Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Tony Award® Trophy
One of the cool things about a Tony Trophy is that  the medallion itself is engraved. On one side it has the logo crest of the comedy and tragedy masks, the other side is engraved with the name of the award and the person/show it was awarded to.  It is the only award that is actually engraved.  An Oscar for example is the figurine  on a stand with a name plate engraved on its stand. The Oscar itself is not unique except for the name plate. 

The Tony®Award is mounted on a semi circular frame on a black stand that allows both sides of the trophy to be displayed. So it spins on the frame. It is the ultimate temptation for an Attention Deficit Adult like myself who is also a superstitious romantic.  Since I got the Tony Award® I have taken to the practice of spinning it on its frame for good luck.  As you might imagine I have needed a lot of luck in recent years.

This obsessive compulsive tendency has caused the frame to loosen on the stand. It reached critical mass recently and the entire frame and medallion began to wobble. There seemed to me no way to tighten it back up.  
I think one can send it back to the American Theatre Wing and get it repaired, but that seemed like a big hassle and it would mean that I would not have the Trophy for a few weeks.  If you were me you would think, "there goes my chance at good luck for a few weeks". I set out to see if there was anything I could do to fix it myself.
Lest you think that I am an novice at performing delicate repairs, let it be known that I have done such surgery on various puppets in the past. How difficult could a static trophy be compared to the clock works inside a vent puppet head?
The first problem I encountered is the type of screws attaching the base. They are not a standard screw head, in fact it requires a square tool. It needed a screw driver with a square point. I was sure that such a tool existed but did not own one.
To find such a tool I took an impression of the hole with silly puddy. I find that silly puddy is good for many things and I am never without. Using this impression of the head of the screw I went to the hardware store to see if I could match it.  After looking a long time and asking several "helpers" about the tool, I finally found what I thought would work.  Had it not been the right tool this blog entry would be filled with expletives. 
Using that square tool I was able to open the bottom of the stand to discover that the frame is held on by a "nut and screw shaft".  There is no way to tighten the frame unless you open up the bottom this way.  It was not difficult and the repair was done.
However, the stand is actually hollow, an enclosed box hiding the nut and bolt. This proved too tempting for me not to do something with.  My solution was to find an original playbill from Broadway, and take the credit page and the front cover off.  With a couple of folds the two sheets of paper slid nicely into the secret box. I closed it up with my new special tool and the trophy is as good as the night I got the Tony Award®.
I can't imagine that anyone will ever open it up to find the hidden playbill. The medallion is the prize the base is standard to all Tonys. However, some day it may be discovered and it will be the documentation to the show that actually won the award.  That makes it one of a kind in very many ways.
I started to film the repair and post it on YouTube under the title, "How to Repair a Tony Award®" but I did not think the American Theatre Wing would approve. 
Now you know the secret.  Mum is the word.
As you were,


P. Grecian said...

Wonderful! That's just the sort of "secret treasure" thing I'd do, too!
(It is thrilling to know that you have a Tony, and an additional thrill to know that it has a secret compartment. Ventriloquist archaeologists of the far flung future will be so grateful!)

I have an Emmy. It doesn't FEEL like the base is hollow...but I wonder. If I take this screw driver and just...

BarryF said...

Jay I love thinking that some day it will be opened and your treasure will be discovered. Great story, as usual.