It’s Oscar season, at least, it was until last night. No doubt there will still be the aftershock felt for a few weeks for the winners and their career trajectories possibly changing for the better, possibly staying exactly the same. I must admit, I do not at this moment know who won in the acting categories, I only managed the first hour or so, and was pleasantly surprised with the format changes of the event – leading with the story and moving through all the creative departments first. Bravo Producers for making a bold change to an almost 100-year-old event.
Here’s what happens for me around this time of year: people in and around me become aware of acting and actors and the world of storytelling. This is a good thing and I am always laughing on the inside when asked: “When are going to be up there thanking me?” or “Are you going to the Oscars this year?” among other harmless questions. To me, those questions and curiosities rank right up with me asking my dear friends who are athletes if they’ll be at the Olympics this summer?
I am not counting out either possibility – Oscars or Olympics – I am only pointing out the myth that for actors it’s all done because we want an award; a little gold man statue, or for athletes it’s all done because they want a ribbon with a medal around their neck. While these ideas may, in fact, be why many people do what they do, I’m not in it for the awards, if that were the case I would have given up long ago.
And, I do give up, every now and then, in small ways and big, because it’s soul-crushing at times to work hard on an audition for a role that I just believe the universe hand-delivered to me, only to learn they went with a “name” because, well, because that is the business side of show business.
But small moments of frustration and doubt do not overwhelm the larger picture of knowing I am in my sweet spot when it comes to storytelling.
And for every person who has ever asked me (and trust me, it is high double-digits) once they know I’m an actor, “…what have I seen you in?” I realize it is a result of our culture that says one can only matter in their career, especially as an actor if he/she is seen in something.
I may not have been at the Oscars last night. I am not counting myself out of the possibility of being there sometime in my future. What I am doing is waking early to stretch my body and mind so that it has the capacity necessary to do the job I have chosen. I am an actor. I am a storyteller. I am grateful for every gift, award and moment in the sun I have had and I celebrate this morning with all those who took home gold yesterday for how they inspire and motivate us all.