This past Sunday was the 87th Academy Awards. Did you watch? I love the Oscars and always put it on my schedule. Why? Because it's not just about celebrities and glamour--although it's a big part of what makes it entertaining--but the entire show is one hundred percent devoted to celebrating the arts.
And the biggest prizes go to the best stories.
That's right, STORIES.
That's what films are, and they don't get awards for being action-packed. They get recognition because a writer or writers put their heart and soul into the story. Sound familiar? That's exactly what we do.
Screenplay writers, adaptation writers, directors ... they all have a vision, and bringing that vision to life to make people feel something is what the arts are all about.
Then there's the makeup artists and costume designers and graphic artists. They create based on the writers' ability to create an image using words. It's all so amazing that they really deserve to be celebrated.
But that's not why I'm writing this post. I mean, it's not like the Oscars need more recognition, right? ;)
Watching the award show always inspires me to get back to doing what I love--crafting a story! And dreaming up characters and worlds and conflict Because a celebration of the arts of Oscar magnitude gives me such a rush of hope and possibility. Maybe we can reach that point one day. Maybe one day, it will be one of us sitting in that audience because an actor was nominated for playing the role of a character we created. Or because the adaptation of our novel to film has just won Best Picture.
Who knows! Watching the Oscars reminds me that art is important and people love it--they NEED it. And we have the ability to offer more of it. It's not beyond any one of us.
Do you remember the movie Juno? The screenplay writer was just an average woman making her way through life and craving experience so she'd have something to write about. She won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Wow!
There are plenty more success stories like that, too. The Oscars prove that there is room at the top for everyone and anyone who works hard enough and is dedicated to their art.
Consider the actors and actresses for a moment. Receiving an Oscar nod is one of the biggest accomplishments of their career, and actually winning is another ball game entirely. Their resume is forever impressive to whoever glances upon it. What an achievement!
But think about what it took for the actor to get there. Many of them started at the very bottom. Like writers, there is a slush pool of aspiring actors out there. I would imagine it's as hard to get a talent agent as it is to get a literary one. And many start with commercials and low-budget films or TV shows. It's a lot like us writers starting out with manuscripts that will never go anywhere because our writing hasn't reached a publishable level. Just as a brand new actor doesn't receive a starring role in a blockbuster film.
We have to work our way through the artistic trenches and earn our ranks.
All part of the process. So next time you feel like your writing sucks or your stories aren't up to snuff, think of the worst commercial you've ever seen and imagine the actor(s) in it. Think they're proud of their work?
The only thing NOT to be proud of is giving up.
By the way, if you missed the Oscars this year you can see the replay on YouTube with a search.
Celebrating the arts is so important. Storytelling is so important. Pursuing our dreams is so important. If you ever start forgetting that, pull up an old Oscars award night and just watch.
Tell me, do you make it a point to watch award ceremonies like the Oscars? Why or why not? Do they inspire you? Can you see yourself at the Oscars?