Exclusive: Mayim Bialik on Learning of Her Second Consecutive Emmy Nomination – Kveller
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Exclusive: Mayim Bialik on Learning of Her Second Consecutive Emmy Nomination

Oh my goodness. I got nominated for another Emmy. Whaaaa?!

I am as shocked as if you told me that Chuck Lorre had been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Emmy. Why am I so shocked? I don’t know; I’ll ask my therapist. I just am! I was certain I would not be nominated.

Here’s how it all shook down. This past week, my boys and I were staying at my mother-in-law’s house in San Jose. Yes, I’m divorced, but I can’t call her my “ex mother-in-law.” It sounds too weird and we love each other and love the boys and it’s all so good and fine and it was a great week. So that’s that.

I knew Emmy nominations were being announced and of course my BFF who is in Israel for six weeks remembered, because she woke me at 5:30 a.m. with a phone call from atop some citadel in the middle of Israel whispering, “Did you get nominated?” I disentangled myself from my sleeping boys and whispered back, “I don’t know!”

I started cruising the internet to discover that the announcements had actually just begun. I debated watching the announcements streaming live on my phone but felt too pathetic to do so, since I was so certain I wasn’t being nominated and it just seemed it would be too darn sad to not hear my name called, even though I had convinced myself it wouldn’t be; I guess there is always a shred of the human spirit that wants to triumph against cognitive reasoning!

I kept hitting “refresh” on the Google page for “Emmy nominations 2013” and waited. And waited. In the darkness of my mother-in-law’s living room. Ten minutes passed. Fifteen minutes. At 20 minutes, I admitted defeat and decided that if I had not heard from my publicist Heather (of the fantastic Much & House PR firm!) by now, it was over. I googled a list of nominees and scrolled down, and down, and down… As I got to the last nominees (my category), the phone rang. It was Heather. I figured she was calling to console me. Or perhaps to tell me if our show got nominated.

“Hiiiiii,” she crooned.

“Hi?” I responded. Like a question. “Hi?”

“Happy Emmy nomination,” she crooned again.

“Me? Nooooooo. You’re lying.”

“I’m not!” she shouted.

I think my eyes welled up but I didn’t cry. I literally could not believe it. She told me Jim Parsons and our show were also nominated. I was in shock. She asked how soon I could start phone calls with the press. I said I need to get my boys up, so give me an hour. Then I stepped on something wet. Ick, I thought, must be one of the cats’ hairballs or other such cat throw up.

I got off the phone with her in order to email my BFF in Israel, and I shined my HTC’s screen on the source of moistness below. It was a dead baby bird. In two separate pieces or rather chunks. I am telling myself I stepped on the feather part and not the skeleton/guts part and I don’t need anyone even intimating otherwise. I wiped off my foot. I shivered. And then my day as an Emmy nominee began.

I saw a canister of Pringles on the kitchen table. Plain flavor. Eating them seemed like a darn good idea. My mother-in-law had clearly gotten into them the previous night because, like her son (my ex), she had eaten all but four chips. I think this is so she can say to herself and me, “I didn’t finish them!” I snickered and ate the last four chips happily, thinking, “This is how I am celebrating my Emmy nomination and I am very content right now.”

I answered Jim Parsons’ glowing email–he was the first to contact me!–and took some calls from Peter Roth (my Warner Brother boss) and my agents and manager and answered texts from my friends who were awake. Fancy Assistant Brandon was clearly sleeping in because he didn’t text me to offer to help with the press demands but I managed to remember to call all of the people Heather had me call. Here’s my official statement:

I am legitimately in shock and beyond honored to be nominated for the second year in a row alongside the inspirational Jim Parsons and our fantastically written show. I can’t begin to express how shocked I am to be nominated with such an impressive group of women. Wow. Now I have to find a dress.

Here’s my favorite article about me and Jim’s nomination.

My boys woke up about a half hour after all of this shook down, and I told my older son I got nominated and his eyes just about bugged out of his head. He repeated my words in a whisper, as if repeating a secret incantation: “Whaaaat? You got nominated?? Can I tell Safta?!” It’s only very recently that I explained to him that as an actor, we get nominated for an award and that’s called the Emmys. He woke his Safta and told her and she was groggy but very excited. Then, just to really seal the morning, I told her about the dead baby bird, but I told her I covered it with some tissues and that there was no rush in cleaning it up (Heck if I’m cleaning that up; I can’t even handle a dead slug!).

I made my calls as Heather instructed me to, and I spoke to my parents. My mom was crying. She tried to stop but failed.

Then my beloved younger son had a series of total freak-outs over literally everything in the Universe: not enough toys to play with, his brother playing with what he wanted to, his Playmobil police man not fitting into the Fischer Price helicopter without being all “loosey goosey” (which he pronounces “woozy goosey” so that’s super cute)… He had a variety of other meltdowns all morning until we left for the airport. It was stellar. I had a good deal of patience, but I also felt like my head was in a gazillion places and I couldn’t gauge if I was under-reacting or overreacting at any given impasse. I decided we should pack up and leave the house which was the source of all of the toy madness and meltdowns.

On the way to the airport, I insisted my mother-in-law drive me to Psycho Doughnuts, a crazy and sort of politically incorrect doughnut place that makes “crazy” doughnuts, including vegan choices. The women working there dress like nurses and at one location there is a “padded room” you can take pictures in. Kind of psycho, right? Anyway, I got two doughnuts –one with Oreos and thick white and blue icing on top and the other with Rice Krispies and peanut butter and chocolate–and the boys and I split them. I would have had a celebratory Coke with my doughnut, but they only had Pepsi. No can do.

I flew home, I answered lots of sweet emails and texts, and I returned to normal life. I fed the cats, sorted the laundry, and opened the mail. In the mail was a $0.17 residuals check for “Don’t Drink the Water,” the Woody Allen TV movie I did for CBS when I was 18. At that time, working with Woody Allen was my only career goal, and I was beyond honored to work with him.

Almost 20 years later, I am contemplating my second Emmy nomination, wondering why I still can’t believe I am worthy of such an honor, and gratefully cashing that check for $0.17. Because you never know how things will turn out. And you can never be too humble.

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 38a) tells us to carry two pieces of paper, one in each pocket. One says, “For me the entire world was created.” The other says the words of Abraham Avinu, “I am but dust and ashes.”

You just never know.

Thank you for all of your support and love. I hope to be worthy of it.

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