Sometimes I think I hate the Oscars. I know! How can I say that? I think I might hate the Oscars because I don’t have one. I remember watching the Oscars at home in South Africa and thinking how amazing they are. How inspiring. Listening to all those acceptance speeches and thinking “See, dreams can come true.” I was indeed one of those girls with hairbrush or shampoo bottle practicing my acceptance speech for hours on end. I never really got further than “ I would like to thank my Mum and Dad,” and then rattling off all the friends I’d promised to thank when I won one day. Honestly, how intense must that moment be? Imagine you forget one person, THE person who actually made it happen for you? The Agent who made the call to get you in the room. The Exec Producer who convinced the table to give you another call back. The Editor who decided to make your performance Oscar worthy. Talk about pressure.
That’s a beautiful thing you learn in theatre. The etiquette of saying “thank you” to your backstage crew. You are reminded every night that without the sound and lighting, the wardrobe and dressers throwing costumes on your dance skinned mic belted body in 25 seconds, the barely audible stage manager giving you your beginners call over the muffled tannoy and the backstage crew tightening you into a bulky harness as you prepare for your grand entrance as a flying vampire, (true story,) your performance would actually be you, late, in the dark and mute. It’s a team effort. Even when you’re a star. So I’ll be dammed if the start that dull underscore when I’m doing my acceptance speech one day. Theatre actors know how to project dammit.
So tonight whilst contemplating this over my salmon nigiri at my local sushi haunt on Wilshire, the coverage of the 2014 Academy Awards popped on the telly. There in all her glory was the very talented and well deserving winner of Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o. I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with her, as I do with Jennifer Lawrence. Based on complete mad envy of course. Seriously, every and up- and- coming actress in Hollywood must feel a slight irritation. It’s human. Isn’t it? Unless they are professing to be permanently gracious of spirit, respecting each other’s individual journeys and knowing that positive thinking and vision boards will create the vortex for opportunity. Yes, we all want to be good, giving “glass half full” people all the time, and I’m not saying that I don’t believe in that…to a point. I spout all that sanctimonious shit regularly. But ultimately I WANNA BE HER. If that’s wrong, so be it, but it’s “my truth” oh wise yogi. I say that with my heart chakra facing firmly upwards to the universe whilst drinking my Green juice and contemplating my naval in the cobra position.” I mean, she’s just out of Yale, no representation at the time, 26 wins & 15 nominations, and it’s her first big Hollywood movie. So here comes the fate vs. forge your own destiny argument.
Yes, there are those who are just damn lucky. The perfect part, at the perfect time. All the stars align. Talent with the beauty of karma and spiritual flow, unite. Yay them.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the fact that it can be done. That people continue to achieve the impossible “American Dream,” and validate that no matter where you come from, your dreams hold meaning. So I suppose I have a love/hate relationship with the Oscars too. I suppose when my moment comes (and it will dammit,) I will wonder what all the fuss is about. I mean, after that’s done, will that be enough? Will that be my moment to say “Now I can start living.” Well what the hell have I wasted so much time chasing this for? Half my life has gone chasing a man. A little golden man. To prove I am good at what I love to do. To have them say “Yes, you are good enough.” God! What is it with me and needing strong male affirmation!
Which begs the question. What is the ultimate goal here? Truthfully. I think the lesson might be not to put your life on hold whilst aiming higher. Take that holiday. See your family for Christmas, go to your best friends wedding overseas, organize that baby shower. This makes you a whole person. Otherwise who do you really thank at the Oscars? You are not “missing out,” you are living! The work will always be there. I suppose what will be will be, and ultimately everyone has their own journey indeed. Be happy and trust in your life you are exactly where you are meant to be. Respecting that is a lesson that commands patience, perspective and indeed, grace. Slow and steady wins the race.
I’m still trying to grasp that.
Yours in peaceful determined sanctimonious passion…Namaste