Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Getting the Gold

I held an Oscar award last night. It was heavier than I thought. I guess, though, really, I have never thought about heavy it would be, have never imagined I would really hold one. It's funny, this year, that I got to. It was just because a friend works for the company that produced The New Tenants, the fabulous short that won the Gold. But still. This year, more, maybe, than any other year, the Oscars gave me angst. I actually felt envious of the creative people that put these pieces together, less because they won than that they were even in the running, that they had completed something a whole host of pretty talented people held up in praise. Man, that must be nice.

I am in the midst of many projects, far from completing most of them. Beginnings, middles, even endings are hard. It is challenging to push past the hurdles at every stage, the ones that often seem insurmountable. They aren't, of course, they just feel that way. But watching the Academy Awards this year, I realized how many people actually see projects to completion, how hard so many people are working to push past their anxiety and all the problems that collaboration can bring. They all deserve gold just for that. I thought next year I should push my way onto the red carpet, past the paparazzi, and give out gold stars to everyone. Wouldn't that be nice? It must be really hard to get out of those limos into the limelight, to walk down the carpet and be besieged or ignored, both have their pluses and minuses. All the money in the world does not guarantee you look great, 'cause so much of looking great is about feeling great and I imagine that is a challenge under so much pressure.

That said, I'd like to be there someday, maybe giving out gold stars, maybe receiving a Gold statue, either way. It is amazing to behold all the creative talent that has to get pooled to make these projects happen, how many people have to work for free in the hopes that winning such a prestigious award might get them noticed and, hence, paid. Of course, there are so many stars that make the big bucks already, that get paid handsomely for their work. But the crews that they work with are usually full of people getting their first shot, people who were pulled out of obscurity and offered a shot at fame and fortune.

I think my favorite acceptance speech was Jeff Bridges'. Always seeming totally stoned, Mr. Bridges appears completely genuine with his amazing blue eyes and with his words. We made fun of him for adding, "Man..." to everything but I feel like that is what I would do. It must just be so powerful to get the opportunity to thank so many people who have surrounded you for a special, award-winning project, to let the whole world know what that might be like. At one point, he thanked the director of the film, "for giving us all the self-confidence we needed to do what we do..." The quote might not be exact, it should probably be paraphrased but that I don't think paraphrasing is as powerful. I loved that he said that, though. It goes exactly at the point of why I feel giving out gold stars to those on the red carpet is important: even if you're very, very talented, even if you're very, very, rich, even if you're very, very famous, Man, it feels really really nice for someone to tell you how awesome you are. It's not just nice, though. Man, it's necessary. Someday I'd love to give Mr. Bridges a big gold star. I can just picture his mirthful eyes receiving it gratefully. He needs it as much as the rest of us, even though he has a big, heavy gold statue on his mantle.

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