Oscar Night

My boyfriend cries at ESPN human interest stories about the players and their sob stories; I cry at the Oscars.  Why?  Because there is something so exciting to me about Hollywood.  The glamour, the dresses, the acceptance speeches, the movies.  Everything is on such a grand scale.  It doesn’t feel real.  When Jennifer Lawrence tumbled on the way up the stairs last night, Anne Hathaway caught my eye as she seemed to cheer encouragement to the girl.  It was a moment of human-ness, of real life, that felt strangely out of place with the spectacle of the Oscars.

Hollywood knows how to push our buttons, well, mine at least.  I often cry just watching the trailers.  I love sitting in the dark and watching stories unfold.  I get so focused on what I’m watching that any noise or disturbance to my environment just pisses me off because I don’t want to lose my suspension of disbelief.  Hollywood manages to merge real life and fantasy.  We project ourselves onto that screen and in the process of enjoying a spectacle, we often feel something that we need to take with us back into the real world.

In 1999, I interned on the Paramount Lot at Mandalay Pictures.  It was my first time to California, to Los Angeles, to Hollywood.  I loved every minute being on the lot, walking around, seeing people make movies or television shows.  I loved feeling like I was somehow a part of that, even if just the smallest speck, even as just an observer.  It was a privilege.  My dream of Hollywood isn’t to become the Jennifer Lawrences or the Anne Hathaways, the Meryl Streeps or the Charlize Therons.  I dream of being part of something bigger than myself, something that touches people all over the world that I may never get a chance to meet.  Even if just a small part.

When you’re camping at night and you look up at the stars and you feel them crushing against your chest because there are just so many and you know they are so vast and infinite…that’s the feeling I love.  That’s the feeling walking down the lot.  That’s the feeling in the movie theater.  I feel small, but I don’t feel insignificant.  I feel like I am a part of something.  I am a part of this universe.  I am part of the human experience.

Finding the Artist That Is

I’ve been in transition for the last four years.  A metamorphosis into adulthood, into identity, into personhood.  A lot of things I figured out recently were things I thought I already knew.  And some of this change is a remembering of things lost.  But most of it is new change.  I am not the same person I was a few years ago.  I am not the same artist.

I used to create out of frustration and sadness and a lot of anger.  Today, I am content with myself and with my world.  That doesn’t mean I like everything or agree with everything or that I don’t have sad days.  But my daily life is one filled with a general joy and satisfaction that I never thought I would ever have.  And I found it at my lowest point in life.  I found it within myself.  It was truly a revelation to find acceptance.

The question now is: what is my motivation to create?  I still feel the wonder and the need to create.  I also think my happiness affords some distance from the sadness and anger, which can be a very very good thing when crafting stories, characters, and especially dialogue.  But the impulse to create has changed and I’m still figuring that out.

So this is me, finding the artist that is Jenny Waldo.