Yes, I’m a cliché. I love the Oscars. But it’s not what you think.
Yes, I love the dresses. Yes, I love seeing my favorite actors, the self-referential humor, the parodies. Yes, I love imagining being there myself.
But what I really love about the Oscars, one of the things that gets me every year, is the when they stop to remember. Those few moments when they walk back through the past year and remember the actors, writers, directors, stunt men, movie people that have died – giving us glimpse after glimpse of the lives that have ended. Inevitably, there are ones that I didn’t know about, and ones that I had already forgotten. And that’s one reason why I love this part: just that for a moment, this industry that is so obsessed with the young, the whatever-of-the-moment…well, it shifts it’s focus, and makes me shift mine too. It stops to honor these people, many of whom haven’t been the anything-of-the-moment for many years. I often wonder if the beautiful people in the audience watch those montages and see their own future… and then I think: at least they do this small thing. At least they don’t let these people go without once bringing them back before our eyes. Remembering.
Most of the people in the montage I don’t know, but I know the work that they’ve been a part of. And that, of course, is the other thing I love. It reminds me how many people it really takes to make a movie, to bring a story to life on film. How a community, a family, is needed and created for the purpose of making something together. This element of community is one of my most favorite things about the art of theater – relationships are formed, trust is given. Even in the week to week of what I do – these small scenes that happen with a couple of rehearsals – it happens. Actors lean into each other. They give. They open themselves. They are vulnerable. We laugh, we work, and together we create something that one person cannot do alone.
I absolutely love being a part of that process, that life, that family.
And I believe all those Hollywood people, whatever else might be true about them, still love those very same things.