The 2015 Academy Awards once again swept us into the magical land of movies. From the nominees to the winners, from the red carpet to the Governors Ball this is the championship of the awards season. This is entertainment’s ‘Super Bowl’ of motion pictures, and I often compare the journey to the classic film “The Wizard of Oz”. This year’s films included characters about a sniper, powerful leader, world renowned geniuses, down and out actors, adolescence, awkward hotel runners and an over-confident teacher. Like the lion, scarecrow or a tin man these characters were constantly challenged to find peace within themselves and the environment around them. The actors who portrayed these people have made the quest down the red carpet, and so can you!
The red carpet takes the performers, writers, producers, directors etc. on a little journey every time. I like to call it the ‘yellow brick road’! I have been on red carpets, blue carpets and even black ones but obviously there is one true ‘Red Carpet’ in Hollywood. I feel like Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” is an excellent parallel. Think about it. Small town girl heads to OZ (Hollywood), joins up with a team of go-getters (agents, managers), is constantly challenged by the wicked witch (the casting room) but continues consistently through perseverance and the love of family (the acting world) to find her way home (/Kansas/the red carpet). As an entertainer, the goal is to give the ultimate performance. However, we all want to be appreciated for said accomplishment and being recognized for that is of course a dream come true. The road to the Oscar is a journey!
An actor often packs up their bags and travels many miles to HollywoodLand. Even the local Los Angelites must travel far distances to make it to Hollywood (traffic in LA, ouch!). When the actor makes it to Hollywood there are many obstacles to overcome. The bright lights, strangers you may encounter and vast landscape can swoop you up like a ‘tornado’. Remember, the quest to winning the Oscar starts with following your heart, having the courage to take your art seriously and the brains to be smart with your choices.
There is evil you encounter on to the road the red carpet. Not everyone is going to like your performance, Critics can be “Wicked”. Casting directors might be having a bad day, and your audition technique may be a little off. The chance of failure far outweighs the odds of walking down the path to success. The distractions can sometimes feel like a slew of flying monkeys constantly tearing you down. However, evil is diminished when you land that role and are recognized for your fortitude. Dorothy’s home is Kansas, an actors home is Oscar.
Each step you take to the Academy Awards is one step closer to your Oz! Along the road you will encounter people just like you who are striving for the ultimate prize. These crucial steps take patience and a lot of hard work. It is not an easy business, so bravo to the filmmakers and actors who make it look that way. Remember it’s not about being nominated or winning an award, it’s about loving what you do and finding your home. I am proud to be an actor, and one day hope to utter the words… “I want to thank the Academy”!