He returned from the washroom and smiled at the seat-filler who vacated his spot. His wife told him that a famous actress had just passed by offering him luck which pleased him. And then, his category…
He glanced around and spotted his fellow nominees wondering if they too were feeling the same tightness in their chests. And then it happened…His name was called, his name and there he was on display for the whole world to see.
“Oh My God! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to the Academy. I don’t think I’m capable of articulating quite how I feel right now,” he gushed, “But please know this, I am fully aware that I am a Lucky Lucky Lucky man.”
He was astounded by what was happening. “Um, this Oscar… WOW!! This Oscar, belongs to all those people…” the words tumbled out of his mouth as he stood there, desperately trying to steady himself. “And I will be its custodian and I promise you I will look after him.” He marveled at the golden statuette before facing the audience again. He rambled on unsure of whether he was making any sense.
Then, glancing at the “Wrap it up” cue, paused, a smile fixed upon his bright face. “Now finally please, this is so extraordinary! I just want to thank my family and you…” He looked to his wife and said something heartfelt but couldn’t recall exactly what. At least he hadn’t forgotten to mention her.
From the podium to where he stood now, his first time. Shocked and excited, the camera bulbs bombarded his eyes and his mind. He smiled and held up the beloved treasure noticing how the light caught the sleek design making it sparkle.
He nodded and grinned, answered a few questions and laughed nervously still overwhelmed by the magnitude of the moment. His thoughts were racing: “What are Mum and Dad thinking?” “Am I presentable right now?” “Where is my wife?” “Good God I have an Oscar!” “Who just asked a question?” Then urged by a voice nearby, he waved to the media throng and exited the platform first to the left and then the right, all in a kafuffle.
He was in a dream.
He felt the warmth of congratulations everywhere they went that evening. Fellow actors patted him on his back, shook his hand, even pulled him into an embrace. People he had long admired and respected were now treating him like the Guest of Honour at their party. He could not fully process it all.
Late night festivities blurred into slumber as they slipped into their limo and were back at their hotel. He held tightly to the 8 1/2 pound statuette, its brilliantly crafted body never cold in his fingers. His wife was speaking but he couldn’t hear her, mesmerized by reverie.
He lay in the luxuriously plush bed, trying to settle his mind. What had started out as a fierce rallying for an audition, led to the chance of a lifetime and now an unfathomable dream come true.
His body was weary but his mind never ceased from streaming images as he closed his eyes just as the sunrise flooded their room.
The flight was on time and he appreciated the kindness of the attendant in First class but his thoughts were not clear. His wife was soon dozing as the ground beneath them morphed into a dark mass dotted by twinkling lights. He knew he was wasting precious sleeping hours but couldn’t help it. He simply kept reliving the moment when he watched the Academy official engrave his name upon the metal plaque for his statuette.
He was physically miles away from it all now, yet somehow still entrenched in the moment. “CUT!” the director shouted as another take of the same scene done three times before, was set up for a fourth go around. But he wasn’t bothered.
He mechanically sipped his water off camera, dutifully straightened his wardrobe and waited for his cue, actually not present at all. Instead, he was charging that oh-so-gleaming stage, his arms raised, hands wild, his mouth gaping wide in utter amazement that his moment had finally come. For the rest of his life, whatever followed, he had gone and done it. And that left him euphoric!
“Places everyone!” someone called out. He hesitated and smiled. Then, looking into the eyes of the camera, he once again effortlessly inhabited the skin of another. “Action!”
Paula Antonello Moore, Creative Prose. Copyright: Monday, March 2, 2015.
Images: Getty Images