Tag Archives: the academy awards

Life and the Academy this year

I really love awards shows. In the past few weeks I’ve watched the Golden Globes, the SAGs, part of the Independent Spirit Awards, and last night the Oscars.

Last year I posted part of an acceptance speech that inspired me.  This year I  recorded the broadcast, but I couldn’t bring myself to fast forward through any of the speeches because I kept thinking of last year and how if I had fast forwarded through the Best Original Score category, I would have missed something pretty great. 

Pretty great this year was when David Seidler won for Best Original Screenplay for The King’s Speech.  He’s an older gentleman and when he got to the stage he had to ask Josh Brolin where the microphone was.  And one of the first things he said was, “My father always said to me I would be a late bloomer.  I believe I am the oldest person to win this particular award.  I hope that record is broken quickly and often.”

He went on to mention his own struggle with a stammer.  I think I loved his speech even more than Tom Hooper’s when he thanked his mom for making The King’s Speech happen.

After I finished watching I thought for a moment about why I love awards shows so much.  I find myself smiling through most of the 3+ hours.  If you haven’t placed monetary bets on the winners, most people agree that these shows of excess and ego are boring.  So why do they leave me feeling so…good?  I mean, I even love the In Memorium segment–honoring deceased people I usually have never heard of.

If I’m really honest with myself, the reason I love these Hollywood awards shows is because I think I’ll be there one day.  I don’t particularly have a plan on how that will happen.  And I won’t be bitter or resentful if it doesn’t happen.  I don’t want to live a life of excess or ego or celebrity, but I do want to live a creative life and a passionate life.  So, you know.  Why not.

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Life and the Academy

After watching the Academy Awards tonight, I’ve got this feeling in my chest.  It’s tight and open at the same time.  It’s at ease and anxious.  It’s the same feeling I have when I stop and think about life–the overwhelming feeling of recognizing its beautiful mysteries, contradictions, and ambiguities.  

I’m left with that feeling now because the Oscars are a celebration of creativity.  And if I’m truly honest with myself, I feel most alive when I’m creating.  No matter if it’s a poem, essay, performance, or conversation with a friend. 

The speech that most directly related to all this came from Michael Giacchino who won Best Original Score for his work on “Up”.  He said:

I was nine and I asked my dad, ‘Can I have your movie camera? That old wind-up eight milimeter camera that’s in your drawer?’ And he goes, ‘Sure, take it.’  And I took it and I started making movies with it and I started being as creative as I could.  And never once in my life did my parents ever say, ‘What you’re doing is a waste of time.’ Never. And I grew up I had teachers, I had colleagues, I had people I worked with all through my life who always told me, ‘What you’re doing is not a waste of time.’  So that was normal to me….

I know there are kids out there who don’t have that support system, so if you’re out there and you’re listening–listen to me: if you want to be creative, get out there and do it.  It’s not a waste of time. 

In the end, the competition doesn’t matter.  The support and the love–they do.  And creativity?  It’s not a waste–it’s life itself.