I watched the Academy Awards in its entirety for the first time the other day. Other years I’ve seen snippets or didn’t watch them at all. I wanted to see Best Original Screenplay and Best Director.
I had a teacher once who told us to watch the Awards. “One day you could get Best Original Screenplay or Best Director,” she said. She’s a manager and knew many people who were attending. I thought yeah right, that’s a nice sentiment, but no. At that time I was staring at the umpteenth draft of a screenplay people had said it’s good but not there yet. Watching the Oscars relit some drive in me. I do want Best Original Screenplay. Best Director seems really out there, but that’d be nice too. My mom was watching with me. She said I didn’t have to dedicate the Oscar to her but she would like me to say she knew what she was talking about. So I started composing my acceptance speech.
Many people have composed their acceptance speech whether they’re going to use it one day or not. It’s fun to practice and you never know when you might need it. It helps get your ducks in order and look at your life. Who would you thank? Who was there?
Then I put together my dream of awards night.
I don’t know who I’ll wear–I’ll decide that closer to date. I have a couple of ideas of what the dress will look like. The whole night will feel amazing. After all that hard work on many levels getting nominated, getting all dressed up, it’ll be a dream night. People you read to learn how to write nodding to you as they see you but are busy talking to other people.
I’ll be sitting there on the main floor because I’ve been nominated. I’ll be smiling in awe because I’m a paid working writer, I have a couple of projects under my belt, and someone took a chance on this one, it got made and people enjoyed it. It would be great to win but this is my first nomination and I know the chances aren’t great. They get to my category. The presenter is an actor I enjoy,but not one of my favorites. I focus on the moment because I may not be back here. My name is third in the four movies nominated. My face is onscreen with the three other writers around it. Looks out-of-place, a new young face, one that’s not used to being onscreen.
“And the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay goes to…” He opens the envelope without a fight. And I know the sounds he says. They’re my name.
Sometimes I picture myself falling in the aisle, a collective “oh!” from the audience, being helped up by Johnny Depp or George Clooney. It’d set a different tone to my speech. I’d get to open with a line like, “With nine years ballet, you too can be as graceful as me.” People would laugh and those who do not know me would know I was a comedy writer and funny. And then I’d begin my speech. A couple of lines in, I’ll realize the statue is rattling in my hand.
I thank the Academy. I thank everyone who took a chance on the picture, the amazing crew. I thank the actors. It’s a gift to see your work come alive and a blessing when it is done better than you could ever imagined. I am up there because of their performance (and the director and the crew who made them look good (this is a rough draft)). I thank my parents and my brother for putting up with me and always believing in me. Mom, you knew what you were talking about. I’d thank my teachers and say their names so people can scribble them down. And I’d close saying something to the effect, “To all the girls out there who are writing in their rooms, thinking they are crazy and their writing is horrible, you will look so much better accepting this award.”
It’s a rough draft but a start. It’s nice to dream and start to get things organized.