What Today Brings
Last night at the Golden Globes, in her acceptance speech for The Wife, Glen Close said, “Women are nurturers, that is what’s expected of us. We have our children, we have our husbands, if we’re lucky enough, and our partners but we have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say, I can do that and I should be allowed to do that.” Agreed, agreed, agreed.
The phenomenal actor, Christian Bale won for playing Dick Cheney in Vice. He is a true chameleon, you have to search for his handsome face because great make-up and prosthetics transformed him into Bush’s Vice President. He was equally brilliant in American Hustle, The Fighter and Laurel Canyon, tough as nails, sleazy as all get out or soft spoken and well-mannered as the case may be. His ‘real personality,’ is that of a charmer, a cockney speaking bloke from Wales, born to a circus performer and a talent manager. He grew up to be talented to the extreme and quite a hothead. Admirably, he abandons all traces of himself time and again, converting into a wide variety of characters.
The Cecil B Demille award this year was given to Jeff Bridges, the man who has entertained us for many years. I already knew he was spiritual, funny and kind, this was on full display as he said, “There are so many people to thank because this is a collaborative art form.’’ Then he became beautifully deep. “We’re alive right here, right now, this is happening! The individual is connected to society and we affect society. We’re alive, we can make a difference. We can turn this ship in the way we want to go man, towards love, towards a healthy planet for all of us. Tag you’re it!”
Award shows are deceiving, the lavender, satin ball gowns, yellow chiffon and silver, beaded evening gowns leave an impression that actors are shallow, frivolous, egomaniacs who only care about looking perfect. In fact, this is only a few nights a year (if they’re lucky) when they play dress up. During the rest of the year, they are shooting movies or performing on Broadway. They are just creative people finding solace in telling stories, embodying other lives, using their own emotions in a different circumstance. They abandon their ‘reality’ for another existence entirely, let their own quirks and foibles fall by the wayside in favor of filling up with the character, delving into the mind, heart and actions of that other person.
It is an extraordinary community and I had the privilege to be a part of it throughout my twenties and thirties. I did several movies, TV shows and a thousand plays. I never made it to the Golden Globes but I did win Best Actress Dramalogue Award for the play In the Boom Boom Room and Best Ensemble for the film, Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel. When I meet a fellow actor, there is an instant recognition for a mutual passion discovering a character, understanding your point of view, your history and what you want in the scene as well as our scene partner, be it the love of our life, the butcher or a sibling.
It is very much a circus when a group of people create magic on the stage, from nothing we create a new world, often that world is as real if not more so than the one we live when the performance is over. Like a pop-up reality, we join forces and discover the most private parts of our emotional life, turning ourselves inside out in pursuit of the truth. We share the fruits of our labor when we bring an audience to view this new world and story which unfolds in front of their eyes. Then we close up the tent, say goodbye to these most intimate of strangers and go back to our ‘real’ life. Nice work if you can get it.