So here we are again, about to have the biggest night of “the actor” or at least it is with most of the acting, filmmaker and Hollywood community. Sure I do understand that many of you may not feel that way because you are anti-establishment or whatever, and I’m withyou on that…to a degree. But at the end of the day whether you feel there are particular favorites of yours that have been “robbed” over the years be them films, directors or individual actors the reality is…it is The Oscars.
For the purpose of this post please set aside your opinion of The Host, or the entertainment acts during the show, or (for the love of snot) the wardrobe and hair commentary. Sure, I get it, we’re in a visual profession so blah blah blah…but at its core that is just the “fringe” stuff that makes up a telecast…it isn’t the core of The Oscars. I urge you to consider this as you watch this year: Commitment, Longevity, Career, Focus and most of all…EXPERTISE.
You see, there are dozens of technical Oscars given we don’t focus on much and even within that, there are some awards that we see such as SOUND and EDITING. Pushing off of these two as you get older in life I hope that expertise and proficiency will matter more to than ever before. Don’t you want your pilot to be proficient at flying a damn plane, the guy or gal fixing your brakes on your car…and all the way down to the person doing your dry cleaning or cutting your hair. Professional…expert…proficiency.
You see, whether you like “joe actor so and so” more than the other guy or whether you think Meryl Streep should ever win again (cuz she has so many) doesn’t really matter to me. What matters to me, and what I feel matters in ALL levels of the TOP 1% of anything (and no I’m not talking about the privileged folks on Wall St.) is that you have “reached” that pinnacle. Is the path or the effort as “clear” in a subjective thing like acting and art? No, it isn’t, and I respectfully understand that. I have had people be passionate with me that Tom Hanks is a “lousy actor” and other folks make fun of Michael Bay (not that he doesn’t deserve some of it) but at the same time…we’re still talking about the top.
I’m not asking that you only SEE the “top” of this profession, but can you sit back on Sunday and “admire it” a bit. No, I don’t believe that Titanic should have won in the year it did and I certainly don’t think that Jennifer Lawrence should have an Oscar over Naomi Watts (a woman so brilliant it is tragic she doesn’t have one) but I’m not discussing MY particular opinion or yours…I’m discussing expertise and appreciation. Just because I’d like to see so and so win…doesn’t mean that whoever does…isn’t proficient or terrific.
I’m just encouraging you, this Sunday, wherever you are…to try and just “enjoy the level of proficiency” that will be on display amongst our community regardless of how they “got there” because most of us know that a great deal of folks who “get to work” in Hollywood have likely had some elements of it being “gifted to them” via nepotism or friends of a family…but not everyone. So enjoy the splendor and the “show” that it is but somewhere along with way…during the telecast…just take a moment to really let expertise and proficiency sink in.
I say this for one simple reason: “It is harder…than you think it is.” And if you’ve not worked a lot yet then maybe you don’t know where I’m coming from…or if you’ve just shot your own stuff…or been in a “friends” project where you didn’t have to go through the actual “judgment” and difficulty of a real professional audition room…then perhaps someday when you do…you’ll walk out…and KNOW what I’m talking about. If you’ve not ever been required to “hit a certain emotional level” with 50 people standing around looking at their phones and watches just “praying you get the shit right” so they can go home, then you don’t know what I’m talking about…yet. And if you do…then you do.
I enjoy the Oscars some years, more than others, and I’ve even skipped watching them a few years over the last 25 years…and I realized that it was more related to my mindset and not about The Oscars. But now I’ve reached a place in my life after many years of working on proficiency…being an expert in the field of the “Biz of ShowBiz” that I truly appreciate those in that room…of all kinds and aspects of this profession…many of whom have dedicated their entire lives…to one simple thing: being a part of creating art that not only can change the world in the smallest way…but also affect the audience who watches. If you’re not already there about the Oscars…I hope someday you will be. I actually believe that if you live in THAT place…you’ll be a better performer…when the time comes.
Always on your side, @TheKevinE