IMAGE AWARDS DAY 3: A Day of Reflection

January 28, 2013 in Jim's Journal


The 2013 NAACP Image Awards Nominees Luncheon

Jim with Best Actress nominee, Loretta Devine

I remember watching Howard Cosell interviewing Muhammad Ali, during the 1970s, after one of his fights on his comeback trail. Even though Ali won the fight decisively, Cosell, during the interview said, “Champ, you’re not the man you used to be.” In typical Ali fashion he quipped right back, “Howard, if I asked your wife, she would probably say you’re not the man you used to be.” Well, today I was reminded that I am not the man I used to be. After a full day and evening of networking, “working the room” and being “on,” I was exhausted! Tired! Call it jetlag, picture-taking fatigue or “first-day drained,” I was moving around in slowwwww motion all day. I’m so glad that we had a timeout today. There were no NAACP Image Awards events planned. I chilled and relaxed, relaxed and chilled.

The 2013 NAACP Image Awards Nominees Luncheon

Jim Smith, Jr. & Tatyana Ali

Actually, I spent the greater part of the day still reminiscing about Saturday’s luncheon. It was the combination of class, celebrity, excitement and exhilaration. Everyone appeared thrilled to be taking part in the festivities. We sat at a table sponsored by Hilton Worldwide and their representatives were phenomenal. We had a good time getting to know each other. They were extremely kind and thoughtful, congratulating me several times for nomination.

I smiled when I reflected on Tatyana Ali, Jackee Harry, Craig Robinson and Yvette Nicole Brown lighting up the karaoke stage with the famous songs, Midnight Train to Georgia, Solid as a Rock and I Will Survive. I wish I could do a “do-over.” I would have joined Tatyana on stage as she did her best Gladys Knight. I would have been a pretty cool Pip. And when they were looking for someone to sing Rapper’s Delight, I wish that I would have sprinted to the stage and took the microphone from the celebrity. No excuses! I chose to be a spectator, something I very seldom do. Singing at the top of my lungs (yes, I know every word to the song) at my seat was a weak consolation prize. I hope that my “dance like nobody’s watching” club members will forgive me.

The 2013 NAACP Image Awards Nominees Luncheon

Jackee Harry sings karaoke

Toward the end of the luncheon, I remember sitting in my chair, caught up in the moment, staring at all the happiness and talent in the room. I mentally moved away for a few minutes and said a prayer, thanking God for creating this incredible opportunity for me.

Today, my day of rest did include some business though. I arranged to meet Beth Rutter (who lives in the California area) to discuss her joining the JIMPACT team. Beth, who I met through my Discover Leadership ties, would make an incredible addition to the family, helping to head up our sales and marketing efforts. Our lunchtime meeting went extremely well. We’ll be talking again to tie up loose ends.

Marena Ariffin, Beth Rutter & Jim Smith, Jr.

Marena Ariffin, Beth Rutter & Jim Smith, Jr.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing and planning for the rest of the week. After some shopping tomorrow and finding a tuxedo for Friday’s Black Tie nationally televised Awards night, I will be jumping on a plane to Santa Rosa for two days of JIMPACTing (i.e., high energy presentation skills with Medtronic, Inc.). Marena will attend the 9th Annual NAACP Hollywood Bureau Symposium at the Museum of Tolerance on Tuesday night and I will join her Wednesday night at the Feature Film Night Reception & Screening (at the Creative Arts Agency).

Something tells me that this entire experience will be a keepsake. Thank you God! I am savoring every second. Like I said earlier, I feel like I already won. Anything else is gravy. Oh, don’t get me wrong – I love gravy too.


  • 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