immediately before me Keith Merryman and David A. Newman (writers for Think Like a Man) took their turn. I reflected on all of my “red carpet research” and decided that it was my time. The walk could take anywhere between 20 seconds or 20 minutes depending on your poise, savvy, celebrity status or swag.

The 2013 NAACP Image Awards Nominees Luncheon

Jim Smith, Jr. with Yvette Nicole Brown

I took two steps and just stopped. I stared at the plethora of photographers and interviewers and just smiled. My goal was to make them think that I was somebody BIG – that I had a Ph.D. in “redcarpet-ology.” It worked! The cameras flashed and flashed. A few people called out my name, “Jim, over here…turn this way.” “This is so cool,” I thought to myself. Sixty-five minutes later, only joking, I began conducting interviews with the reporters. Actually, I did work the carpet for a good 20 minutes, enjoying the interviews and the accolades. After I was finished I wanted to do it again. I was hooked.

Kareem Abdul Jabar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Next, I decided to be a spectator. I stood on the side and watched the others who strolled the carpet after me. Hall of Fame basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, rapper Common, Tatyana Ali (Nominee: Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – Love That Girl!) and Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community” on NBC) all worked the carpet like veterans. The event was just getting started. We were then encouraged to move to the ballroom for lunch. Oh, before that, in semi-groupie fashion, I posed for a number of photos with my favorite celebrities.

The 2013 NAACP Image Awards Nominees Luncheon

Tatyana Ali

Lunch was filled with great food, laughter, karaoke, presentations and more photos. I received my certificate for my nomination and continued to rub elbows and exchange compliments and smiles with the other attendees. Just before the luncheon ended we took a group photo. Yes, when I return home it will be framed and hung, joining the other pictures, diplomas and plaques on my “Magical Moments” wall.

As Marena and I headed out I just kept thinking, “Wow, this is only Saturday. We have six more days to go. Can it get any better?”


  • SEE DAY 1: On My Way to the NAACP Image Awards
  • SEE DAY 2: Red Carpet 101 at the Nominees Luncheon
  • SEE DAY 3: A Day of Reflection
  • SEE DAY 4: When You Do What You Love Magical Things Happen
  • SEE DAY 5: Our Best Is Yet To Come!
  • SEE DAY 6: Dream Week Continues With CAA Screening Party
  • SEE DAY 7: Runways and Red Carpets Amp Up the Excitement
  • SEE DAY 8: My Night At The 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards Show
  • WATCH VIDEO: My personal thank-you note for all of your support and love this week
  • MORE PHOTOS: See the Photo Gallery from my Awards Week in LA



The 2013 NAACP Image Awards Nominees Luncheon

The 2013 NAACP Image Awards Nominees Luncheon