“Me? I won? Did they really call my name?” I stumble out of my seat, kiss my adoring husband, and after what seems like an eternity, I finally make it to the stage steps.
“Don’t fall,” I tell myself repeatedly. Chances are if I did, I wouldn’t look as graceful as Jennifer Lawrence. And truth be told, I’m growing weary of JLaw’s “oh woe is me, I’m such a klutz” routine. Elegance and authenticity are the keys to this moment.
As I take the podium and cradle my golden friend, I look out at the audience and pause for a moment, taking it all in. I remember that 40 million people are watching, and in this moment I know why this awards ceremony touches so many people.
For all of us who have dreamed of winning an Academy Award, or doing anything that sets our hearts on fire, here’s why the Oscars matter.
The Chance to Celebrate Glamour
For most people, there are only a handful of times that they get to be utterly glamorous. Prom. Their wedding. An occasional ball or two. But for the Hollywood set, they get to live the glamorous life more times than they probably enjoy.
For the rest of us plopped on our sofas drinking wine and wearing yoga pants, we celebrate glamour by ogling celebrity gowns and jewels. We tune into the legendary catwalk that is the red carpet, and we swoon.
So thank you, Cate Blanchett, for your unique beauty and for floating down the red carpet in this timelessly gorgeous frock. You are my style inspiration.
Bearing Your Soul is a Valued Endeavor
With awards going to Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto for Dallas Buyer’s Club, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, and Lupita Nyong’o for Twelve Years a Slave, we learn that bearing your soul for the sake of your passion does not go unnoticed. In fact, it inspires others to do the same.
It wasn’t that long ago that Matthew McConaughey was starring is syrupy rom-coms, swooning girls, and minting money. The livin’ was easy. McConaughey could have stayed there in the sweet spot, but instead he wanted to work outside his comfort zone. He wanted to get gritty and uncomfortable. And that he did.
Losing forty pounds to play the role of a lifetime, his focus was undeterred. He risked the raw exposure of his talent to tell the story of a man who’s existence could have easily been hushed by the decades gone by. It’s here at the crossroads of where art meets life that you realize the two are really one in the same.
So thank you, Matthew, Jared, Cate, and Lupita, for reminding us that when you bear your soul, magic happens. And whether 40 million people see it or only you do, a seismic shift occurs and an ordinary human experience becomes an extraordinary one.
A Reminder to Dream Bigger
Academy Award-winning makeup artist Matthew Mungle was raised on a dairy farm in Oklahoma. Growing up he loved horror movies and monster films. By fifteen, he was stealing his mom’s old makeup and making his own costumes. His parents supported his passion and encouraged him to pursue it. Hollywood wasn’t just a dream for him. It was a goal. And in 1993, he won an Oscar for his work in Dracula.
Haven’t we all dreamed of doing something worthwhile? Something that lights us up inside. Something that as a kid was considered “playing.” And a good number of us have taken those dreams and put them on a shelf and are schlepping our way through life, focused on the mundane.
Lupita Nyong’o might have said it best in her eloquent acceptance speech, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from your dreams are valid.”
So thank you, Matthew and Lupita, for reminding us that no matter how crazy they seem, our dreams are valid and that we should all dream a little bigger.
In closing, I want to thank the Academy for giving us the Oscars, a ceremony that unites and sometimes divides us (Gravity really won 7 awards? Really?). I also want to thank all of you for reading this post because without you, my ideas would just be floating around out there like Sandra Bullock in space.
Now where’s that after party? A glass of Moët is tweeting my name.