On May 1, Outstanding Supporting Actor winner Sean Blakemore (ex-Shawn, GH) had just landed in L.A. from Atlanta, where he was shooting DEVIOUS MAIDS, when the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmys began. “I was waiting for my luggage and I thought, ‘Well, I may or not win; maybe I should say something to Vinessa [Antoine, Jordan],’ because I knew she was going to accept it for me if I won,” the actor says. “So I texted her an idea and she was like, ‘It’s happening! They’re presenting the award!’ So I started to make my way home and I started getting the calls telling me that I won. I was like, ‘Whoa — what? Are you kidding me? Oh, my gosh!’ It was just so amazing. I really felt like, ‘Did you just say what I think you said?’ It was just, ‘Wow. Unbelievable.’ ”
Blakemore hadn’t planned on attending GH’s after party. “I was just exhausted. I needed to get home; I hadn’t seen my family. My whole mentality was, ‘I’m going home.’ But everyone kept calling and Vinessa kept taking pictures of the award, saying, ‘I’m protecting it for you!’ and, ‘Come get it!’ Now, I am very committed to my family, but I said, ‘This is a rare moment in life,’ and I decided to go. I went home, hugged and loved and laughed and played and had the chance to put my daughter [Jersey Nariah, 3] down for the night, threw something on so I could come out and say hello to everyone and receive the award and just really take it in. And I did!”
When he walked into Executive Producer Frank Valentini’s bash at The Argyle Hollywood, which was already in full swing, the reception was “huge,” Blakemore grins. “Like I just won! Everyone was applauding and cheering and I got hugs galore. Everyone gave me individual congratulations and handshakes and what was so beautiful was that every single person was genuine. You can see through b.s. and it was so genuine. It was wonderful. I got the second wave of excitement.”
Still, having the award in hand didn’t help his victory sink in, the actor reports. “Not at all! I’ve been going nonstop these past few months, working on different projects and in and out of town in different time zones and prepping for the next time I shoot, and I just felt disbelief. It was an unbelievable moment. I was excited, but I felt like I had to sit down for a second! Listen, coming from where I come from…. My mom was married, and her ex left her at the age of 25 to raise 7 kids on her own. I grew up where I did, in extreme poverty, with a strong, incredible mother who taught us elegance, respect, self-respect, to have pride. She taught us, ‘You may not have much, but take care of what you have.’ She taught us about proper presentation, speaking with proper diction, keeping your head up high, working hard, keeping a proper perspective and being positive and strong. So I look at my mom doing all that at such a young age, raising 7 kids who were all close in age, andwherever we were, it was a positive environment because of our mother. She was the backbone, our voice, our protector, our love, our healer, our comfort, our encourager. She was our everything, and she taught us at a very early age to be self-proficient, because we had to be. So, just growing up like that, you step outside in your neighborhood, in our broken society, you don’t think these things exist or that it’s possible.
You don’t dream about something you’re not aware of! So, to win an award like this, I say, ‘It’s possible.’ ” He is savoring his victory with help from little Jersey and wife Nadyia. He even released a rare picture of his little girl congratulating her daddy on his win. “I don’t share photos of her; I remain very private. But I had a burst when my wife caught that moment organically. My daughter and I are all very close and she was so excited and it was such an amazing moment that she was sharing with me and I felt like, ‘I have to share this, to honor the reason I’m so excited.’ I am a very fortunate man.”
The following day, Blakemore got to spend some time with fellow nominee Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) when they appeared on THE TALK. “He was so great about it. Before we went out for THE TALK, we were in our individual [dressing] rooms, he knocked on my door really hard, like he was the police, just being stupid [laughs]. I opened the door and he said, ‘Man, I’m glad at least I lost to you!’ He was so gracious in saying, ‘I lost to someone good,’ and I took that as a huge compliment.”